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129 Tips on

129 Tips on Using Technology in virtual and Physical Classrooms
129 Tips on Using Technology in virtual and Physical Classrooms

Using Technology

in virtual and

Physical Classrooms

129 Tips on Using Technology in virtual and Physical Classrooms
129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms © 2013 by The eLearning

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

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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.

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129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms ii 129 Tips on Using

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

Forty-six Tips for Using Virtual-classroom and Virtual-world Features Effectively

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Fifty-six Tips for Instructional Design and Presentation Skills for the Classroom

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Nine Pros and Cons of Virtual Classrooms and Virtual Worlds

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Five Pros and Cons of Physical and Blended Classrooms

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Three Tips for Games for the Classroom

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Ten Tips for Mobile and Social Learning for the Classroom

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129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms Introduction Dear Colleagues, 1 Only

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

Introduction

Dear Colleagues,

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Only a few decades ago, the word “classroom” meant one thing: A physical room in which educators and students gathered for the purpose of formal learning. Computer and communications technology, however, has expanded the meaning of “classroom” to include any physical or virtual space for formal learning. Rather than spending time and money to get educators and students in a physical room, we now have the option to log in to a virtual classroom from wherever we each might be: at home, in the office, in a coffee shop, or on the move.

Having two distinct types of classrooms also allows educators and designers to use the best features of each by blending the classrooms. For example, you might teach the theories and basics of first aid in a virtual classroom, but then teach and hone specific techniques in a physical classroom. Or you might have several students who cannot travel to the physical classroom, so you use a virtual class- room to connect synchronously with both virtual and physical students.

For educators and designers trained and experienced only with the physical classroom, however, virtual classrooms (and virtual worlds) can be daunting. How do you engage students you can’t see? How do you keep students from mul- titasking? (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, but also to design effectively for it?

In this eBook, experts provide 129 tips for educators and designers who want to make the best use of these technologies. Whether you are brand new to virtual classrooms and virtual worlds or have been working with them for a while, you should find something in here for you.

Sincerely,

Chris Benz Director of Online Events, The eLearning Guild

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms About Our Tipsters Chuck Barritt
129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms About Our Tipsters Chuck Barritt
129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms About Our Tipsters Chuck Barritt
129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms About Our Tipsters Chuck Barritt
129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms About Our Tipsters Chuck Barritt

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

About Our Tipsters

Chuck Barritt, Senior Learning Strategist, Pacific Gas & Electric

Chuck Barritt has over 20 years of experience in designing, developing, and delivering blended learning solutions for Oracle, Cisco, Apple, Google, and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Chuck currently is operationalizing virtual-learning technology and instruc- tional best practice at PG&E, balancing innovation with a return on investment. He is focused on learning solutions that blend online communities (text and video), virtual learning, web-based training, instructor-led training, and mobile learning. Chuck has authored papers and a book on reusable learning objects.

Cynthia Clay, President, NetSpeed Learning Solutions

Over the last 23 years, Cynthia Clay has trained, coached, and mentored hundreds of emerging leaders at companies such as Blistex, REI, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Valero Energy. Clients in dozens of industries—from manufacturing, retail, and banking to entertainment, high tech, and healthcare—have benefited from Cynthia’s extensive experience and innovative learning strategies. She is a recog- nized expert in the field of integrating classroom and eLearning experiences for the most effective and lasting training results.

Krista Grande, Senior Trainer, Verizon Wireless

In her current role, Krista Grande supports Verizon Wireless’ Business and Govern- ment Customer Operations Groups. Krista has worked for Verizon for over 15 years, holding several positions in their wireless division, including call-center manage- ment. 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. Krista holds a BS degree in business management from Southern Connecticut State University and is currently working on completing her MBA with Strayer University.

Karen Hyder, Principal, Kaleidoscope Training and Consulting

Karen Hyder has been teaching trainer-training programs for virtual classes and coaching online presenters since 1999. She has produced hundreds of online ses- sions, including for The eLearning Guild’s Online Forums, Thought Leaders Webinars, and Best of… Webinars. Karen uses the trainer competencies of CompTIA’s Certi- fied Technical Trainer (CTT+) to help technical trainers and subject-matter experts prepare for online sessions, master online presentation skills, and engage learners

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129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 3 throughout sessions. She frequently

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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throughout sessions. She frequently speaks at industry events on using virtual class- room tools to support learning. Karen co-authored The eLearning Guild’s Handbook on Synchronous eLearning, and authored Up and Running with WebEx Training Center for lynda.com.

