Yesterday a group of training practitioners gathered to talk about virtual instructor led training, and the question was posed, “What doesn’t belong in a virtual classroom?” I had the privilege of being an observer of the discussion.
How you answer the question might reveal more than you know.
As you might expect, the practitioners quickly pointed out that some topics like being a masseuse or mechanic aren't candidates for virtual classes.
To be sure, there’s a physical element to those learning experiences that can’t be executed in a computer browser.
But just because there’s a physical element to the learning doesn’t mean there isn’t a textbook they use in a college class (for instance), right?
You may not be able to teach every part of something in a medium, but you can probably teach some part of anything in it.
I observed one other thing worth noting, and it flows from this idea:
More often than not, blending media types is needed to optimize the learning journey.
One class participant commented that a virtual classroom means that you don’t need a participant guide.
Really? Why not? Wouldn’t their learning experience be better, in fact, with a second reference source for use beyond the synchronous class, with the kinesthetic action of taking notes, all that?
I often joke that we should quit using the word webinar. I don’t mean that we should actually quit using it — I don’t care. I do mean that we should challenge webinar assumptions that 45-minutes of talking at someone and having a few questions at the end is the way the world of virtual presentations, webinars, webcasts, or classes has to work.
You may not be able to teach every part of something in a medium, but you can probably teach some part of anything in it. More often than not, blending media types is needed to optimize the learning journey.
Which means that the problem isn’t the medium itself. It’s strategy and design.
Cheers to our tomorrows being better than our yesterdays.