Best Practices for Enlivening the Virtual Classroom

Conference Archive

Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2014 - March 20, 2014

Pandora Bryce

Senior Instructional Designer
Bank of Montreal Institute for Learning

Virtual classroom learning retains many of the advantages of classroom learning—such as skillful facilitation that’s engaging and keeps learners on task. It’s cost-effective by reducing the need for travel, it’s time efficient for senior leaders and customer-facing employees who can’t leave their role for long time periods, and you can include multimedia elements. However, when poorly done, the virtual classroom setting can be duller than reading flat text on a web page.

This session offers proven tactics for those who want to increase the likelihood of success in the virtual classroom. You’ll learn some of the key challenges of the virtual classroom, and examples of best practices learned through hard experience. Examples of the challenges include content that isn’t very engaging (care to review HR policy, anyone?), participants who step out of the session to serve customers, using SMEs effectively, and training facilitators to use their voices differently in order to be lively and engaging. This session will share best practices and tips for proactively preventing unwanted surprises while designing high-impact virtual-classroom learning.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Best practices for effective, engaging virtual classroom design
  • Obstacles to avoid
  • When to have “plan B” in place
  • Key skills and behaviors to develop during facilitator train-the-trainer sessions
  • Ideas for innovative uses of the virtual classroom environment

Participants should have a basic familiarity with learning design and/or selecting and training facilitators. This session is also useful for those who advise business partners about which modalities will suit their learning needs.

Technology discussed in this session:
Virtual-classroom technology.

Student technology needs:


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