What Can Be Taught in a Synchronous Virtual Instructor-Led Training Program?

by Sue Schnorr on January 31, 2014

How do you determine what can be taught online in a synchronous Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) program?

Consider the learners, the content and your objectives. Then, answer these questions that are posed by Hoffman (2004).

Here are some of those these questions:

Consider Your Learners:


Are the learners geographically dispersed?

  • Then, yes, online training may be appropriate. Use online learning to allow geographically dispersed learners to interact and connect with each other. Synchronous virtual programs may be used when you can set aside a specific time to learn.

Do the learners need to have real-time access to an expert or a trainer to learn the content?

  • If you need to access an expert real-time, you can use synchronous learning when live support is needed and if that person can work from a distance (Hoffman, 2004).

Would collaboration and discussion between participants substantially enhance the learning?

  • If collaboration and/or discussion would not enhance the experience, you may have content that could be delivered in an asynchronous environment. If there is not collaboration, discussion or engagement, your program may quickly become a lecture, and that would not be successful in a synchronous environment. Use synchronous virtual learning when there is value in learning from others and to build motivation and excitement (Shank, 2007).

Consider Your Content:

Is the content stable?

  • If the content is subject to change and iterations, synchronous programs may be an option, because you can easily change content and slides. (Developing asynchronous methods for unstable content may not be economically realistic.)

Will the program be taught repeatedly over a long period of time or delivered just a few times?

  • If you only plan to teach the program a few times, developing an asynchronous method may not make sense because of the time, cost and resources involved in design and development. The cost can be justified for synchronous virtual training programs, even if the training is only delivered a few times (Shank, 2007).

Can you test the objectives in an online environment?

  • Even if all of the answers to the above indicate the possibility of online content delivery, make sure you can test mastery of the objectives in an online environment (Hoffman, 2004).

 

 

Sources: Hoffman, Jennifer (2004) Live and Online Learning! Tips, Techniques and Ready-to-Use Activities for the Virtual Classroom, Pfeiffer, San Francisco, CA

Shank, Patti (2007) The Online Learning Idea Book, Volume Two: Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning, Pfeiffer, San Francisco, CA

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