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How to create a virtual classroom

Traditional training methods are fine – to an extent – if your delegates are all in the same room at the same time. However, by creating a virtual classroom through integrating technology into your lesson plan, you can be far more flexible in how you deliver training. For example, lessons can be more dynamic and interactive, and you can train delegates both locally and remotely at the same time. This guide will give you some tips on how to create a virtual classroom, and why it will benefit you and your students.

The traditional tools of training – flipcharts, white boards and PowerPoint presentations – have their limitations. For a start, they discourage interactivity – training using a flipchart tends to be presenter-led, and while students can of course contribute it’s difficult to save notes without someone spending time typing them up. And of course you can only deliver training to people in the same room as you – which can mean you end up travelling around the country to train one company’s staff, or people could miss out on the opportunity to learn because they can’t attend the session. The answer is to create a virtual classroom, which allows students to learn wherever they are located.

How to create a virtual classroom

The best virtual classroom will have access to two types of technology – an interactive white board, such as a SMART Board, and video conferencing. To demonstrate how to create a virtual classroom we are going to look at two different scenarios.

Scenario 1

ABC Company needs to deliver training to its two sales teams, based in London and Leeds, but they don’t want to book the trainer for two separate sessions. By setting up virtual classrooms in London and Leeds the trainer can deliver the training locally to the London team and remotely to the Leeds office. Each classroom is equipped with a SMART Board and video conferencing system, and the trainer runs the session from London – but delegates in both locations can see and hear the trainer in real-time, and can interact and contribute to the session using the SMART Board. The diagram below demonstrates the setup in each location.

Scenario 2

XYZ Company uses a mobile sales team who all work from home. They need to update staff on procedures but it’s impossible to get everyone into Head Office for a training session. The company creates a virtual classroom, equipped with a SMART Board and video conferencing, and those delegates who can attend travel in for a live training session. The other staff members join the session remotely. Options for this include using SMART Bridgit and LifeSize ClearSea to access both the SMART Board and the video conference on their PC or iPad.

Using a virtual classroom has many benefits – you can train lots of people at once, wherever they are located, you can reduce the need for delegates to travel and you can even save the training session and email the meeting notes to delegates immediately after the session, or share it at a later date.

To find out more about how to create a virtual classroom give us a call today on 0118 336 0010 and we’ll be happy to talk through the options available.

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