Up and Running with WebEx Training Center for lynda.com. Mary Nicholson , Professor, Department of Instructional
Up and Running with WebEx Training Center for lynda.com. Mary Nicholson , Professor, Department of Instructional
Up and Running with WebEx Training Center for lynda.com. Mary Nicholson , Professor, Department of Instructional

Mary Nicholson, Professor, Department of Instructional Technology, Bloomsburg University

Mary Nicholson has been teaching online courses for over 15 years. 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. Her work and presentations are based on the best practices she includes in her own classes and workshops. Mary holds a PhD degree in educational psychology, an MEd degree in educational technology, and a BS degree in industrial education, all from Texas A&M University.

Trey Reyher, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Trey Reyher currently serves as systems administrator for a number of virtual worlds, including Second Life Enterprise, Open Wonderland, VastPark, and OpenQwaq, and served as the technical subject-matter expert on virtual war games delivered to the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Prior to his consulting career, Trey worked in the commercial video-game industry, where he produced interactive games, and in the academic video-game industry, where he developed research-oriented games at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Trey holds a bachelor of science degree in brain and cognitive sciences from MIT.

Anne Scott, Training Program Developer, Sodexo

Anne Scott supports Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition Group, a remote-based team of 85 recruiting professionals dedicated to finding talented managers. Anne keeps So- dexo’s recruiters at the top of the industry through synchronous and asynchronous online learning, including collaboration tools and social networks. Anne hosts weekly team webinars for training and team-building, giving her a lot of opportunities to design and test new virtual activities. She holds a master’s degree in educational technology leadership from The George Washington University, where she focused on leveraging technology in training and development. She currently serves as presi- dent of ASTD’s Smoky Mountain Chapter.

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms Susan Stewart , Director of

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms Susan Stewart , Director of Online Learning
Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms Susan Stewart , Director of Online Learning
Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms Susan Stewart , Director of Online Learning
Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms Susan Stewart , Director of Online Learning

Susan Stewart, Director of Online Learning and Collaboration, 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. Susan’s vision was to increase the use of technology to support a com- munity of practice that was being cultivated in the face-to-face events. Currently she designs and produces highly interactive professional development webinars and col- laborative online meetings for corporate clients. Susan holds a PhD degree, taught in a variety of post-secondary institutions, and was on faculty at Salem College.

Lee Taylor-Nelms, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton, Lee Taylor-Nelms spent about 16 years work- ing in schools and universities where she trained educators on how to integrate and evaluate technology tools. Lee earned her doctorate in computing and education from Columbia University, and recently earned a one-year certification as a subject- matter expert in virtual worlds from the University of Washington, Seattle. In her spare time, 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 Ro- man archaeological complex in Italy), funded by the US National Science Foundation.

Jeremy Vest, Founder, Video Marketing Guild

Jeremy Vest is a self-described “defender of the bored, advocate of knowledge seek- ers.” After sitting through another brain-numbing training session, Jeremy decided that “learning” and “lethargy” should be mutually exclusive. With his experience as an art director, program director, author, speaker, and teacher, Jeremy has set out to change the way adults think (or rather, stop thinking) when they attempt to learn. He became an eLearning visionary when he created one of the first social-learning plat- forms, and developed a connected-software video-training style. Jeremy founded the Emmy award-winning online training site, www.xtrain.com.

Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor of Learning Technologies, Plymouth University

Originally trained as a psychologist, Steve Wheeler has spent his entire career working in media, technology, and learning. Steve teaches on a number of un- dergraduate and post-graduate teacher-education programs, and specializes in research on eLearning and distance education. He is regularly invited to speak about his work, giving keynotes and invited lectures in over 20 countries. Steve’s blog, Learning with ‘e’s, is a regular commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies and the application of digital media in education and training. Steve is the author of several books, including The Digital Classroom and Connected Minds, Emerging Cultures.

