129 Tips on Using Technology in virtual and Physical Classrooms

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms


© 2013 by The eLearning Guild. All rights reserved. The eLearning Guild 120 Stony Point Rd., Suite 125 Santa Rosa, CA 95401 www.eLearningGuild.com 1.707.566.8990 Contributing Editor: Karen Forni Copy Editor: Chuck Holcombe Publication Design: Crystal Huang You may download, display, print, and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organization. All other rights are reserved. This is a FREE digital eBook. Other than The eLearning Guild, no one is authorized to charge a fee for it or to use it to collect data. Attribution notice for information from this publication must be given, must credit the individual author in any citation, and should take the following form: The eLearning Guild’s 129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms. Readers should be aware that Internet Web sites offered as citations or sources for further information may have disappeared or been changed between the date this book was written and the date it is read.

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms


129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms
Forty-six Tips for Using Virtual-classroom and Virtual-world Features Effectively. . . . . 5 Fifty-six Tips for Instructional Design and Presentation Skills for the Classroom. . . . . . 14 Nine Pros and Cons of Virtual Classrooms and Virtual Worlds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Five Pros and Cons of Physical and Blended Classrooms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Three Tips for Games for the Classroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Ten Tips for Mobile and Social Learning for the Classroom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

For educators and designers trained and experienced only with the physical classroom. but then teach and hone specific techniques in a physical classroom. Having two distinct types of classrooms also allows educators and designers to use the best features of each by blending the classrooms. Only a few decades ago. in the office. has expanded the meaning of “classroom” to include any physical or virtual space for formal learning. experts provide 129 tips for educators and designers who want to make the best use of these technologies. Rather than spending time and money to get educators and students in a physical room. Or you might have several students who cannot travel to the physical classroom. however. The eLearning Guild .129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 1 Introduction Dear Colleagues. Chris Benz Director of Online Events. or on the move. virtual classrooms (and virtual worlds) can be daunting. the word “classroom” meant one thing: A physical room in which educators and students gathered for the purpose of formal learning. however. Sincerely. we now have the option to log in to a virtual classroom from wherever we each might be: at home. you should find something in here for you. but also to design effectively for it? In this eBook. so you use a virtual classroom to connect synchronously with both virtual and physical students. you might teach the theories and basics of first aid in a virtual classroom. For example. in a coffee shop. Whether you are brand new to virtual classrooms and virtual worlds or have been working with them for a while. How do you engage students you can’t see? How do you keep students from multitasking? (Should you?) What if students don’t answer your questions or respond to your online polls? What if someone’s network or Internet connection drops or is slow? How do you select the appropriate virtual-classroom (or virtual-world) platform? And perhaps most importantly. how do you make the time not only to learn the new technology. Computer and communications technology.

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 2 About Our Tipsters Chuck Barritt. Krista Grande supports Verizon Wireless’ Business and Government Customer Operations Groups. and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Cynthia Clay. Principal. and delivering blended learning solutions for Oracle. President. Chuck has authored papers and a book on reusable learning objects. and healthcare—have benefited from Cynthia’s extensive experience and innovative learning strategies. Apple. coached. and engage learners . Senior Learning Strategist. web-based training. Clients in dozens of industries—from manufacturing. balancing innovation with a return on investment. Verizon Wireless In her current role. instructor-led training. including for The eLearning Guild’s Online Forums. She is passionate about education in the workforce and believes trainers are in the position to mold and empower employees to drive positive culture and success in any organization. Senior Trainer. Thought Leaders Webinars. and Best of… Webinars. Cynthia Clay has trained. holding several positions in their wireless division. She is a recognized expert in the field of integrating classroom and eLearning experiences for the most effective and lasting training results. developing. and Valero Energy. Karen uses the trainer competencies of CompTIA’s Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) to help technical trainers and subject-matter experts prepare for online sessions. Karen Hyder. St. NetSpeed Learning Solutions Over the last 23 years. and banking to entertainment. Krista has worked for Verizon for over 15 years. virtual learning. He is focused on learning solutions that blend online communities (text and video). and mobile learning. Cisco. Chuck currently is operationalizing virtual-learning technology and instructional best practice at PG&E. including call-center management. She has produced hundreds of online sessions. Pacific Gas & Electric Chuck Barritt has over 20 years of experience in designing. Google. Krista Grande. retail. master online presentation skills. Kaleidoscope Training and Consulting Karen Hyder has been teaching trainer-training programs for virtual classes and coaching online presenters since 1999. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. and mentored hundreds of emerging leaders at companies such as Blistex. high tech. Krista holds a BS degree in business management from Southern Connecticut State University and is currently working on completing her MBA with Strayer University. REI.

