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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Designing and Developing Virtual Classroom Training & Managing and Facilitating Virtual Classroom Training Courses

Kwami Ahiabenu,II
I took a two part live online course for developing skills of online instructor to help them design and facilitate highly engaging online sessions organized by LINGOs www.lingos.org . The instructor, Greg Davis is the former Director of eLearning for American Express using Elluminate Live expertly took us through the two sessions:
Designing and Developing Virtual Classroom Training took place on November 7, 2007 (Two hours thirty minutes) and Managing and Facilitating Virtual Classroom Training took place on November 8, 2007(Two hours thirty minutes)

The courses were free of charge but prior registration was required to participate in this course. In total about 40 participants took part in this course drawn from the non profits sector and LINGOs member agencies. Among other prerequisites’, it was expected that participants must have attended at least one Virtual Class prior to class start time. Before attending the class, I also took a basic training on Elluminate at http://www.elluminate.com/support/training/

The two sessions are part of Virtual Classroom Mastery Series, which take place every six week so the next course is scheduled for 12-13 December 2007.

Technology Requirements:
To participate in this course, I needed internet connection, speakers and a microphone and download and configure my computer to run Elluminate Live Tool (www.elluminate.com ). Although this course was not dependent on a specific tool, the Elluminate Live tool was used to administer the class.


Designing and Developing Virtual Classroom Training

This course focuses on the design and development of Virtual Classroom Training (VCT) to aimed at helping participants create VCT courses At the end of class, we were taken through the following key areas : :
•Identify the anatomy of a Virtual Class
•Describe the tools available in most VCT engines to design robust interactivity
•Transfer Instructor-led Training (ILT) design skills to VCT
•Create Facilitator Guides and materials clearly and easily for VCT
•Share Best-practices and experiences

And for the second course on: Managing and Facilitating a Virtual Class, which focused on managing and facilitating a virtual class and designed for VC facilitators we were taken through the following areas :
• List 3 skills VC training must have
• Define characteristics of a successful virtual trainer
• Explain the various roles of a virtual class
• Define 4 ways to communicate with virtual learners
• Articulate the value of at least 3 tools found in a virtual classroom
• Tell us 3 ways to help a participant succeed in a virtual environment

Assignment:

At the end of each class we were given assignment due in 30 days from the end of the class.
Designing and Developing Virtual Classroom Training Assignment:
We were given a short lesson on writing objectives and our task was to make this presentation interesting, interactive, involve the learner, create at least one exercise and add two polling questions.
Managing and Facilitating a Virtual Class Assignment (same question but this time to be undertaken with a class member)

Elluminate :
Elluminate Live! our Internet-based, real-time, multi-platform eLearning tool that includes superior voice over the Internet(no phone calls is required), video, shared whiteboards, text messaging, breakout rooms, application sharing, PowerPoint import, which enable you to schedule and deliver classes online. You can also integrates elluminate with other eleaarning tools such as blackboard and moodle

Elluminte can work in lower bandwidth environments as low as 28.8kbps dial up. Other connections options are 33.6kbps dial up, 56kbps dial up, ISDN and Cable DSL.



SOME FEATURES OF ELLUMINATE
1. Interactive White Board – write, draw and enable the trainer run presentations See listing of white board tools below
2. Interactive quiz and survey manager -Polling :Yes/No, Multiple Choices(A,B,C,D,E), Slowdown/Speedup Class Pace
3. Raise/lower Hand
4. Application sharing
5. Breakout sessions
6. Synchronized notes
7. Chat – enable class to chat as a group or undertake private chats with emoticons
8. Talk – enable the trainer to run the class and participants to contribute. You need click on the Mic icon to talk.
To read more about elluminate features go to https://www.elluminate.com/academic_edition.jsp


White Boards Tools
a. Pen tool
b. Line tool
c. Ellipse tool
d. Rectangle tool
e. Import an image
f. Eraser
g. Highlighter
h. Filled ellipse tool
i. Filled rectangle tool
j. Laser pointer
k. Insert screen capture button
l. Simple text tool
m. Text editor

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