Sunday, April 6, 2014

Virtual Learning Show 2013 – Day 2

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m participating in the 2013 2-day Virtual Learning Show. Whilst I was directly involved as a panel chair on Day 2, I also attended as a participant .

Here are my reflections on Day 2 and in particular each session, with a particular focus on:

A key ‘take-away’ from the sessions content itselfThe way in which it was facilitated (in part or in whole) with a view to what can I re-use/build upon for myself.

 Presented by Matt Turner
 11.00 – 12.00 UK BST

In many organisations, Virtual Classrooms are accepted as an efficient, powerful and flexible way to deliver learning. However, the tipping point has not yet been reached and some decision-makers still appear fearful, confused, or even downright scared of adopting VC, leaving L&D practitioners puzzled at the challenge of the internal sell-in.

“Fear and Loathing in Las Virtual” will be an enjoyable and frank look at why some are slow to move into the Virtual Classroom and what others have done to introduce it successfully.  The session will use a variety of examples, scenarios and tips on what works well, touching on content, communication, attitudes, terminology, sell-in and more in the process. As part of a collective responsibility to ensure VCs reach their potential in the UK, your experiences and contributions in this session will help its success!

My key content take-away

There was a great deal of discussion around what we ‘call’ this approach to delivery. There seemed to be a split between those who thought we shouldn’t worry about the language we use to describe it and those (myself included) who thought that it was worth the effort to get the ‘language/terminology’ correct.

I’m always conscious over the language that I use when talking within my organisation, but I’m going to check with the rest of my team to gain their perspective.

My key facilitation take-away

Matt asked us to post any links we had to the host ‘privately’ so that she could put them up at the end of the session. I’m not sure that I’d ever ask this…. surely if a person posts a relevant, contextual link into the slide panel there and then it provides an opportunity for people to immediately take a look ‘outside’ of the session and potentially bring a different perspective into session?

There’s also the distinct possibility that some people may leave the session early, so any links that are dropped into chat at the end of the session will be missed.

 Presented by Claire Line
12.30 – 13.30 UK BST

Claire_Line_125Claire Line is Learning Technologies Manager at global law firm Hogan Lovells. As part of that role, she has carried out extensive research into virtual classroom and online learning technologies.  Since 2004, she has introduced a number of learning technologies for IT training and legal learning, including virtual classroom, web conferencing and video production.

In this discussion-based session, Claire will take you through her journey of how virtual learning was implemented at Hogan Lovells and will discuss the successes, the barriers she encountered, and some of the key points she has learned that will help you in your project to implement virtual learning in your organisation. Be sure to bring your questions to ask!

My key facilitation take-away

No matter how much you are rushing for the start of the session ALWAYS undertake any audio setup process. Claire was very muffled at the start of the session which led to me stepping away for some time and by the time I got back the microphone issue had been resolved and I’m missed a good chunk at the beginning.

 Presented by Julie Dirksen
 14.00 – 15.00 UK BST

Julie Dirksen

Game designers have been using concepts like a structured flow of goals, levels, and accomplishments to create a sense of engagement and efficacy in players. One of the key elements in creating fully engaging game experiences is the psychological concept of flow-creating game environments that keep players in tenuous balance between their level of ability and level of challenge. Learners should have the same sense from learning experiences. The speaker will take a look at the way games and other forms of entertainment media create flow states, how to create that in learning environments, and why the act of learning is crucial to this type of engagement.

In this session, you will learn:

What we know about attracting and maintaining learner attentionHow game designers create sticky and compelling experiencesHow to structure learning experiences that will engage learners

My key content take-away

People’s personal challenges will ALWAYS be better than anything I can come up for them. I need to make sure that this is carefully woven in to the upcoming ‘campaign’ that I am working on.

My key facilitation take-away

Julie invited us to tell her what the ‘most boring subjects’ were that we had been asked to create training on. She then (bravely) used those topics to craft a significant chunk of her session around. This is something that I’d be keen to explore.

I found that there was a lot of talking at the beginning of Julie’s session and limited interaction, coupled with the somewhat scientific content and it being immediately after lunch led to a reduced level of concentration on my part. I need to think about the scheduling of any online sessions in the future taking part immediately after lunch (just as I should in a f2f environment)

Chair: Craig Taylor
Panellists: Bianca Woods (Canada), Koreen Olbrish (US), Barbara Thompson (UK), Ryan Tracey (Australia)
15.30 – 16.30 UK BST

Craig TaylorYou’ve probably seen, attended or perhaps even participated in ‘panel discussions’ before, but how many of them have been online? That’s why we thought it was time to extend people’s perceptions as to how online classroom tools can be used. In this session you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a live online panel discussion which will include workplace L&D practitioners from 4 countries and 4 time zones!

This is your opportunity to hear the thoughts and opinions on how emerging tech can be used to enhance and enrich our offerings and ultimately add value to our businesses? Perhaps you’d just like a second (or third!) opinion on a plan you have. Maybe you’re struggling with a particular aspect of a solution and would like to hear how others have approached it or would approach it.

My key content take-away

Here’s a blog post from Jo Cook who’s done a great job of capturing the essence of my session.

My key facilitation take-away

Don’t be put off by what other people tell you can/can’t be done. The use of 5 webcams simultaneously, across 5 countries and 5 time zones is something that many people will tell you is a foolhardy exercise within an online classroom. Well we did it today and it worked! Admittedly there were 2 occasions where there was a short ‘freeze’, however I’ve been in sessions that are faaaaaaar less webcam dependant and the same thing/worse has happened, so it’s not going to put me off in the future.

Did you participate?

What did you take away from the day / each session?

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