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Upcoming Programs May 9 & 10 : Simulations for eLearning June 6 & 7 :

Upcoming Programs

Upcoming Programs

May 9 & 10: Simulations for eLearning

June 6 & 7: Using Technology for the Virtual, Physical, and Blended Classroom

July 18 & 19: eLearning Engagement and Interactivity

Aug 15 & 16: Collaborative & Social Learning

Sep 19 & 20: mLearning: Planning, Analysis, and Design

Read full descriptions online at www.GuildOnlineForums.com

June 6 & 7, 2013

ONLINE CONFERENCES

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The eLearning Guild’s Online Forums are two-day online

conferences that offer 10 live, interactive, 75-minute sessions on the newest tools, strategies, and trends in learning.

Learning—Watch Live and On-demand

Expert Speakers, Quality Sessions

Current and Relevant Content

Looking for more tips on using technology for the classroom? Join our June Online Forum!
Looking for more tips on using technology for
the classroom? Join our June Online Forum!

Using Technology for the Virtual, Physical, and Blended Classroom

Join us and learn how you can use technology to design and deliver effective classroom experiences.

to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and
to design and deliver effective classroom experiences. THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and

THURSDAY, JUNE 6

Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, 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

FRIDAY, 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

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129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 5 Forty-six Tips for Using

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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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 So how do you take advantage of it? From tools to eti- quette to music (music?!), there’s something here for everyone

Prepare and practice: Before you launch a Google+ Hangout for online learning, I suggest practicing with a few friends. It takes a while to get used to teaching in this format. Make sure you know exactly what you’re going to teach and what tools you will be using with Hangouts before you start.

Jeremy Vest

Screen share: Share your screen in a virtual classroom to teach things such as software step-by-step.

Jeremy Vest

View more apps. In a Google+ Hangout, if you click the “View more apps” text, 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.

Jeremy Vest

Turn on your Google+ Hangouts Toolbox to add a “lower third” so everyone knows your name.

Jeremy Vest

Google Drive allows you to access and share documents within Google+ Hangouts.

Jeremy Vest

To keep learners focused on the virtual classroom session, ask lots and lots of questions throughout the session. Add your questions to your slides along with a reminder about how to respond: via poll, emoticon or status indicator, or by typ- ing in chat. Ask for some kind of response every five minutes.

Karen Hyder

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 6 Encourage learners to contribute

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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Encourage learners to contribute questions by typing in chat rather than unmut- ing their audio and asking aloud, but don’t allow yourself to be derailed by the questions as they show up. Wait until you have a break in the content and then respond to the questions in batches.

Karen Hyder

Don’t limit yourself; be creative with the features of the virtual classroom. De- sign good instructional activities, THEN consider how the features can create the same experience. A poll isn’t just a survey—it can be a knowledge check, a vote, or data gathering for potential sales. A whiteboard isn’t just a way to capture ideas—it can be a way to report out from breakout discussions, answer scaven- ger-hunt questions, or co-create a story. 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.

Anne Scott

Anything is possible with a whiteboard and attendee access to annotation tools!

A text tool allows for brainstorming, a pen or highlighter lets participants call out

important (or incorrect) points, a pointer can claim space. One of my favorite ways to use a whiteboard is to split the screen into several separate areas using lines, then assign team activities such as breakout sessions, scavenger hunts, or trivia games. Each team has its own section of the whiteboard to use in responding.

Anne Scott

In virtual classrooms, it’s important to plan beyond your PowerPoint presenta-

tion. While there is a great benefit in leveraging the features available in a virtual space, trainers can easily become frustrated if they don’t know where and when to click. It’s helpful to prepare the virtual trainer by scripting out the entire ses- sion—from both a technology and a speaking perspective. Consider a three-col- umn facilitator guide that includes the PowerPoint slide, the spoken script, and technology notes. When possible, the ideal is having a separate “producer” role to handle technology elements, such as opening polls and whiteboards.

Anne Scott

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 7 If your plan is

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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If your plan is to use a variety of virtual classroom features, it’s helpful to prepare participants on how to use these features effectively before the learning activ- ity begins. One way is to create a separate “pre-work” session that provides an overview of the features prior to the training event. Another way is to kick off your virtual course with an icebreaker that uses multiple tools. For example, have participants place a pointer or dot on a map to identify their locations, then ask them to type their cities and states into chat.

