Virtual learning used to only be something you elected to due if you couldn’t be on campus, but As professionals look to scale up or just stay informed, learning has to be continued virtually.
Firms and companies are also subscribing to virtual learning models to keep their staff strength up to speed, especially in the ever-changing market that the pandemic has forced upon us.
Reviewing some of the common setbacks of this online learning environment, we have come up with tips and resources to better your next virtual learning sessions.
Before the Class
Preparation is key to the success of any project. That is true in business – and it is just as true for virtual learning too.
Understand the Technology
There are a series of virtual learning platforms to explore out there. From the recent Google Meet to the all-time Skype and recent Zoom, the possibilities are almost endless.
Take the time to download the desired platform for the virtual class, if you do not already have it. Explore the app in your free time to understand how things work. Be able to get around basic features like:
- Switching off/ on your microphone
- Toggling the camera on/ off
- Sharing your screen
- Accessing shared content, etc.
Depending on the platform to be used, there are bound to be different things to explore.
Know the Rules
Like offline classes, virtual classes also come with their own rules and requirements. That is within the purview of the trainer.
If there are materials to have been brushed up on before the class starts, do that. Check the class requirements to know what you are expected to have already for a seamless process. Once the class starts too, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the instructions.
Block off the Time
Most people don’t get the most out of online classes because they do not take it as seriously as offline classes.
The time meant for the online class is not another chance for you to multi-task. It is surely not the time to have multiple tabs open or a series of programs running in the background. Be intentional about the class.
During the Class
It might seem like there is not much else to do during the class than focus on your instructor. That could not be farther from the truth. These tips will help you to maximize all your in-class times.
Do not rely on memory strength to remember all that was discussed in the class.
Some people have trained themselves to the extent of remembering a lot of things with relative ease. No matter how good you are at that, though, there are some subtle cues that you might fail to remember later.
Likewise, writing things down comes with some intentionality which aids your remembrance.
When you take notes, you can do additional reading on your own, identify areas where you need more help, etc.
Expert trainers know that they have to engage their virtual classroom higher than they would a traditional class. Since it is much easier to get distracted online, this has proven a solid tactic.
However, the aim of such an engagement will be defeated when you do not participate anyways.
Get in on tasks and projects that are suggested during the class. Chip in when suggestions are requested. Make a move to answer questions that you know something about. In all, try to put effort into the class.
You are not doing this for the benefit of the trainer, either. They already know what they are teaching. You are the one who has to grasp the knowledge that they are passing across. When you engage, you are even setting yourself up for more targeted answers to help better your knowledge base.
Before we go further on this, know that asking questions is not a must.
Only ask questions if they come to you organically. Otherwise, save your strength for another class where you truly need to ask questions.
The upside of asking questions is that you do not have to assume anything. Likewise, you are saved the time and resources that would have been spent on extra research.
The downside of asking questions that you do not need is a lack of focus. Instead of focusing on the topics that are taught, you might be looking for opportunities to ask questions instead. Thus, never feel the compelling need to ask questions just to look alive.
After the Class
Effective virtual learning does not stop once the live link goes dead. You still have some work to do on your own.
Look over your notes to get a better grasp of everything that went on in the class.
Revision does not have to be immediately after the class ends. We recommend leaving some time between learning and revision. This allows initial concepts from the class to stick before you build on those from your notes.
Effective revision will also show lapses, if any, and bring forth questions you might need to ask during the next session.
This is assuming that there are takeaway assignments from the online class.
Whether it is an assignment that you have to submit or not, it is always worth giving it a shot. Assignments are also very practical, so much that they allow you to absorb the knowledge from your class better.
Apply these tips to your next online learning encounter for a better overall experience.
Got some more impressive tips you use for an amazing virtual learning experience? Do share with the professional community here in the comments section.