virtual classroom

Face to Face OR Virtual Online Classrooms – now that is the question

Posted in News

virtual classroomLearning transfer has traditionally been delivered in a training room setting where delegates can see the trainer within an environment where everyone knows and feels comfortable in.

However, valuable time and effort is taken to organise these events and in today’s world, time is precious. Organising face to face sessions can be expensive in time lost with travel and travel expenses, not to mention time out of the working day to attend such events.

With today’s modern learner, it’s a known fact that it’s far easier to learn and remember information when the knowledge transfer is delivered in short bursts, focussed on a particular topic, to aid retention.  Or as Bite Size would say ‘learn little and often’.

Many of us probably have pre-conceived ideas about attending webinars, and if asked you’d probably say they were too long, too boring with one-way communication.  And with some webinars that may well be the case.

But at Bite Size, it’s part of our job as trainers is to educate and convince that learning online is different – it’s not a webinar, it’s not a presentation – it’s a two-way communication process.  It’s easy for a person to say ‘no it won’t work’ or ‘I don’t have the time’. We need to educate Managers and Staff to be open minded and think differently about learning in today’s digital world. After all they probably book flights, use online banking, and shop online already, so why should learning online be any different?

There are many tools to make the session interactive:

  • Delegates can vote, use smiley icons to show their feelings, of course voice is a great sign of how people are feeling.
  • PDFs can be shared, videos can be shown or links provided.
  • The trainer can pass control to get delegates involved.
  • Whiteboards can be used to elicit quick feedback to help you touch learners every 3-5 minutes.

There are big cost savings to be had too.  Virtual Classrooms are quick to implement, can be highly interactive and focusses people’s attention on specific topics.  Delegates can be based anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection, and there is no lost time in travelling to venues or overnight hotel costs. They are far easier to organise and control.

A few crucial things to consider before organising a virtual class:

  • It is crucial that the training event is planned and designed and this does takes time.
  • It’s important to set the scene at the start – show the trainer via a webcam just at the start to show a human element to the session.
  • Tell delegates it’s interactive and not a webinar. You expect them to be involved and advise that the software can monitor their attendance levels virtually.  Do be careful as they could be writing notes or having issues with their PC/internet – so the information may not be 100% reliable.
  • The trainer needs to be 110% familiar with the software – there many tools on the market –  Adobe Connect and WebEx are popular but Zoom is gaining in popularity and is cost effective in the current market.
  • Be familiar with the tools you use and the content you are delivering.  It’s important to engage your audience and ensure that the learning transfer is achieved.
  • Gain their feedback.  By promoting a good session will enable you to change any perceptions people may have about virtual online classes.
  • Above all, have fun.

Bite Size can help you get started

Virtual classrooms are just one of our services providing your organisation with the flexibility of blended learning for different learning styles. Take a look at our services, and give us a call to find out more.

  • An Online Learning Library of MS Office 2016/2013, Office 365, Games – and 2019 courses coming soon.
  • Face to Face Workshops usually a day is broken up into 4 sessions of 1½ hours. These prove very popular with customers as it gives them flexibility and staff can book themselves onto a training slot.
  • Virtual Online Workshops allows delegates to join from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection and headphones with a mic.  Quick to organise without having to book a trainer for the whole day.

Contact us to find out more


Sign up for our free weekly tip

Receive a free nugget of IT Learning every week! It will give you a good feel for how we write and design our lessons and you could learn something new every week too!