Anne Scott

Good instructional design includes giving participants time to reflect on the con- tent and how they will integrate it back into the “real world.” There are several ways to achieve reflection in the virtual classroom. For a broad summary, ask participants to share key takeaways or action steps on a whiteboard. For specific goal setting, have participants type their goals into chat, then the facilitator can download the chat transcript and email progress-assessment reminders to indi- vidual participants.

Anne Scott

Create some whiteboard slides that can be used for anonymous polls. 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.

Mary Nicholson

Find your inner disc jockey when you are presenting in a virtual classroom. Cre- ate a theme song for your session and play the music as your participants join the session. When the music ends, the session begins.

Mary Nicholson

In virtual classrooms, 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.

Chuck Barritt

There is a learning curve when using new online tools to facilitate interactions; provide more time for training facilitators.

Chuck Barritt

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 8 For the virtual classroom,

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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For the virtual classroom, don’t rely on simple directive or information-only de- signs. Instead pre-plan active learning that includes polls, chats, and breakout rooms.

Chuck Barritt

Develop a virtual learning facilitator’s guide that includes both the instruc- tion and the use of the technology (polls, chats, and layouts) for each part of the course. Provide more detail and practice time for new facilitators.

Chuck Barritt

Make sure both the facilitator and participants are comfortable with the virtual classroom technology, including status emoticons, raised-hand changes, micro- phone requests, chat windows, polling questions, whiteboards, and so on.

Chuck Barritt

When doing an application demonstration in a virtual classroom, use menu commands instead of keyboard shortcuts. Verbalize any keyboard and mouse activity. Keep in mind the participants may see a smaller version of your screen; explain how to use zoom and full-screen controls.

Chuck Barritt

Reference your webinar outcomes and objectives. Consider breakouts in the overall design of the virtual class. Use of breakout rooms should serve to clearly advance your efforts to meet your outcomes and objectives.

Susan Stewart

Virtual breakout rooms are tools … a means to an end, not the goal itself.

Susan Stewart

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 9 Consider your intent. What

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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Consider your intent. 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. Some questions to consider:

Will the participants have access to VoIP through headsets with micro- phones 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 break- out audio for both those participating via VoIP and those participating via teleconference?

Do you have access to a teleconferencing service that has a sub-confer- encing option? If so, can the teleconferencing host activate this option?

Are participants required to change their audio options on their tele- phone keypads to join the teleconference?

Does the teleconference service offer a web-based interface for man- aging 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, and can they provide accurate, timely support?

Does the teleconference require an operator-assisted call for sub- conferencing?

Is there an additional cost for operator-assisted sub-conferencing? If there is an added cost, is it prohibitive?

Susan Stewart

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 10 Help them help you.

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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Help them help you. 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. The sub-confer- encing guides or codes may be out of date or incorrect. The web-based interfaces may have changed or the process for activating the interfaces may be unclear or convoluted. Offer to help your service troubleshoot the problem by being a test participant. Be bold in pushing for clarification and correction of informa- tion. Provide clear and specific feedback if you encounter challenges so they can improve their services and provide targeted support.

Susan Stewart

Test it out! Whether you choose VoIP or teleconferencing, it’s essential that you test out the audio in the main room, change audio options to obtain audio in breakout rooms, test audio in the breakout rooms, and return to the main room audio. This will enable you to create clear instructions for the participants, locate any nuances in the process that might trip you up if you are not aware of them prior to the session, 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, head- sets, Internet connectivity, and telephones) similar to the participants, and have them test out the transitions to the breakout audio with you. This will allow you to determine if the solution you have selected will work for your target group. You will also have the opportunity to clarify your instructions to the participants and become more facile in activating audio sub-conferencing (if necessary).

Susan Stewart

Use breakout room facilitators. Depending on the online sophistication and experience of your participants, they may be at ease with jumping into a breakout room, chatting, managing the audio, and using good breakout room etiquette … or they may be anxious and need lots of support to engage. Having breakout room facilitators provides support to the participants and to the learning process be- cause they can serve as a bridge between the expert and the novice participants.

Susan Stewart

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 11 Prepare breakout room facilitators.

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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Prepare breakout room facilitators. Facilitators should be prepared to welcome each breakout participant, ensure that each participant can hear and be heard, and manage the flow of the learning process. They will need strategies for trouble- shooting problems with breakout room audio. They will need to be familiar with the platform tools. They will need to have strategies for engaging participants.

