The Global Virtual Classroom: ASTD Handbook

by Darlene Christopher on April 27, 2014

Handbook-Cover1In an increasingly global business environment, many organizations are turning to virtual classrooms to bring individuals and teams together to deliver learning programs. A workplace learning professional who can advise their business stakeholders and/or clients how to manage this growing area can be a tremendous asset to their organization. Trainers who are used to the physical classroom can get comfortable in the virtual classroom with some practice.

What it takes to successfully design and deliver virtual training for international participants is the subject of a chapter I recently authored for the ASTD Handbook (2nd edition) which will be released at the ASTD International Conference next week.  My chapter is called the Global Virtual Classroom and it covers several essential areas to focus on when delivering training to a remote global audience, including:

  • Facilitation Team: You’ll want to make sure your facilitator has strong live virtual facilitation skills and has led training for global participants.  The facilitator also needs to partner with an experienced producer.
  • Logistics: Selecting a time and date for a global session can be tricky.  Make sure to time your session(s) so they are convenient for your participants.
  • Environment: It’s important that participants have access to the right equipment such as a computer/laptop with headphones.  You’ll also want to check with local IT contacts about bandwidth constraints and do some testing.
  • Language:  What language will be used for the session?  If English, use “international” English and slow your pace a bit for non-native speakers.
  • Cultural Considerations:  Expectations of what trainers and participants are supposed to do and how they are supposed to act differ around the world.  Find a local contact who can help demystify this for you.

Spending a little extra time planning how you will handle these areas plus other factors can make a big difference when offering training to remote participants in global locations.


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