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 3 throughout sessions. and served as the technical subject-matter expert on virtual war games delivered to the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Mary’s focus and specialty is the design of interactive online activities and the use of social media tools for creating dynamic online communities of practice. all from Texas A&M University. Trey worked in the commercial video-game industry. Training Program Developer. Mary holds a PhD degree in educational psychology. She currently serves as president of ASTD’s Smoky Mountain Chapter. and authored Up and Running with WebEx Training Center for lynda. Sodexo Anne Scott supports Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition Group. an MEd degree in educational technology. and a BS degree in industrial education. where he produced interactive games. Mary Nicholson. Anne Scott. Associate. Her work and presentations are based on the best practices she includes in her own classes and workshops. Anne keeps Sodexo’s recruiters at the top of the industry through synchronous and asynchronous online learning. Professor. Booz Allen Hamilton Trey Reyher currently serves as systems administrator for a number of virtual worlds. Trey Reyher. where he developed research-oriented games at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Anne hosts weekly team webinars for training and team-building. Open Wonderland. Bloomsburg University Mary Nicholson has been teaching online courses for over 15 years. . Karen co-authored The eLearning Guild’s Handbook on Synchronous eLearning. a remote-based team of 85 recruiting professionals dedicated to finding talented managers. VastPark. Prior to his consulting career. Department of Instructional Technology. She holds a master’s degree in educational technology leadership from The George Washington University. including Second Life Enterprise. giving her a lot of opportunities to design and test new virtual activities. and in the academic video-game industry. where she focused on leveraging technology in training and development.com. and OpenQwaq. Trey holds a bachelor of science degree in brain and cognitive sciences from MIT. including collaboration tools and social networks. She frequently speaks at industry events on using virtual classroom tools to support learning.

Susan holds a PhD degree. Steve Wheeler has spent his entire career working in media. He became an eLearning visionary when he created one of the first social-learning platforms. Currently she designs and produces highly interactive professional development webinars and collaborative online meetings for corporate clients.xtrain. Emerging Cultures. Founder. taught in a variety of post-secondary institutions. speaker. stop thinking) when they attempt to learn. and specializes in research on eLearning and distance education. He is regularly invited to speak about his work.” After sitting through another brain-numbing training session. Steve Wheeler. technology. and learning. . Jeremy Vest. Susan’s vision was to increase the use of technology to support a community of practice that was being cultivated in the face-to-face events. Jeremy has set out to change the way adults think (or rather. and teacher. Associate. program director. she leads a research project with the University of Virginia and Xavier University on problem-solving inside a 3-D virtual build of Hadrian’s Villa (a large Roman archaeological complex in Italy).129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 4 Susan Stewart. author. and was on faculty at Salem College. Plymouth University Originally trained as a psychologist. Steve teaches on a number of undergraduate and post-graduate teacher-education programs. With his experience as an art director. Jeremy founded the Emmy award-winning online training site. and recently earned a one-year certification as a subjectmatter expert in virtual worlds from the University of Washington. Video Marketing Guild Jeremy Vest is a self-described “defender of the bored. Associate Professor of Learning Technologies. In her spare time. and developed a connected-software video-training style. Lee earned her doctorate in computing and education from Columbia University. Jeremy decided that “learning” and “lethargy” should be mutually exclusive. Booz Allen Hamilton Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton. including The Digital Classroom and Connected Minds. Lee Taylor-Nelms spent about 16 years working in schools and universities where she trained educators on how to integrate and evaluate technology tools. www. Lee Taylor-Nelms. Learning with ‘e’s. Director of Online Learning and Collaboration.com. is a regular commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies and the application of digital media in education and training. Seattle. Guided Meetings Susan Stewart came into eLearning through the side door as the curriculum and training director for a nationwide training program in the field of early-childhood education. Steve is the author of several books. funded by the US National Science Foundation. giving keynotes and invited lectures in over 20 countries. advocate of knowledge seekers. Steve’s blog.

Quality Sessions • Current and Relevant Content Looking for more tips on using technology for the classroom? Join our June Online Forum! June 6 & 7. Ten Sessions. interactive. and Blended Classroom July 18 & 19: eLearning Engagement and Interactivity Aug 15 & 16: Collaborative & Social Learning Sep 19 & 20: mLearning: Planning. and Design Read full descriptions online at www. Suite 125 | Santa Rosa.ly/olf105info | +1..GuildOnlineForums. plus the recordings of all 10 sessions for 12 full months. T H U R S DAY.566. REGISTER FOR THIS ONLINE FORUM Register for an individual Online Forum and get access to the live event.707. Physical. 75-minute sessions on the newest tools. and trends in learning. Virtual Clans. and Blended Classroom Join us and learn how you can use technology to design and deliver effective classroom experiences.Two Days. JUNE 7 • Don’t Hesitate—BREAKOUT! Engaging Webinar Participants • Transforming Utility Training and Support Through Mobile Technology • Designing Training Events in 3-D Virtual Worlds • Flipping the Classroom with Social Media Tools • Trainers Matter: Making the Case for vILT How to Attend. strategies.com ONLINE CONFERENCES The eLearning Guild’s Online Forums are two-day online conferences that offer 10 live.8990 The eLearning Guild | 120 Stony Point Rd. • Learning—Watch Live and On-demand • Expert Speakers. Analysis..ly/registerolf105 Join Now at http://bit. Physical.ly/joinolf105 LEARN MORE http://bit. Upcoming Programs May 9 & 10: Simulations for eLearning June 6 & 7: Using Technology for the Virtual. 2013 Using Technology for the Virtual. BEST VALUE—ALL ONLINE FORUMS Become an eLearning Guild Member-Plus and get access to all Online Forums—the live events plus the 800-session archive— for 12 full months. J U NE 6 • Digital Tribes.. and Corporate Learning • Using Google+ Hangouts for Education • The Value of Tablets in the Physical Classroom • Engaging Virtual Learners at Sodexo • Using Virtual-classroom Techniques in the Physical and Blended Classroom FRI DAY. CA 95401 . Register Now at http://bit. Real Learning.