Susan Stewart

Practice, practice, practice … and it still won’t be perfect. 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. 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. Use the participants’ feedback and let them know how their feedback has shaped the breakout process and activities.

Susan Stewart

Teach breakout etiquette. A few examples:

Ask participants to use the “away” indicator if they are not available to par- ticipate in breakouts so that other participants or breakout room facilita- tors don’t waste valuable time waiting for the missing participant to arrive or interact.

Breakout room audio (either VoIP or telephone sub-conferencing) is often automatically unmuted. Participants should know about this prior to mov- ing to the breakout rooms and you should teach them how to mute their audio.

Avoid awkward silences and vocal pile-ups. Suggest that participants use the hand-raising tool to indicate their desire to speak.

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.

Susan Stewart

For 3-D virtual worlds, make sure visual, verbal, and written directions extend, rather than detract from, the immersive design. (For example, extensive informa- tion on a relatively small notecard is difficult to read; offer avatars an alternative.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 12 For 3-D virtual worlds,

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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For 3-D virtual worlds, encourage participants to pick the right avatars for the right learning environment. (For example, an avatar in the shape of a blood clot could be used to teach how a heart attack happens.)

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. (For example, some virtual worlds will not allow for avatar customization.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Incorporate character animation into the 3-D virtual world design.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Pay attention to the art of cinematography, creative writing, and the role of architecture in delivering a compelling training experience. 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. (For example, include a tool, such as a wiki, to encourage collaboration and extend the 3-D experience.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Ensure the physical features of your 3-D virtual environment (signage, paths, directions, and instructions) guide participants smoothly through the learning experience.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, employ frequent usability testing, with a range of audi- ences, to ensure all works as intended.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 13 For 3-D virtual worlds,

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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For 3-D virtual worlds, be sure to sufficiently analyze and address technological barriers before deploying. 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, encourage backchat as a valuable form of crowdsourcing.

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.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, design instrumentation feedback or interactivity of ob- jects in the environment.

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.

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. (For example, the post-traumatic stress disorder site used sensors to know how many unique visitors spent time in different areas.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Break the repetitive, sequential nature of delivering a one-way presentation in the virtual classroom. Design exercises that combine emoticons, polls, and chat discussions. These combo activities engage learners with the content and with each other.

Cynthia Clay

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 14 Fifty-six Tips for Instructional

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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Fifty-six Tips for Instructional Design and Presentation Skills for the Classroom

Good instructional design and solid presentation skills are the founda- tion of any class Here our experts offer advice on topics such as ensur- ing information gets remembered, accommodating different learning styles, and smiling even when you’re not on camera

Be one with the teams you support and train. Since I work in a call center, it is easy for me to just pop up onto the floor. I sit out with the employees a lot so that I can hear what is going on and help out and coach. Trainers don’t always know the realities of the job because the job itself can disconnect us from our learners. Being a part of those teams helps me to stay relevant and can bring more real- world examples into the classroom.

Krista Grande

Rather than wait for learners to ask (random) questions, script questions you can ask during the training that will generate discussion and confirm learners are grasping the subject.

Karen Hyder

Improve the quality of the visuals you use. If you’re still decorating the corners of slides with Microsoft’s Screen Beans, it’s time to find some photos, diagrams, tables, or other graphics that actually support instruction and aid memory.

Karen Hyder

Including your script text on your slides might be helpful when the file needs to serve double duty as a handout, but makes the file less helpful as a presentation. Limit on-slide text and put the details in a separate handout file.

Karen Hyder

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 15 When designing training, you

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

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When designing training, you don’t always need to begin by stating the objec- tives. Instead begin with a realistic challenge or scenario for your audience to resolve. 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. Your audience will be able to “hear” your smile as you are talking. If you are a person who “talks with your hands,” lock your micro- phone open, go ahead, and wave those hands around as you are presenting—you will sound very natural.

Mary Nicholson

Ideally, each virtual class is less than three hours in length. Consider dividing longer courses into short segments spread out over multiple days.

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. Too many participants are harder to engage.

Chuck Barritt

Physical classroom activities don’t always transfer to the virtual environment. Design instead for virtual learning from the start. Consider how projections, physical room layouts, flipcharts, whiteboards, and social dynamics all are differ- ent when they are on an individual’s computer screen.

Chuck Barritt

In virtual classrooms, motivation, visuals, and interactivity are critical because participants are taking the learning in their own distraction-filled environments.

