September 2009 Archives

Engaging Virtual Learners

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I attended ASTD eLearning SIG's presentation on Engaging Virtual Learners. Below are a few key messages from the session.


  • If designed well any topic can work online. This I don't necessarily agree with; you can cover the theory or overview online, but when it comes to interacting with other humans or machines I think practice needs to take place afterward. For example, I can teach you the steps of the reference interview, but for it to sink in you need to practice online and in-person

  • In an E-Learning Guild study 86% of people believed synchronous learning systems could be as effective as f2f

  • Rather than receiving 10 responses from participants in 10 minutes in-person, you can receive 10 responses in 1 minute using various feedback methods, and everyone can contribute (polls, chat, whiteboard). It can speed up the process.

  • Integrate lots of questions to get feedback (potentially more accurate, i.e. could misread body language).

  • Teach the participants at the beginning how to use the software you are using.

  • Creating onlien content is more than jsut mimicking what you have done in-person.

  • Tell, Show, Do, Review

  • Dual facilitators, radio show method, breaks up the sound and more conversational.
  • Still wondering how to engage self directed learners in optional activities. Thoughts?