ask lots and lots of questions throughout the session. In a Google+ Hangout. Ask for some kind of response every five minutes. Jeremy Vest Turn on your Google+ Hangouts Toolbox to add a “lower third” so everyone knows your name. if you click the “View more apps” text. Jeremy Vest View more apps.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 5 Forty-six Tips for Using Virtual-classroom and Virtual-world Features Effectively It’s a whole new (virtual) world … with more options than our teachers ever dreamed of. Make sure you know exactly what you’re going to teach and what tools you will be using with Hangouts before you start. Add your questions to your slides along with a reminder about how to respond: via poll. Prepare and practice: Before you launch a Google+ Hangout for online learning. Jeremy Vest Screen share: Share your screen in a virtual classroom to teach things such as software step-by-step. I suggest practicing with a few friends. Karen Hyder . emoticon or status indicator. Jeremy Vest To keep learners focused on the virtual classroom session. Jeremy Vest Google Drive allows you to access and share documents within Google+ Hangouts. there’s something here for everyone. you can add applications that will help with online education such as SlideShare for presentations and Cacoo that lets everyone draw diagrams and flow charts. or by typing in chat. It takes a while to get used to teaching in this format. So how do you take advantage of it? From tools to etiquette to music (music?!).

or co-create a story. Consider a three-column facilitator guide that includes the PowerPoint slide. trainers can easily become frustrated if they don’t know where and when to click. or trivia games. a vote. be creative with the features of the virtual classroom. A pointer from the annotation toolbar isn’t just a way to point out key information on your slide—it can be a way for participants to highlight incorrect items (“spot the nots”) or illustrate processes. then assign team activities such as breakout sessions. the spoken script. It’s helpful to prepare the virtual trainer by scripting out the entire session—from both a technology and a speaking perspective. a pen or highlighter lets participants call out important (or incorrect) points. A poll isn’t just a survey—it can be a knowledge check. such as opening polls and whiteboards. or data gathering for potential sales.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 6 Encourage learners to contribute questions by typing in chat rather than unmuting their audio and asking aloud. Karen Hyder Don’t limit yourself. it’s important to plan beyond your PowerPoint presentation. Anne Scott Anything is possible with a whiteboard and attendee access to annotation tools! A text tool allows for brainstorming. Design good instructional activities. a pointer can claim space. THEN consider how the features can create the same experience. Anne Scott . answer scavenger-hunt questions. scavenger hunts. but don’t allow yourself to be derailed by the questions as they show up. and technology notes. Wait until you have a break in the content and then respond to the questions in batches. A whiteboard isn’t just a way to capture ideas—it can be a way to report out from breakout discussions. One of my favorite ways to use a whiteboard is to split the screen into several separate areas using lines. the ideal is having a separate “producer” role to handle technology elements. While there is a great benefit in leveraging the features available in a virtual space. Anne Scott In virtual classrooms. Each team has its own section of the whiteboard to use in responding. When possible.

have participants type their goals into chat. ask participants to share key takeaways or action steps on a whiteboard. Mary Nicholson In virtual classrooms. Anne Scott Create some whiteboard slides that can be used for anonymous polls. Chuck Barritt There is a learning curve when using new online tools to facilitate interactions. have participants place a pointer or dot on a map to identify their locations. One way is to create a separate “pre-work” session that provides an overview of the features prior to the training event. Create a theme song for your session and play the music as your participants join the session. the session begins. provide more time for training facilitators.” There are several ways to achieve reflection in the virtual classroom. Place a question with various responses on the slide and have your audience use the drawing tools to draw symbols on the response of their choice. it is often helpful to have a second instructor or a producer attend all sessions to help filter participant questions and run the classroom software. it’s helpful to prepare participants on how to use these features effectively before the learning activity begins. Anne Scott Good instructional design includes giving participants time to reflect on the content and how they will integrate it back into the “real world.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 7 If your plan is to use a variety of virtual classroom features. then the facilitator can download the chat transcript and email progress-assessment reminders to individual participants. For a broad summary. For specific goal setting. Another way is to kick off your virtual course with an icebreaker that uses multiple tools. When the music ends. Chuck Barritt . Mary Nicholson Find your inner disc jockey when you are presenting in a virtual classroom. then ask them to type their cities and states into chat. For example.