Chuck Barritt

At the start of a virtual class, create initial motivation to draw everyone into the content. Provide ongoing motivation to keep everyone from becoming distract- ed with other items in their local environment.

Chuck Barritt

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 16 For the virtual classroom,

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

16

For the virtual classroom, build in reflection by learners in to accommodate dif- ferent learning styles. Try giving learners a few minutes to work on a solution individually before calling on each to share.

Chuck Barritt

To support virtual classes, integrate the use of discussion boards and forums, email, independent assignments, social networking, collaboration tools, and so on.

Chuck Barritt

When teaching a virtual class, allow plenty of time to engage with each partici- pant. Assume each activity takes 10 to 20 percent longer than planned. Look for creative ways to ensure participation.

Chuck Barritt

Include activities beyond the virtual classroom, especially between classes. Use collaboration tools such as Yammer along with individual pre-work and/or between-session assignments.

Chuck Barritt

Consider developing short tutorials on how to register and use the virtual class- room as pre-work to get participants ready for upcoming classes.

Chuck Barritt

Ensure that the virtual-classroom facilitators have the skills needed for the virtual classroom. Plan on some coaching and training even for the best physical- classroom facilitators.

Chuck Barritt

When conducting large virtual classes, include a co-facilitator or producer to help handle participant questions, especially when the primary facilitator is new to the technology.

Chuck Barritt

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 17 Have the facilitator get

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

17

Have the facilitator get into the virtual classroom before the participants arrive. Facilitators should arrive 30 minutes early. Encourage participants to arrive at least 15 minutes before to account for technical issues. Display a puzzle, ice- breaker, or other pre-training activity to get participants involved while waiting.

Chuck Barritt

For small groups, try welcoming each person individually as he or she enters the virtual classroom. (Ideally 20 to 30 participants.)

Chuck Barritt

Establish ground rules at the start of a virtual class. Describe how to be an active participant and use the text chats and polls. Ask participants to remove distrac- tions from their environment.

Chuck Barritt

Get everyone comfortable with the technology early by starting off each virtual class with an interaction, such as poll questions, chats, or raising hands.

Chuck Barritt

Use good voice skills because audio is the primary communications method in the virtual classroom. If possible, add a photo of the facilitator, or better yet, live video to establish a personal connection and credibility.

Chuck Barritt

Show appreciation of participation in the virtual classroom through verbal feed- back and positive text chats.

Chuck Barritt

When using audio in a virtual class, practice active listening. Be sure to restate any questions and respond to the person by name.

Chuck Barritt

Have the virtual learning facilitator switch between requesting volunteered responses and calling on specific participants. Keep track of who has not been responding and get them involved.

Chuck Barritt

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 18 Let participants know when

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. Verbalize things like “I’m going to start a poll now” and “I need you to type in the chat window.”

Chuck Barritt

Resolve any behavioral issues in the virtual classroom by suggesting the topic be covered later, or that the topic is out of scope. Type the issue or question on a displayed Note pod (Adobe Connect) labeled “parking lot.” If that doesn’t help, refer back to the ground rules, or, if needed, dismiss the problem participant.

Chuck Barritt

To help a facilitator see what the participants see, have a second display show- ing the participant’s view. If this isn’t possible, ask a participant to sit next to the facilitator in the same room.

Chuck Barritt

For select virtual classes, plan on doing exit interviews with participants to gath- er their feedback. Consider developing custom survey tools for virtual learning.

Chuck Barritt

In a 3-D virtual world, keep lecture to a minimum.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

In a 3-D virtual world, use a story or a challenge to gain participants’ attention early in the event.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

In a 3-D virtual world, make the learner part of the story, not just a spectator.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

In a 3-D virtual world, match the attention-getting stimulus to the environment.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 19 In a 3-D virtual

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

19

In a 3-D virtual world, encourage meaningful interaction with participants and the environment. (For example, pose real-world problems.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

In a 3-D virtual world, use a combination of instructional strategies. Repetition of a single instructional approach may not reach those with different learning styles.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

In a 3-D virtual world, establish an orientation period or rules of conduct for ava- tars within the learning event. (For example, if planning a lecture, tell participants how backchat will be handled.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

