I’m in Bogota, Colombia this week, observing a day long face-to-face delivery of a business writing course for English speakers to convert to a global virtual delivery. The virtual delivery of this course will be piloted with several countries in the Middle East.
This means that the content needs to be truly global and examples and images must be meaningful across different countries. One thing we learned in the live delivery was that a reference to a “lightning bug” wasn’t meaningful to the English speaking Latin American audience. Also participants had never heard the word “toil” as part of an example of using short words in the famous Winston Churchill speech “I have nothing to offer you but blood, tears, toil, and sweat.”
Other changes will be with the exercises. Throughout the face-to-face course, participants discuss key learning points with their neighbors such as word choice and sentence structure. In the virtual classroom we plan to show writing samples and give participants the opportunity to make edits live on the screen. We’ll also screen share examples of documents with track changes to illustrate examples – this is sometimes tricky in a face-to-face setting because it’s difficult to see, but in the virtual classroom participants will have a much better view of the edited document.
The conversion process I’m following is to:
- Inventory all materials used for the face-to-face delivery
- Observe a live delivery
- Update the trainer guide to include sections for the producer actions and on-screen visuals
- Adjust slides and exercises for the virtual classroom
- Update the participant workbook to reflect changes made to exercises and other changes
Only three weeks until the pilot and still a lot of work to do!