The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a new phase in online learning. Traditional methods whereby the instructor does most of the talking are not nearly as effective as newer approaches that offer active learning experiences. As many organizations increase their focus on online training, mastering how to deliver engaging and participatory sessions using tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams has become essential for creating impactful learning experiences.

This five-week online course will deliver results for those wishing to engage participants interactively and collaboratively through live virtual training sessions.

Introduction

The course teaches participants how to design and facilitate engaging and collaborative learning experiences in popular virtual classroom environments such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Conduct collaborative and interactive live virtual classroom activities
  • Use Zoom (or a comparable platform) as a virtual classroom together with a real-time digital collaboration tool for brainstorming in Zoom breakout rooms and plenary.  
  • Create effective whiteboard and chat activities that keep participants engaged while enriching their learning experience
  • Creatively use web browsing activities to engage participants interactively and collaboratively in the virtual classroom
  • Create facilitator’s guide/session plan for engaging participants in a live virtual classroom training
Course methodology

The course is delivered entirely online. 

Each week, participants will go through a number of assigned modules and reading materials, complete weekly assignments and exercises, and participate in discussion forums to share experiences, questions and comments, as well as receive feedback from the instructors. 

The 2-hour webinar sessions will be conducted through Zoom on Tuesdays (and occasionally Thursdays) from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Rome Time (8:00 am – 10:00 am NY Time): 

  • Week 1: Tuesday, 5 April 2022
  • Week 2: Tuesday, 12 & Thursday, 14 April 2022
  • Week 3: Thursday, 21 April 2022
  • Week 4: Tuesday, 26 April 2022
  • Week 5: Thursday, 5 May 2022 (practice session in last webinar - depending on the number of participants they might be scheduled for 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Rome Time)

Course activities and the weekly discussion forum will be available on the UNKampus, UNSSC’s Learning Platform. 

Approximate time commitment to fully participate in this course (pre-work, attending webinars, completion of assessments, forum discussions, etc.) is:  

  • Weeks 1, 3, 4 and 5: 4 hours per week (2 hours preparation + 2 hours of webinars)  
  • Weeks 2: 6-8 hours per week (2 - 4 hours of preparation + 4 hours of webinars) 
Course contents

The online course will cover topics such as:

Week 1: Building Virtual Facilitation Skills and Creating Collaborative Synchronous Activities

Tips and techniques to keep participants engaged and active in a live virtual classroom training so that the learning is of the same or better quality than participants expect from classroom-based programmes, and with the same results and performance improvements organizations expect.

This session discusses:

  • Event types: meetings, presentations, webinars, and learning events;
  • Three essential virtual facilitation skills;
  • Zoom interactive and collaborative features;
  • Three-steps to virtual classroom design;
  • Differences between interaction and online collaboration;
  • Importance of building interaction and collaboration into live synchronous learning and training events;
  • Two types of collaborations in a live online virtual training.

Week 2: Breakout room activities and real-time digital collaboration tools

Using Zoom as a virtual face-to-face (vF2F) classroom together with a real-time digital collaboration tool for brainstorming in zoom breakout rooms and plenary.

In a live classroom setting, we engage participants with group exercises and discussions. Similar learning experience is achieved in a virtual face-to-face classroom with breakout rooms.

There are two live virtual sessions this week: The first live vF2F session focuses on zoom settings and features. The second vF2F session provides instructional techniques to encourage collaboration using breakout room activities.

The second session takes participants through hands-on activities, how to:

  • Create real-time brainstorming activities in Mural or similar real-time digital collaborative web-based tools;
  • Create Zoom breakout rooms with Mural Canvas;
  • Maximize participants collaboration during breakout room exercises in the Zoom virtual platform;
  • Write clear instructions for participants to guide them through breakout and brainstorming activities;
  • Manage interactive and collaborative activities in brainstorming and breakout room sessions;
  • Anticipate the issues participants may have during breakout and brainstorming session.

Week 3: Using Whiteboards and Chat

This session provide tips and techniques for innovative use of whiteboards and chats to create participant interaction and engagement.

This session takes participants through tips and techniques on how to: 

  • Add icebreakers and brain teasers as whiteboard and chat exercises to maximize interaction and collaboration;
  • Create and using word search puzzles to review key terms;
  • Train with quizzes.

Week 4: Web Browsing, Application Sharing, and Designing virtual classroom facilitator guide.

This session demonstrates how to create interaction and collaboration in a virtual classroom setting using synchronized web browsing:

  • Use a facilitator guide template to design effective web browsing exercises that maximize interaction and collaboration;
  • Develop instructions for participants to guide them through their activities;
  • Anticipate issues and design solutions with participant management of activities;
  • Review and use a facilitator’s guide and session plan template to design exercises that maximize interaction and collaboration.

Week 5: Practice delivering interactive and collaborative live session

This session gives participants the opportunity to practice what they learned.  Each participant will be given five minutes to practice delivering an interactive and collaborative live session.

  • Each participant will prepare a ten-minutes live session on a topic of his or her choice (individually or in pairs);
  • During the practice session, participants will be required to employ an interaction and collaboration activity learned in this course or they can try new activities;
  • Receive feedback.

There will be two webinar sessions for practice activities.

Target audience

Anyone involved in online training and interested in strengthening their ability to engage participants during live training events.

Cost of participation

The cost of participation is $1,000.