If learning objectives change as participants progress through a 3-D virtual world, reiterate the objective and goals to participants as they encounter them. Be consistent in the way you communicate the goals, and remember that learn- ing objectives do not need to be in words.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

When tailoring learning objectives to multiple target audiences, give unique learning paths for each audience.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Assess prior knowledge by prescribing paths through 3-D virtual environments based on what participants already know. 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 exist- ing knowledge into your design.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 20 Evaluate learners’ skill level

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

20

Evaluate learners’ skill level prior to bringing them into 3-D virtual world train- ing. (For example, US Department of Homeland Security instructors knew of prior courses taken by learners before beginning the Virtual Asset Assessment Field Trip.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, consider a non-linear, learner-directed approach. (For example, in the orientation area of a post-traumatic stress disorder site, learners can choose which PTSD symptoms to explore.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Vary the methods for students to learn information. (For example, in a post-trau- matic stress disorder site, students encounter the stimulus in the form of trau- matic “memories.” 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.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, use storytelling to convey the “challenge” of what partici- pants need to accomplish. (For example, in war-games training, teams must make strategic decisions under the looming threat of a nuclear disaster.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, design with the target audience in mind. (For example, given the anxiety triggered in those with post-traumatic stress disorder, the “traumatic ride” allows learners to choose the ride level they feel most comfort- able experiencing.)

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

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 21 Design events to make

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.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Engage learners in role-plays to effectively assess knowledge.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Monitor backchat for questions or needed clarification.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, incorporate reasons for trainees to return to the environ- ment. (For example, consider developing weekly themes or follow-on events.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, consider takeaways that the participants can use when applying new skills to the job.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, embed follow-up activities or coaching to ensure that new skills are applied properly.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Storytelling is an essential skill in the virtual classroom. If you expect learners to remember key concepts, wrap those concepts in real-world, memorable stories. Ask framing questions that encourage your learners to share their stories as well.

Cynthia Clay

Don’t just hit virtual learners with information. Take them through a discovery process. The process might begin with presenting relevant information but should rapidly move to case challenges in which your learners have the opportu- nity to discuss, discover, and apply solutions.

Cynthia Clay

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 22 Nine Pros and Cons

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 Are they the right choice for you? Our experts provide some suggestions

A typical challenge in the virtual classroom is keeping participants from multi- tasking. After all, participants are often taking the virtual course on the same devices they get their email and do other work on. Many instructional design- ers and virtual trainers build in some level of interactivity (polls, chat, Q&A) to address this challenge. But it’s equally important to build in accountability. For example, assign participants a learning partner, then use the chat feature to allow participants to check in with their partners several times during the session.

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. (Self- paced online training would also fit in this case.)

Your target audience is willing to participate in online learning, including computer-driven instruction and learning activities, instead of coming to a physical classroom. (Keep in mind change-management issues when adopt- ing new technology.)

Your course participants can successfully complete all the learning activi- ties while being isolated in remote locations. (The instructor is not physi- cally in same room to help with activities; hands-on activities would not be observed.)

Your course will be delivered more than one time so that the facilitator and others can achieve a return on their development investment. (Virtual classroom learning is not to be used in place of a web conference or confer- ence call.)

• Your course content and learning activities require a live instructor to in- teract with the participants and provide coaching and feedback. (A physical classroom would also fit in this case.) Your course content does NOT re- quire the live supervised handling of tools, props, or equipment. (A physical classroom might be a better solution in this case).

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 23 • Your course content

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

23

• Your course content does not require immediate personal connections, prac- tice, or role play. (Small-group virtual learning might get around this case.)

Chuck Barritt

Give your participants time between each virtual class to apply their new knowl- edge and skills.

Chuck Barritt

Validate that tasks and learning objectives are best taught using a virtual class- room. Weigh the cost and benefits of developing for a virtual classroom versus self-paced online learning or a physical 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. Keep that person on call during the entire class.

Chuck Barritt

For the virtual classroom, build time into the development schedule to have facilitators practice before going live.

Chuck Barritt

In a virtual classroom, check in with the participants from time to time to ensure they are seeing what’s being brought up on the screen. Network bandwidth is- sues can impact each participant’s view differently.

Chuck Barritt

Remind everyone that the virtual class is being recorded. Keep in mind that a recorded session won’t replace the interactivity and engagement of the live virtual class.

