3 steps to streamline your distance learning and avoid burnout.
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Since the first lockdown, we have been modifying our training practices, making it an urgent priority to create digital versions of our classroom training courses. But how can these synchronous sessions be converted into effective distance learning?
Everyone agrees: the energy spent on remaining alert and concentrated during online training sessions is exhausting. This applies not only to learners, but also to trainers! Today we bring you our three-step method for easily, quickly and cheaply improving the distance learning experience.
Step 1: Identify the sequences to be transformed
Generally speaking, your face-to-face training is broken down into several sequences that ensure each of your learning objectives are achieved over the course of the day. It’s usually thought that an efficient learning sequence holds our attention for around 1 hr 30, or maybe 2 hours. The simplest solution is to convert each sequence into a digital virtual classroom format. The simplest, maybe… but is it the most effective? Certainly not!
“On average, we have an ability to concentrate for 90 minutes. After that time, the brain gets tired and we lose focus.”
Therefore, we need to ask ourselves whether we need to remain constantly focused through the virtual classroom tool.
By way of a reminder, the purpose of the Virtual Classroom is to:
- Share theoretical contributions synchronously with a large group
- Encourage interaction and experience sharing between participants
- Shed light on a concept (e.g. by involving an external speaker)
- Collaborative produce a deliverable in workshop mode
- Immerse participants in a technical situation (e.g. using smart glasses)
In addition, learning can also be enhanced by means of:
- Independent study of theoretical or framing documents
- Viewing explanatory or inspiring videos
- Digital coaching forms for completion to ensure systematic support is provided
- Digital self-assessments to quantify progress and take stock of learning achievements
- Completion of a challenge in the office or at home, such as making a phone call to a colleague to discover best practices or acquire know-how
In other words, the virtual classroom isn’t the only form of distance learning to focus on!
Step 2: Create a new dynamic using synchronous and asynchronous sequences
To add value to your digital training moments, think “mix and match”.
Because, even remotely, it is important to make allowances for individual pace: give learners time for themselves, provide them with occasional moments to get organised, change rooms or pace their day in a way that suits them.
When you mix synchronous and asynchronous moments (being together at the same time or at times specific to each individual) for a training sequence, you are ensuring there will be sufficient energy and focus for each moment of the learning.
Sample sequences as an illustration of this method
A remote introduction to the company for new employees in 1 hr 30:
- View an introductory video to provide context (10 minutes)
- Independently read a document for download which gives details of your onboarding programme (10 minutes)
- Asking questions as you explore a Klaxoon collaborative wall (15 minutes)
- Meet in a group in a virtual classroom to provide basic answers and share feelings (1 hour)
Or spend two hours training in soft skills:
- Acquire theoretical basics via an e-learning session on Teach Up (15 minutes)
- Virtual meeting with 2 managers to take on your real-world challenge and ask them about how they work (45 minutes)
- Debrief together in a virtual class (30 minutes)
- Practical work in a sub-group (45 minutes)
- Download a “Memo” sheet (10 minutes)
It’s up to you to find the best combination to facilitate your students’ learning.
Step 3: Take things further: provide a bond and engagement
If you want to take your distance learning work even further, think SPOC!
A SPOC is a digital platform combining a number of methods to provide a direct means of practising key course concepts and also peer-to-peer exchanges.
Supporting your learners’ digital journeys also means assisting participants where possible as they explore methods and resources! Creating a SPOC can thus be a particularly useful way of encapsulating your learning journey in a mini-site in order to derive maximum value from its form and content for your learners.
💡 Tip: With Teach Up’s SPOC editor, a few minutes are all you need to take your training and courses to the next level!
Example of a SPOC created in a few minutes on Teach Up as part of a business training course:
You now have everything you need to start improving your distance learning courses!
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