and layouts) for each part of the course. Use of breakout rooms should serve to clearly advance your efforts to meet your outcomes and objectives. chats. Verbalize any keyboard and mouse activity. Chuck Barritt Reference your webinar outcomes and objectives. Chuck Barritt When doing an application demonstration in a virtual classroom. Instead pre-plan active learning that includes polls. and so on.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 8 For the virtual classroom. Susan Stewart . Chuck Barritt Make sure both the facilitator and participants are comfortable with the virtual classroom technology. raised-hand changes. explain how to use zoom and full-screen controls. use menu commands instead of keyboard shortcuts. microphone requests. chats. and breakout rooms. Keep in mind the participants may see a smaller version of your screen. Susan Stewart Virtual breakout rooms are tools … a means to an end. whiteboards. chat windows. including status emoticons. Chuck Barritt Develop a virtual learning facilitator’s guide that includes both the instruction and the use of the technology (polls. not the goal itself. polling questions. Provide more detail and practice time for new facilitators. don’t rely on simple directive or information-only designs. Consider breakouts in the overall design of the virtual class.

and can they provide accurate. What do you want to accomplish with virtual breakout rooms? • Are you interested in generating a large number of ideas? • Do you want to foster cross-fertilization of ideas? • Do you want small groups to chew on knotty problems together? • Do you want breakout-room participants to co-create something? • Do you want to have participants discuss provocative questions? Susan Stewart Explore your audio options when considering using breakout rooms in virtual classes. is it prohibitive? Susan Stewart ►► ►► ►► ►► ►► ►► . Some questions to consider: • Will the participants have access to VoIP through headsets with microphones or microphones and speakers (internal or external)? • What is the quality of the VoIP option with the platform you are using? • Does the platform offer an integrated audio solution that supports breakout audio for both those participating via VoIP and those participating via teleconference? ►► Do you have access to a teleconferencing service that has a sub-conferencing option? If so. can the teleconferencing host activate this option? Are participants required to change their audio options on their telephone keypads to join the teleconference? Does the teleconference service offer a web-based interface for managing sub-conferences? Is the web-based interface for managing sub-conferences simple and easy to manipulate? Does the teleconference service provider have up-to-date instructions for sub-conferencing.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 9 Consider your intent. timely support? Does the teleconference require an operator-assisted call for subconferencing? Is there an additional cost for operator-assisted sub-conferencing? If there is an added cost.

change audio options to obtain audio in breakout rooms. Susan Stewart Test it out! Whether you choose VoIP or teleconferencing. and have them test out the transitions to the breakout audio with you. Offer to help your service troubleshoot the problem by being a test participant. headsets. and identify errors in instructions from the teleconference service or the platform guides and obtain technical support. Susan Stewart Test it out with others! Get some volunteers who have setups (computers. This will allow you to determine if the solution you have selected will work for your target group. chatting. This will enable you to create clear instructions for the participants. they may be at ease with jumping into a breakout room. The web-based interfaces may have changed or the process for activating the interfaces may be unclear or convoluted. locate any nuances in the process that might trip you up if you are not aware of them prior to the session. it’s essential that you test out the audio in the main room. and return to the main room audio. Be bold in pushing for clarification and correction of information. managing the audio. Provide clear and specific feedback if you encounter challenges so they can improve their services and provide targeted support. test audio in the breakout rooms. Susan Stewart Use breakout room facilitators. You will also have the opportunity to clarify your instructions to the participants and become more facile in activating audio sub-conferencing (if necessary). Internet connectivity. and using good breakout room etiquette … or they may be anxious and need lots of support to engage. The sub-conferencing guides or codes may be out of date or incorrect. and telephones) similar to the participants. Having breakout room facilitators provides support to the participants and to the learning process because they can serve as a bridge between the expert and the novice participants. A handful of teleconferencing services offer and support sub-conferencing on a regular basis … they are gems! Another handful offer sub-conferencing but have had very few clients use that feature. Susan Stewart . Depending on the online sophistication and experience of your participants.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 10 Help them help you.

