The Virtual Classroom: To Sidekick Or Not To Sidekick?
With the cutbacks in travel budgets, more companies are looking to technology as a medium for training their employees. Each day, people are writing about effective methods for keeping learners engaged inside of the virtual classroom. Most of us are becoming familiar with these techniques, but there’s still a piece of the puzzle that’s missing…
Where is your sidekick?!
I’m talking about someone who is there with you to ensure that the technology won’t get in the way of learning. I’ve seen too many virtual classroom sessions where learners can’t join the teleconference, are unable to view presentation slides, they can’t annotate, etc… Some of these sessions were even cancelled because the trainer could not get the technology to cooperate!
Even if the technical problems aren’t that bad, the trainer is usually too busy teaching to help the learner resolve some of the smaller issues, so the learner gets left behind in the wonderful world of multitasking because they cannot resolve the problem.
As someone who has been in this sidekick role, here’s why I recommend using a virtual classroom “Producer”:
- You can spend your time actually training, instead of troubleshooting. I can help learners with their technical challenges without being a distraction to the rest of the group.
- It adds a second voice to the training. Most people can stand one voice over a phone line for a limited period of time. I act as the technology “liaison” and tell your learners how to use the functions of the virtual classroom to add some variety.
- I handle some of the more complicated features of the virtual classroom behind the scenes. This eliminates some of the lag time between speaking and sending documents to the learners through the virtual classroom, as an example. This also helps to provide smoother transitions between activities.
These are all reasons I label my role as a sidekick, “Producer.” I handle “producing” the training while you can concentrate on the most import part…the material.
What about you? What’s your worst virtual training horror story in regards to a technical glitch and how did you go about resolving the problem? Click Here To Leave A Comment