Stop, Look, and Listen: How Multitasking Impacts Virtual Training

Conference Archive

Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2017 - March 23, 2017

Kerry Trabinger

Senior Educational Technologist
Canberra Institute of Technology

Virtual classrooms are increasingly popular due to the ability for learners from any location to access education in real time with a teacher, and to participate in an environment that simulates a face-to-face classroom. However, a major area of concern has emerged: the tendency for learners to multitask, rather than remain attentive and focus on the content being delivered.

This session will discuss results from a doctoral study that investigated whether learners are multitasking and whether this affects the teaching and learning that occurs. You will explore evidence that learners are multitasking and why this can affect teaching and learning, including a reduction in performance levels and an increase in errors. You will also look at how this behavior leads to a reduction in knowledge retention and an increase in time taken to complete tasks. You will learn strategies for both facilitators and attendees to combat this issue and maximize the learning experience.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Solutions and strategies to encourage learners to remain focused, including instructional design, professional development, support, and guides.
  • The importance of including nine virtual classroom interactions
  • What the future holds for virtual classrooms, including concerns, improvements, and possibilities

Novice to advanced designers, developers, project managers, managers, and directors.

Technology discussed in this session:
Virtual classrooms, including Adobe Connect and Wimba.


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