rather than detract from. Always have a Plan B (and C and D!) in case you encounter problems such as having audio issues or too many or too few participants. and manage the flow of the learning process. Invite participants to join in being active learners with you in the process of using breakout rooms. encourage their suggestions for improvement and ask them to tell you what worked well for them as participants. extensive information on a relatively small notecard is difficult to read. make sure visual. Facilitators should be prepared to welcome each breakout participant. Participants should know about this prior to moving to the breakout rooms and you should teach them how to mute their audio. • Avoid awkward silences and vocal pile-ups. verbal. Susan Stewart For 3-D virtual worlds. They will need to have strategies for engaging participants. Susan Stewart Teach breakout etiquette. Susan Stewart Practice.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher . offer avatars an alternative. the immersive design. A few examples: • Ask participants to use the “away” indicator if they are not available to participate in breakouts so that other participants or breakout room facilitators don’t waste valuable time waiting for the missing participant to arrive or interact. • Ask participants to say their names when they begin speaking and indicate when they have completed their thought so others in the breakout room know the floor is open. They will need strategies for troubleshooting problems with breakout room audio.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 11 Prepare breakout room facilitators. ensure that each participant can hear and be heard. practice. Use the participants’ feedback and let them know how their feedback has shaped the breakout process and activities. (For example. practice … and it still won’t be perfect. • Breakout room audio (either VoIP or telephone sub-conferencing) is often automatically unmuted. and written directions extend. They will need to be familiar with the platform tools. Suggest that participants use the hand-raising tool to indicate their desire to speak.

to encourage collaboration and extend the 3-D experience. with a range of audiences. creative writing. (For example. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Pay attention to the art of cinematography. and the role of architecture in delivering a compelling training experience. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. Do the elements included in your virtual environment support the learning material? Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Extend the 3-D virtual environment by combining 2-D and 3-D elements. such as a wiki.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Weigh the pros and cons of the 3-D virtual world selected for training needs and adjust training expectations accordingly. an avatar in the shape of a blood clot could be used to teach how a heart attack happens. some virtual worlds will not allow for avatar customization. and instructions) guide participants smoothly through the learning experience. directions. to ensure all works as intended.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Ensure the physical features of your 3-D virtual environment (signage. include a tool. encourage participants to pick the right avatars for the right learning environment. employ frequent usability testing.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Incorporate character animation into the 3-D virtual world design. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher .129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 12 For 3-D virtual worlds. (For example. (For example. paths.

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 13 For 3-D virtual worlds. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. New users need to understand basic navigation and communication within the environment and can easily derail a training session without advance support. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. activate multi-collision sensors or other types of tech tools to track unique avatar identity and length of participation. design instrumentation feedback or interactivity of objects in the environment. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. and chat discussions. (For example. sequential nature of delivering a one-way presentation in the virtual classroom. be sure to sufficiently analyze and address technological barriers before deploying. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. take quizzes to a higher level by simulating situations in which participants must apply new knowledge. encourage backchat as a valuable form of crowdsourcing. Design exercises that combine emoticons. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Include heads-up displays (HUDs) and real-time data to provide feedback to learners in discovery-based 3-D learning environments. These combo activities engage learners with the content and with each other.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Break the repetitive. Cynthia Clay . polls. the post-traumatic stress disorder site used sensors to know how many unique visitors spent time in different areas.

Limit on-slide text and put the details in a separate handout file. and smiling even when you’re not on camera. script questions you can ask during the training that will generate discussion and confirm learners are grasping the subject. Karen Hyder Including your script text on your slides might be helpful when the file needs to serve double duty as a handout. accommodating different learning styles. Here our experts offer advice on topics such as ensuring information gets remembered. Karen Hyder Improve the quality of the visuals you use. but makes the file less helpful as a presentation. I sit out with the employees a lot so that I can hear what is going on and help out and coach. Since I work in a call center. Being a part of those teams helps me to stay relevant and can bring more realworld examples into the classroom. Trainers don’t always know the realities of the job because the job itself can disconnect us from our learners. Krista Grande Rather than wait for learners to ask (random) questions. diagrams. Karen Hyder . tables. it is easy for me to just pop up onto the floor. or other graphics that actually support instruction and aid memory. it’s time to find some photos. Be one with the teams you support and train.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 14 Fifty-six Tips for Instructional Design and Presentation Skills for the Classroom Good instructional design and solid presentation skills are the foundation of any class. If you’re still decorating the corners of slides with Microsoft’s Screen Beans.

Provide ongoing motivation to keep everyone from becoming distracted with other items in their local environment. Design instead for virtual learning from the start. Chuck Barritt . Consider dividing longer courses into short segments spread out over multiple days.” lock your microphone open. motivation. and interactivity are critical because participants are taking the learning in their own distraction-filled environments. visuals. Chuck Barritt Virtual classroom size should be smaller (20 to 30 participants) than in physical classrooms so the instructor can address each online participant’s needs. you don’t always need to begin by stating the objectives. each virtual class is less than three hours in length. Instead begin with a realistic challenge or scenario for your audience to resolve. Your audience will be able to “hear” your smile as you are talking. create initial motivation to draw everyone into the content.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 15 When designing training. Consider how projections. and wave those hands around as you are presenting—you will sound very natural. go ahead. Mary Nicholson Ideally. flipcharts. Chuck Barritt At the start of a virtual class. Chuck Barritt In virtual classrooms. Chuck Barritt Physical classroom activities don’t always transfer to the virtual environment. physical room layouts. If you are a person who “talks with your hands. whiteboards. and social dynamics all are different when they are on an individual’s computer screen. The content of your training should provide information they will use to solve the problem. Mary Nicholson Smile while you are presenting in a virtual classroom even if there is no camera for your audience to see you. Too many participants are harder to engage.

