In the first article of this series, "COVID-19 and L&D Response: Moving to the Virtual Classroom" (March 20, 2020), I asked: How is it possible to meet workers where they are and support them effectively there during a pandemic? We are challenged today by having to design formal training for delivery in settings where workers are dispersed and where gatherings of people for training are not practical or permitted.

In this article, here are five more resources that offer detailed help for virtual delivery.

Curated content from Learning Solutions for shifting formal instruction to virtual classrooms

Here are five articles about the "how-to" questions (media, instructor productivity and virtual classroom management, activity design) to consider when identifying strategy for shifting formal training for a dispersed, decentralized, or isolated employee population from the physical, instructor-led classroom to the virtual classroom.

  • "Use Microlearning Assets to Fuel the Virtual Classroom": Microlearning is more than short videos! As Jennifer Hofmann points out, blogs, infographics, videos, podcasts, and worksheets are just a few of the microlearning options available. She suggests a dozen ways to use these assets to offer a dynamic way to bring a modern learning approach into the virtual classroom. Jennifer also provides two infographics that summarize a design approach for bringing microlearning into the virtual classroom, and ideas on how to use chat, whiteboards, and other virtual classroom tools to deliver microlearning.
  • "5 Productivity Hacks for Virtual Classroom Teachers": Changing from a comfortable and familiar instructional delivery approach to a brand new and unfamiliar one in a virtual environment is stressful, even without a pandemic as background. Liz Hardy offers an alternative approach to multi-tasking that stops the busywork and gets you productive. You don't have to run in place. Here are five ways to stay on track and ensure you’re being productive—not just busy
  • "Book Review: The Successful Virtual Classroom": Darlene Christopher guides the reader through planning, rehearsing, executing, and conducting a post-session review (PREP). Darlene does this in a way that provides mastery of the mechanics and that shows how to use the potential of technology to teach and inspire learners. Rather than rely only on her own experience and anecdotal evidence, or on assumptions and misconceptions about virtual learning, she bases her approach on research into what actually works.
  • "Addicted to Virtual Classroom Breakout Rooms? Get Help Now!": Karen Hyder, a pioneer of the virtual classroom environment, says that you don't have to attempt to base every interaction in the virtual classroom on what you did in the f2f (face to face) classroom. In fact, there are many reasons not to use virtual breakout rooms the same way you did in the physical space. Karen shows you when and how to use virtual breakout rooms in a way that supports your learning objectives and justifies the time and effort required to set up and execute breakouts.
  • "Designing Engaging, Interactive eLearning for the Virtual Classroom": Cindy Huggett offers her tips for converting in-person training to successful eLearning. She walks you through the process, beginning with her "untraditional" advice: to remember everything that you already know about what makes really good training, about good design, and about adult learning. Her common-sense, practical approach will guide you well. Her key messages: "... just the idea of getting to know the technology and not being afraid of it, and remembering that it is still learning. "

More help with moving instruction out of the physical classroom

The eLearning Guild's upcoming L&D on a Shoestring online conference April 22-23, 2020 will include these sessions to assist you in your efforts to re-situate learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Session 301: Creating Interactive eBooks—Yes, eBooks!—for Learning presented by Judy Katz, Eduworks Corporation

Session 501: Email Course Design: Using Digital Marketing as a Learning Strategy, presented by Sarah Mercier, Learning Ninjas

Session 601: Creating Highly Interactive Online Events on a Low-Cost Budget, presented by Cindy Huggett, Cindy Huggett Consulting

Session 801: Build Your Own Chatbots for Conversation Simulation with Twine, presented by Paul Bills, Mobile Coach

You can register for this online event or get an eLearning Guild Online Conference Subscription to access this and all online conferences for the next year, plus much more.