March 12, 2020
Zoe Baptista

As colleges and universities move toward remote training options in an effort to curtail exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), I thought it would be timely to share some online training strategies we use at EDC. These strategies can make the transition to teaching in a virtual classroom a bit smoother.

  • Before your course, practice using the virtual platform where you will be presenting online and get to know the features that this specific platform has to offer. Whether you are using WebEx, Zoom, or Adobe Connect to host your meeting, the more comfortable you are advancing slides, talking into the camera, or sharing a document, the more effective you will be at communicating with your audience during your training.
  • Use the “chat” feature inside your learning platform to support your connection to students. Most online training platforms have a chat feature, and it can be a wonderful way to connect with your remote learners and ensure they stay engaged. I always ask everyone to send me a chat when they first log into one of my virtual trainings so I know that they see this feature and can start to use it effectively. I also encourage my audience to ask questions and make comments in the chat as I talk. I then use their comments and questions to interact with them during my presentation. Most platforms also have the ability to send you a transcript of the chat discussions after your meeting. You can use this transcript between sessions to read student comments and questions in more depth.
  • Learn how to use the virtual platform to record your meetings and share these recordings, along with your slides, notes, and other resources, with students between meetings. Students can refer back to the recordings at any time to clarify the information you shared. Hopefully you already have access to a learning management system where you can easily host these recordings and materials. If not, I recommend emailing your students a summary recap after each lecture, along with a link to the recording and any notes from that week to help them better recall each lesson.

Have fun! Online learning environments are strange, and they can be daunting, but they also have a lot of untapped potential that can lead to innovative solutions.

You can read more about effective online teaching and training techniques in my eLearning Industry article and my follow up to this post, Making the Transition to Virtual Classrooms – Part II. Good luck and stay safe.

Zoe Baptista is an e-learning professional with more than a decade of experience developing effective online facilitation and training tools that support distance learning.
Capacity Building for Individuals, Organizations, and Systems

3 Replies


Replying to:
Patty Konarski
Thank you Zoe for publishing this timely post. Although, I don't host virtual trainings, I have taken an online course. I found the chat that occurred during the presentation to be distracting. After reading your post, I have a better idea of the reason for the chat. And I've gleaned some others for future courses.

Replying to:
Zoe Baptista
Thanks Patty. The chat feature can be visually distracting for some audience members, so you definitely want to explain its purpose to the students and let them know how you intend to use this tool during your presentations.

Replying to:
Jerry Reed
Zoe, Great initiative. I'm sure this will be helpful to many who may not have been exposed to the virtual learning experience. Your a pro and your guidance is practical and applicable.

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