independent assignments. Use collaboration tools such as Yammer along with individual pre-work and/or between-session assignments. Chuck Barritt Include activities beyond the virtual classroom. Chuck Barritt . Chuck Barritt When teaching a virtual class. social networking. integrate the use of discussion boards and forums. allow plenty of time to engage with each participant. especially when the primary facilitator is new to the technology. Chuck Barritt Ensure that the virtual-classroom facilitators have the skills needed for the virtual classroom. especially between classes. and so on. Look for creative ways to ensure participation. Plan on some coaching and training even for the best physicalclassroom facilitators. include a co-facilitator or producer to help handle participant questions. Chuck Barritt When conducting large virtual classes. build in reflection by learners in to accommodate different learning styles. Chuck Barritt Consider developing short tutorials on how to register and use the virtual classroom as pre-work to get participants ready for upcoming classes. Assume each activity takes 10 to 20 percent longer than planned. Try giving learners a few minutes to work on a solution individually before calling on each to share. Chuck Barritt To support virtual classes. collaboration tools. email.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 16 For the virtual classroom.

Chuck Barritt For small groups. such as poll questions. Ask participants to remove distractions from their environment. chats. Keep track of who has not been responding and get them involved.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 17 Have the facilitator get into the virtual classroom before the participants arrive. Chuck Barritt Show appreciation of participation in the virtual classroom through verbal feedback and positive text chats. If possible. practice active listening. Chuck Barritt When using audio in a virtual class.) Chuck Barritt Establish ground rules at the start of a virtual class. try welcoming each person individually as he or she enters the virtual classroom. or raising hands. Chuck Barritt . Be sure to restate any questions and respond to the person by name. (Ideally 20 to 30 participants. icebreaker. Encourage participants to arrive at least 15 minutes before to account for technical issues. or other pre-training activity to get participants involved while waiting. Chuck Barritt Have the virtual learning facilitator switch between requesting volunteered responses and calling on specific participants. Display a puzzle. Facilitators should arrive 30 minutes early. add a photo of the facilitator. Chuck Barritt Get everyone comfortable with the technology early by starting off each virtual class with an interaction. Chuck Barritt Use good voice skills because audio is the primary communications method in the virtual classroom. live video to establish a personal connection and credibility. Describe how to be an active participant and use the text chats and polls. or better yet.

or. Chuck Barritt In a 3-D virtual world.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 18 Let participants know when they need to interact with the virtual-classroom interface or complete an activity. use a story or a challenge to gain participants’ attention early in the event. not just a spectator. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher . have a second display showing the participant’s view. Chuck Barritt For select virtual classes. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher In a 3-D virtual world. plan on doing exit interviews with participants to gather their feedback. ask a participant to sit next to the facilitator in the same room. match the attention-getting stimulus to the environment. dismiss the problem participant. Verbalize things like “I’m going to start a poll now” and “I need you to type in the chat window. If this isn’t possible. or that the topic is out of scope. Chuck Barritt To help a facilitator see what the participants see. make the learner part of the story. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher In a 3-D virtual world. if needed. Consider developing custom survey tools for virtual learning. keep lecture to a minimum. Type the issue or question on a displayed Note pod (Adobe Connect) labeled “parking lot.” Chuck Barritt Resolve any behavioral issues in the virtual classroom by suggesting the topic be covered later.” If that doesn’t help. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher In a 3-D virtual world. refer back to the ground rules.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Assess prior knowledge by prescribing paths through 3-D virtual environments based on what participants already know. pose real-world problems.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 19 In a 3-D virtual world.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher If learning objectives change as participants progress through a 3-D virtual world. encourage meaningful interaction with participants and the environment. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher When tailoring learning objectives to multiple target audiences. reiterate the objective and goals to participants as they encounter them. Are there scenarios where you can design in alternative formats for those who know more than others? Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Work with subject matter experts to understand your audience and build existing knowledge into your design. and remember that learning objectives do not need to be in words. establish an orientation period or rules of conduct for avatars within the learning event. use a combination of instructional strategies. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher . if planning a lecture. tell participants how backchat will be handled.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher In a 3-D virtual world. (For example. give unique learning paths for each audience. Repetition of a single instructional approach may not reach those with different learning styles. (For example. Be consistent in the way you communicate the goals. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher In a 3-D virtual world.

