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Adventures in Virtual Learning! The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

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How are you feeling about the variety of online experiences you are having of late? What are you loving, hating (too strong?), or wondering about?

What would you do differently?

In 2015, I designed, developed, and delivered a course on (wait for it) the design and development of live online deliveries. Even earlier (2013), I had the contract to create a course on successful strategies for facilitating live online training. Both courses attracted hundreds of people for one of the largest training companies in the world.

Probably just like you, I have spent an extraordinary amount of time online over the past three months. I have seen it all, people

  • who are gifted in their delivery and are working with programs with terrific designs and engaging content
  • with good intentions and no skills
  • who are gifted in delivering programs with poor designs and mediocre materials
  • who are not gifted in delivering even good material (though a better design would have improved their delivery)

I decided that I needed to have some fun with the (mostly mediocre) experiences I was having… so I am creating an interactive piece—I’ll share it next week!

What does a stellar delivery look, sound, and feel like to you?

Here are the categories I’m interested in—what’s your thinking? What would you add to this list or how might you re-configure it?

Orienting/Grounding

  • Welcome
  • Overview
  • Agenda/Roadmap
  • Agreements/Creation of Safe Space
  • Sharing Expectations
  • Check-in
  • Check-out

Engagement

  • On-time start and finish
  • Co-creating the experience
  • Holding the facilitator role both firmly and lightly
  • Being open to questions, discussions, and conversations throughout the session
  • Making the space for a variety of view and sharing experiences (if relevant)
  • Hearing from everyone in the room—as they desire it/working with the power dynamics inherent in every gathering

Connection

  • Using tech resources to introduce and connect people before the session
  • Cultivating rapport—between facilitator and participants and between participants
  • Ensuring a variety of partners in activities

Technology

  • Exploit capabilities of the tech resources
  • Planning for sufficient co-facilitators or facilitator & producer
  • Teaching participants to use the tech (in advance of the session)

Learning

  • Knowing the participants—who are they, what are their interests, knowledge, experience…
  • Focus on need- to-know info
  • Provide resources—before and after sessions