Chuck Barritt

Consider how assessments and other knowledge checks can be delivered in a vir- tual classroom. High stakes exams might require a proctored examination tool and process. PG&E uses proctored Questionmark Perception for high-stakes testing.

Chuck Barritt

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 24 Five Pros and Cons

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, so do traditional physical classrooms From overcoming student passivity to allowing reti- cent learners the chance to respond, these tips can help you make the most of your learning model

Blending simultaneous physical training sessions with live virtual classroom ses- sions might seem efficient, 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. Be sure to include polling and chat-based interac- tions, remembering to allow time for groups to relate responses to the facilitator to post.

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. Try to keep the length of a recorded presentation for a flipped classroom to 10 minutes or less. Incorporate a table of contents so your audience can locate spe- cific sections of your presentation easily. If there is a great deal of information to present, try creating several short presentations and recommend a sequence for viewing the presentations.

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. Add questions to your presentation for your audience to respond to immediately during the presentation, and also questions for them to think about prior to meeting synchronously. Use these questions as a beginning point for discussions when you meet in class.

Mary Nicholson

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 25 One of the significant

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

25

One of the significant disadvantages of the physical classroom is the opportu- nity for a few learners to dominate the discussion despite the best efforts of the facilitator or trainer. When you ask a question in the physical classroom, it’s common for the same two or three participants to answer aloud. When you ask a question in the virtual classroom, however, each learner has the opportunity to respond simultaneously in chat.

Cynthia Clay

Blending synchronous interactive virtual classes with asynchronous peer-to- peer collaboration results in the richest learning experiences. Keep an instructor in the mix, but put your learners on center stage.

Cynthia Clay

the mix, but put your learners on center stage. Cynthia Clay 20 13 SM Community &
the mix, but put your learners on center stage. Cynthia Clay 20 13 SM Community &
20 13 SM
20 13
SM
put your learners on center stage. Cynthia Clay 20 13 SM Community & Resources for eLearning
put your learners on center stage. Cynthia Clay 20 13 SM Community & Resources for eLearning
put your learners on center stage. Cynthia Clay 20 13 SM Community & Resources for eLearning
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129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 26 Three Tips for Games

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. These three tips give thoughtful pointers for the effective use of games in learning

For a 3-D virtual world, distribute read-ahead material for the more complex games and scenarios.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

If training involves complex games or point systems, make sure rules are acces- sible throughout the game.

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

For 3-D virtual worlds, build gaming elements and guidelines into the design. Can participants collect points for knowledge or behaviors?

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 27 Ten Tips for Mobile

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 Our experts offer guidance on how to capi- talize on this opportunity with ideas such as communities of practice, crowdsourcing techniques, and an in-class backchannel

Acknowledge that students are using technology to communicate, share, orga- nize, and create content. There are great opportunities for teachers to harness the power of personal technologies in the classroom.

Steve Wheeler

Understand that young people’s technology is a part of their identity.

Steve Wheeler

Youth cultural influences have a strong impact on technology use, influencing the way they communicate.

Steve Wheeler

Tribal behavior is everywhere, but it is often amplified through social media channels.

Steve Wheeler

Communities of practice and/or interest are powerful ideas for collaborative learning.

Steve Wheeler

An excellent way to create connections among learners, facilitators, and the content in a “flipped” classroom is to incorporate social-media tools. Select a social-media tool that will promote conversations and discussions and that you can integrate into recorded presentations. Also try to select a social-media tool that has a mobile device application.

Mary Nicholson

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms 28 Develop activities that get

129 Tips on Using Technology in Virtual and Physical Classrooms

28

Develop activities that get participants working together in the virtual class- room. Try using breakout rooms or assign a few participants to subject-specific chat windows.

Chuck Barritt

Ignite crowdsourcing techniques by encouraging co-collaboration in virtual environments. (For example, in war-games training, participants collaborate by working in teams to make critical decisions.)

Lee Taylor-Nelms & Trey Reyher

Create a social, interactive learning environment in the virtual classroom. Capi- talize on your learners’ eagerness to share what they have experienced.

Cynthia Clay

In the physical classroom, waiting for verbal responses to open-ended questions can be time consuming. Introduce the use of Twitter or Yammer as a text-based “backchannel” and encourage participants to contribute to the discussion silent- ly. Build in pauses when you can scan posts and respond.

Karen Hyder