teams must make strategic decisions under the looming threat of a nuclear disaster. design with the target audience in mind. consider a non-linear.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Vary the methods for students to learn information. (For example. in a post-traumatic stress disorder site. given the anxiety triggered in those with post-traumatic stress disorder. (For example.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. carefully select and test the storylines and scenarios used to elicit performance.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds.” Memories block their path and require learners to interact or suffer from constant interruptions as they try to shop in a mall.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. add assessments to guide participants in what they need or want to learn. in war-games training. students encounter the stimulus in the form of traumatic “memories. in the orientation area of a post-traumatic stress disorder site. (For example. use storytelling to convey the “challenge” of what participants need to accomplish. (For example. learners can choose which PTSD symptoms to explore. US Department of Homeland Security instructors knew of prior courses taken by learners before beginning the Virtual Asset Assessment Field Trip. the “traumatic ride” allows learners to choose the ride level they feel most comfortable experiencing. (For example. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher . learner-directed approach.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 20 Evaluate learners’ skill level prior to bringing them into 3-D virtual world training.

Take them through a discovery process. (For example. incorporate reasons for trainees to return to the environment. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Engage learners in role-plays to effectively assess knowledge. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. memorable stories. Cynthia Clay Don’t just hit virtual learners with information. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Storytelling is an essential skill in the virtual classroom.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 21 Design events to make learners constantly remember and recall information to ensure it is stored in their long-term memory. consider takeaways that the participants can use when applying new skills to the job. consider developing weekly themes or follow-on events. Ask framing questions that encourage your learners to share their stories as well. The process might begin with presenting relevant information but should rapidly move to case challenges in which your learners have the opportunity to discuss. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Monitor backchat for questions or needed clarification. Cynthia Clay .) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. If you expect learners to remember key concepts. wrap those concepts in real-world. and apply solutions. discover. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. embed follow-up activities or coaching to ensure that new skills are applied properly.

Anne Scott Consider a virtual classroom when: • Your target audience is spread out and individuals aren’t able to come to a central training location without great costs or time out of the office. props. A typical challenge in the virtual classroom is keeping participants from multitasking. (A physical classroom would also fit in this case. (Selfpaced online training would also fit in this case. or equipment. After all. (Virtual classroom learning is not to be used in place of a web conference or conference call. (Keep in mind change-management issues when adopting new technology.) • Your course will be delivered more than one time so that the facilitator and others can achieve a return on their development investment.) • Your course content and learning activities require a live instructor to interact with the participants and provide coaching and feedback. Many instructional designers and virtual trainers build in some level of interactivity (polls. (A physical classroom might be a better solution in this case). (The instructor is not physically in same room to help with activities. Are they the right choice for you? Our experts provide some suggestions. then use the chat feature to allow participants to check in with their partners several times during the session. .) • Your target audience is willing to participate in online learning.) • Your course participants can successfully complete all the learning activities while being isolated in remote locations.) Your course content does NOT require the live supervised handling of tools. chat. For example. hands-on activities would not be observed. instead of coming to a physical classroom. including computer-driven instruction and learning activities. Q&A) to address this challenge. assign participants a learning partner. But it’s equally important to build in accountability.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 22 Nine Pros and Cons of Virtual Classrooms and Virtual Worlds Virtual classrooms and virtual worlds are new and tempting … and full of virtual landmines. participants are often taking the virtual course on the same devices they get their email and do other work on.

Keep that person on call during the entire class. Chuck Barritt Validate that tasks and learning objectives are best taught using a virtual classroom. Chuck Barritt Provide a dedicated help-desk phone number or some other way for participants to get help when having trouble connecting to a virtual classroom. Chuck Barritt . (Small-group virtual learning might get around this case. High stakes exams might require a proctored examination tool and process. or role play. Chuck Barritt In a virtual classroom.) Chuck Barritt Give your participants time between each virtual class to apply their new knowledge and skills.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 23 • Your course content does not require immediate personal connections. Keep in mind that a recorded session won’t replace the interactivity and engagement of the live virtual class. Network bandwidth issues can impact each participant’s view differently. build time into the development schedule to have facilitators practice before going live. Chuck Barritt For the virtual classroom. check in with the participants from time to time to ensure they are seeing what’s being brought up on the screen. Chuck Barritt Consider how assessments and other knowledge checks can be delivered in a virtual classroom. PG&E uses proctored Questionmark Perception for high-stakes testing. Weigh the cost and benefits of developing for a virtual classroom versus self-paced online learning or a physical classroom. practice. Chuck Barritt Remind everyone that the virtual class is being recorded.

