COVID has turned every business around and virtual classroom sessions are the new norm of the online learning sector, changing the online learning system. What is your opinion about the virtual instructor-led training? Do you, as an organization, think that VILT and online learning is an ill and dull approach to engage the users? What according to you should be the parameters to define the interactivity during a VILT? What should you do to engage your learners? How can you make the virtual classroom more interesting to keep the learners from daydreaming?
In this article, we’ll discuss a few must-try VILT engagement tools and some best practices to implement in your online learning classroom sessions. Virtual classroom sessions are taking the education sector by storm and VILT has several advantages. We have tried our best to throw light on how to make the MOOC even more interesting for the learners. But first, let us discuss some challenges and issues that decrease the engagement level of a VILT session.
Common Issues Faced
Not Being Able To Read Non-Verbal Clues
The main limitation is the inability of the learners to see their fellow learners and participants. Virtual classroom sessions do not allow the learners to see each other. Not being able to decipher the non-verbal clues is one of the biggest challenges of a VILT session. It is impossible to point out the exact reason for boredom and distraction.
Multimodality is another challenge during a VILT. Every participant learns differently and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to learning. In online learning, the options are limited if the LMS does not support multimodality.
Notifications & Distraction
Learners, at their homes, are in their comfort zones. They stay in pajamas with a hot coffee next to them in their study room. Online learning requires supreme self-discipline when they are constantly distracted by the notifications from their gaming consoles, gadgets, pastime, pets, and books.
Gaining The Learners’ Confidence
Gaining the confidence of the learners is one of the biggest challenges in a VILT. It is an important parameter in building a bond that ensures stable levels of communication between an instructor and a learner. In a VILT, the instructor also needs to scale that extra mile to make the participants feel involved.
A VILT becomes interesting with interesting tools that the learners have access to. These tools give the best environment and enhance the learning experience. Let’s now discuss a few VILT engagement tools.
Top 4 Elements For Interactive VILT Learning
Annotation Tools & Whiteboard
It is nice to have some ice-breaking sessions and introductions for a better start. However, in virtual-instructor-led training, the learners cannot see each other. Most of them might be figuring out how to use the platform. You can always introduce the annotation tools and whiteboard. These features are a quicker and interesting way to kick-start any virtual classroom session.
You can use the whiteboard to effectively prepare customized grids. Your learners can easily claim their space and use the annotation tools to insert their names, roles, current location, or anything that they are supposed to share. You should use these features for the group activities in the formal training.
VILT is not a one-time training approach. Your learners can easily break the monotony and have self-learning. Breakout rooms are created within the platform to streamline the learning activities. The collaborative rooms allow your learners to think out of the box and implement their knowledge. Breakout rooms are quite dynamic and cater to different learners with different styles. While one group works on an issue and resolves it, the instructor can assist other groups that require assistance and maintenance. This keeps the learners engaged and energized and also reduces the risk of failure.
Instead of just receiving the information, the learners can share, process, and incorporate the same. This improves the overall learning experience and makes the VILT sessions even more engaging.
Gestures do not work in any virtual meeting or VILT sessions, This is one of the biggest challenges in any virtual meet-up. Learners do not like their names being called upon and on top of that, there is no ‘raise the hand’ option to ask any questions. This is often one of the biggest obstacles in online learning and collaborative discussions.
Non-verbal feedback or chat option is useful to create slides with simple text or images. This helps in setting up a point of discussion for the entire class. Let your learners respond to the slides and MOOCs using chat and non-verbal feedback. This is the best approach to clear any queries or doubts in real-time rather than having to wait.
Worksheet activities have been one of the best approaches for in-person classes and these activities work perfectly fine in the case of a virtual classroom. Online learning should also focus on activities such as brainstorming, team-building, communication exercises, leadership exercises, and other activities. Including these activities in your virtual classroom will increase the engagement and improve the level of participants’ interest.
So these are the top tools for interesting VILT learning. However, several parameters define the efficiency of online courses. Enterprises are vying to get more engagement through customized MOOCs and practices that engage the learners effectively. Let us check out some practices that streamline these online learning sessions.
4 Practices To Improve Engagement In VILTs
Several factors disrupt online courses. Learners and participants may face issues such as technical difficulties, noisy environments, and distractions. These factors may disrupt online webinars and virtual training sessions. With careful preparations and strategic approaches, these issues can be handled to improve the engagement of VILT sessions.
Shorten The Sessions Of Your Virtual Classrooms
The ideal length of any online course varies from anywhere between thirty minutes and two hours. The exact length of an online course depends on the complexity of the content, type of modules, and interactive elements throughout the course. Shorter courses keep the learners engaged throughout the session.
Content Selection & Preparation
Content preparation and selection play a big part in making the virtual classroom more engaging and immersive. Not all the training materials and topics are suitable for online learning sessions. Selecting a particular topic that ignites interest in the learners is very important. Such topics offer quality learning experiences and this creates engagement.
Integrate Interactive Elements
These days, the learners get distracted easily. Emails, Facebook notifications, music, noisy environments are only a few issues to mention. Using interactive elements is the best way to keep the learners engaged with high interested levels. It is very important to integrate short fun sessions, group activities, surveys, and polls to maintain their active participation throughout the session. Such activities reduce and sometimes eliminate all the distractions.
So these are some practices and tools to make your virtual classes more interesting. We hope this article helps you extract all the important parameters and create better study material and courses that keep the learners and participants from daydreaming in a VILT session. Preparing courses is easy, but the main challenge is to have an ultra-immersive environment that grabs all the attention of the learners.
VILT is no longer a conventional broadcast training approach. It is transforming the way organizations train their employees and instructors train their participants. It offers the tools required to replicate a real classroom in a virtual training session.
In the wake of the pandemic, most of the employees and learners are switching to eLearning rather than attending any offline lectures. MOOCs have changed our lives and will continue to introduce a variety of changes through customized LMSs. If you have made it this far, you should work on creating credible courses and incorporate the best practices to keep your learners from daydreaming.