The Agony and the Ecstasy: Converting Traditional ILT to the Virtual Classroom


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In a world of reduced funding and increasing velocity, organizations are delivering more training online than ever. Successfully converting traditional ILT to Virtual Instructor-Led Training (V-ILT) needs more than just awareness of virtual classrooms. It demands: understanding of learning models and adult learning principals; resourceful delivery models; and a fluency in virtual instructional design. Effective V-ILT requires a different toolset which are not always 1:1 matches to familiar ILT tools. Creative approaches to familiar concepts provide stability for participants, reducing cognitive load for better learning. This presentation reviews best practices and hard-won design tips for converting ILT to V-ILT.

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The Agony and the Ecstasy: Converting Traditional ILT to the Virtual Classroom

  1. 1. Session 501: The Agony and the Ecstasy: Converting Traditional ILT to the Virtual Classroom Christopher King and Jennifer Vincent DevLearn 2013
  2. 2. Your hosts today Chris King Jennifer Vincent SRA Proprietary
  3. 3. Should you convert the course at all? 1. Do people have to be together in person to achieve the learning objectives? 2. Is the learning enhanced by collaboration with other learners and/or synchronous access to subject matter experts? 3. Do learners benefit from the motivation and flexibility of a live instructor? 4. How quickly do I need to deploy this training; how often is the content updated? SRA Proprietary
  4. 4. Case Study Very large federal agency; widely dispersed audience; Office of Resolution Management, responsible for handling EEO complaints (estimated to cost the organization $75K per complaint) Three Day Hybrid Conference for EEO Managers 21 Hours of V-ILT Courses • 10 hours of V-ILT • 11 hours of face-toface learning • Virtual keynote • Integrated Performance Support solution • Converted all ILT to VILT • Revised existing V-ILT design • Integrated Informal Learning to support LOs SRA Proprietary
  5. 5. So you’ve decided to convert to a virtual classroom. What’s next? What changes? What stays the same?
  6. 6. Key V-ILT Design Principles Tailoring to the platform Documentation Pace V-ILT Chunking/ Sequencing Types of interactions SRA Proprietary
  7. 7. PACE Animate the screen Raise hands Change status Question the students Poll Chat box response EVERY 3 MINUTES SRA Proprietary Whiteboard
  8. 8. Design Principles: Chunking/Sequencing Virtual sessions should not exceed 2 hours • Attention suffers after that • Distractions build Divide 6 hour courses into 3 sessions • Activates the concept of spacing to increase memory transfer and learning • Informational LOs can be delivered: • Informally – asynchronously – socially – whatever – pick your buzzword and re-sequence as needed to put these in between V-ILT sessions Inter-session work • Continues the learning beyond the event • Connects spaced events to keep students engaged Must set expectations up front - it's been a long time since your adult learner had homework! SRA Proprietary
  9. 9. Design Principle: Activities/Interactions “Clicking „Next‟ does not mean it‟s interactive.” (Except that here, it does!)
  10. 10. Design Principle: Tailoring for the Platform How familiar are your students with the platform? PreMeeting Review Sessions • Reduces cognitive load & frees student to focus on content Quick Review of • Games and Interface to pre-meeting activities can Start the help Sessions
  11. 11. Design Principle: Documentation Facilitator guide Participant guide How to learn in a virtual classroom Job aids Classroom tip sheet SRA Proprietary
  12. 12. On being a Producer
  13. 13. Best Practices of Design Breakout rooms • Allow adequate time • Your students may be virtual but these things still take about the same time as the physical classroom to get organized Create ground rules Use a wide variety of Tools Write out clear instructions/expectations for every activity Avoid PPT overload: Average 12-15 slides per hour of V-ILT session SRA Proprietary
  14. 14. Best Practices of Delivery At least one rehearsal session with the facilitator and producer is not optional Set ground rules A producer is not optional Producer/Facilitator MUST eliminate their own distractions just like the students (phones, email, music, etc.) Always review the interface Assign a leader; don't spend the limited time making them self organize SRA Proprietary
  15. 15. Final word on Converting ILT to V-ILT • Bottom Line: This isn‟t rocket science, but it‟s not a mindless activity either. Be thoughtful, and don‟t be afraid to experiment! • You aren't alone, either: – Certificate programs • Synchronous Facilitator certificate from InSync – eLearning Guild, ASTD, etc. – See the Bibliography on the handout SRA Proprietary
  16. 16. Thank you!