Mary Nicholson . so do traditional physical classrooms. Karen Hyder One concern of blended or “flipped” classrooms is that your audience will be required to spend even more time working on computers and mobile devices. Add questions to your presentation for your audience to respond to immediately during the presentation. Blending simultaneous physical training sessions with live virtual classroom sessions might seem efficient. try creating several short presentations and recommend a sequence for viewing the presentations. Be sure to include polling and chat-based interactions. Mary Nicholson A concern of blended or “flipped” classrooms is that your audience will just be passively watching and absorbing information from recorded presentations but won’t be engaged with the content. remembering to allow time for groups to relate responses to the facilitator to post. From overcoming student passivity to allowing reticent learners the chance to respond. Try to keep the length of a recorded presentation for a flipped classroom to 10 minutes or less. these tips can help you make the most of your learning model. Incorporate a table of contents so your audience can locate specific sections of your presentation easily.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 24 Five Pros and Cons of Physical and Blended Classrooms Blended classrooms have their challenges—but then. but this can be challenging for the trainer. Consider using a producer or identifying an in-room facilitator to serve as the voice and hands of the physical group. and also questions for them to think about prior to meeting synchronously. If there is a great deal of information to present. Use these questions as a beginning point for discussions when you meet in class.

but put your learners on center stage. and strategies All Live Events + Archive All Live Events + Archive All Live Events + Archive Additional Benefits Learning Solutions Magazine. and Keynote Videos Handouts + Sessions Online Forums Two-day online conferences delivering real eLearning for eLearning professionals 20% Discount Guild Research High-quality.566. techniques. Concurrent Session Videos.8990 The eLearning Guild | 120 Stony Point Road. Keep an instructor in the mix. eBooks. Cynthia Clay Community & Resources for eLearning Professionals The Benefits of Guild Membership Not a Member? Join Today Tap into the vast wealth of professional development opportunities available to eLearning Guild members: Member $99 20% Discount Member-Plus $695 20% Discount Handouts + Sessions + Keynotes All Live Events + 800 Session Archive Premium $1. actionable research reports to help you make smarter business decisions 50+ Report Library 50+ Report Library 50+ Report Library Thought Leaders Webinars Monthly discussions with leading thinkers on the latest ideas. When you ask a question in the physical classroom. however. When you ask a question in the virtual classroom.eLearningGuild. and more Full Access Full Access Full Access JOIN TODAY! www.707.com | +1.695 One Conference + One Pre-conference Workshop Handouts + Sessions + Keynotes All Live Events + 800 Session Archive 2013 SM Conferences Industry-leading events offering unparalleled learning and networking opportunities Conference Archive Handouts.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 25 One of the significant disadvantages of the physical classroom is the opportunity for a few learners to dominate the discussion despite the best efforts of the facilitator or trainer. CA 95401 . Cynthia Clay Blending synchronous interactive virtual classes with asynchronous peer-topeer collaboration results in the richest learning experiences. Suite 125 | Santa Rosa. it’s common for the same two or three participants to answer aloud. Job Board. each learner has the opportunity to respond simultaneously in chat.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher For 3-D virtual worlds. For a 3-D virtual world. Can participants collect points for knowledge or behaviors? Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher . These three tips give thoughtful pointers for the effective use of games in learning.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 26 Three Tips for Games for the Classroom Gamification is one of the hottest topics in eLearning. make sure rules are accessible throughout the game. Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher If training involves complex games or point systems. distribute read-ahead material for the more complex games and scenarios. build gaming elements and guidelines into the design.

and create content. Also try to select a social-media tool that has a mobile device application. Steve Wheeler Tribal behavior is everywhere. Select a social-media tool that will promote conversations and discussions and that you can integrate into recorded presentations. Steve Wheeler Youth cultural influences have a strong impact on technology use. and the content in a “flipped” classroom is to incorporate social-media tools. Steve Wheeler An excellent way to create connections among learners.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 27 Ten Tips for Mobile and Social Learning for the Classroom Mobile and social learning is of particular relevance to today’s young people—it’s in their DNA. facilitators. Steve Wheeler Communities of practice and/or interest are powerful ideas for collaborative learning. Mary Nicholson . and an in-class backchannel. Our experts offer guidance on how to capitalize on this opportunity with ideas such as communities of practice. crowdsourcing techniques. Acknowledge that students are using technology to communicate. There are great opportunities for teachers to harness the power of personal technologies in the classroom. share. organize. Steve Wheeler Understand that young people’s technology is a part of their identity. influencing the way they communicate. but it is often amplified through social media channels.

Introduce the use of Twitter or Yammer as a text-based “backchannel” and encourage participants to contribute to the discussion silently.129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 28 Develop activities that get participants working together in the virtual classroom. waiting for verbal responses to open-ended questions can be time consuming. Chuck Barritt Ignite crowdsourcing techniques by encouraging co-collaboration in virtual environments. interactive learning environment in the virtual classroom. Build in pauses when you can scan posts and respond. Try using breakout rooms or assign a few participants to subject-specific chat windows. (For example. in war-games training. Capitalize on your learners’ eagerness to share what they have experienced. Karen Hyder . participants collaborate by working in teams to make critical decisions. Cynthia Clay In the physical classroom.) Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher Create a social.