The Covid 19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown measures have redefined our personal and professional habits, orienting our choices towards approaches that have long remained unexplored. And if within a few days we found ourselves using apps to order groceries and do online shopping; our work routine has also undergone a profound metamorphosis. Forced into isolation, we have carried out ideas, projects, meetings and training activities only with the help of modern digital technologies.
The health emergency has forced the world of education to move towards the provision of online courses only, in all areas and in all disciplines. Clearly, the explosion of distance learning and its sudden adoption has put a strain on the educational systems of all countries, the challenge of which has been to continue to guarantee continuous, inclusive, equitable and quality education. E-learning, despite the problems of such sudden adoption during the Covid-19 emergency, therefore seems to be an important element of change. According to data reported by Business Insider, even before the Covid-19 emergency, total investments for the Edutech industry had reached a record figure of 18 billion dollars, laying the foundations for innovative learning technologies based on artificial intelligence and gamification.
In the months of the Covid emergency there was an immediate urgency to ensure continuity of training for mandatory training such as those of Health, Safety and Environment. The need to adapt the education & training universe to the challenges of change induced by digital transformation was then imposed, and still is. And it is precisely in this period that our professional services team has taken on the challenge of coordinating and delivering hundreds of online courses and events for various client companies. Starting from the needs of our customers, we have ensured a wide range of support services which include: the preparation of the training calendar, scheduling events over several days and thus planning back office, tutoring and help desk activities to ensure continuity and assistance in the delivery of the training process. It was an intense effort: in a few weeks, hundreds of classroom courses were converted into webinar mode with the need to educate teachers and participants in the correct use of the virtual classroom.
According to our experience, we want to share what we believe are the basic elements for a correct delivery of a live event.
Let's see them together.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOOL: what characteristics must a virtual classroom have in order to be similar to a frontal lesson?If your lessons are in live chat / video, you must have a platform that allows for a streamlined and seamless delivery. Maybe it sounds obvious but the term "virtual classroom", in its meaning, means an online environment in which we meet to enjoy educational content as if we were in a physical classroom with a blackboard and chalk. In order for the tool to be optimal, it should contain all the key features for a correct delivery of the lesson.Once you've chosen the tool, you can start customizing your virtual classroom.Which approach to take? For over 20 years our trainers have relied on a virtual classroom platform (ADOBE CONNECT), particularly suitable for delivering live training events. Adobe, for example, offers 3 different layouts that lend themselves to different objectives and purposes.The first of the three is the SHARE layout. Perfect for webinars or online classes; the sharing mode allows you to show word documents, power points but also mp4 and files in JPEG format. The presence of a pointer is strategic during the lesson because it helps the teacher to reinforce some key concepts.The second layout instead allows the passage to a DISCUSSION mode: close-up video and the possibility of sharing files in real time. An ideal layout for remote meetings. COLLABORATION is the name of the third and last layout; here playing as the protagonist is a white board where you can write, comment, underline, solve problems and equations.Once you've chosen your layout, you can also include survey questions, learning tests, and use the breakout rooms feature for more interactive and engaging learning.Tip: nothing should be left to chance. It is good practice to prepare the classroom a few days before the event. Create the connection, register the participants, upload the didactic material to the platform, carry out an audio / video test etc.
- SPLIT UP THE TRAINING INTO SHORT SESSIONS: If you are transforming a classroom training course into a virtual classroom session, take advantage of the possibility of structuring the learning in multiple sessions, in order to allow participants to gradually assimilate and strengthen what they have learned. Split the training program agenda into several parts and over several days. Create an excel file where you can enter the title of the course and its subdivision into days and times. Subsequently reports the link to the classroom session and the indication of the materials that will be used during the lesson. Tip: 1 hour of lessons, and a 10 minute break. This will help all participants to maintain the right concentration during the training session, without distractions.
- INVOLVEMENT & INTERACTION ARE A MUST: People don't want to passively undergo a variety of information by being passive listening for hours on end. Participants in a webinar want to have an intense and enjoyable experience. They appreciate hearing that you can put yourself from their point of view, understand their needs and their difficulties. They want to feel involved, participate, have the opportunity to clarify doubts. The secret of an effective webinar is to keep the attention high, move the right energy, interact with the participants who are present live. They are the real stars of the webinar! So, during your videoconferencing training sessions, don't forget to make good use of:
- Raise your hand
- Surveys and Q&A
- Feedback to answer questions and check who is paying attention and who is distracting.