CQI / IRCA VILT Course Delivery Tutor Guidance

1. Preparation
  • Facilitator guide - print it out and have it in front of you
  • Timings - Have a ‘plan B’ and know in advance where you can adjust your timings
  • Practice - run through your plan before starting
  • Links and documents - make sure all the links work and that all the exercises and documents you need are to hand
  • Virtual classroom platform - make sure you are fluent in the platform you are using. While many virtual classroom platforms have similar features, they can work quite differently.
  • Technical interferences 
    • Check your webcam and mic 
    • Turn off email and instant messaging notifications and pop ups 
    • Close down other applications that you do not need for the session
  • Prepare your workstation
    • Check that you and your work area are clean and tidy 
    • Have a bottle of water, pen, paper and highlighter handy
  • Be prepared 
    • Create a learner monitoring sheet where you can make a tally of who has participated and how. (Some platforms can collect this data for you) 
    • Log on to the virtual classroom early so you can greet people and start to build rapport 
    • Have solutions to common technical problems available in an FAQ document so you can cut and paste them into the chat if needed
2. Course introduction

  • First impressions
    • Create a warm, welcoming, informal environment. Use people’s names
    • Use the webcam and request that learners do the same, particularly at the start of the course; ask learners to use gallery view so they can see their colleagues and start to build a rapport
    • Set expectations for contributions – tell the group you will be calling on individuals by name
  • Useful tools
    • Make sure everyone is comfortable with the use of the tools, and demonstrate basic functions, e.g. hands up, emoticons, chat, participant window
    • Ask them to use the coffee cup symbol if they need to pop away for a minute
    • Show learners how to change their names…consider asking them to add useful information to their names, e.g. their organisation, department or role
  • Learner engagement
    • Keep introduction sessions short, punchy and focused. Get the group to use chat, e.g. to say why they are on the course. This way everyone can participate simultaneously, and you can pick out key issues from the chat comments. You also then have a record of what each person said that you can refer back to later
    • Set the ‘rules of engagement’ for the course, e.g. use of hands up feature, chat feature, screen sharing etc

3. General

  • Responding to participants
    • Pay close attention to the participant and chat section. Make sure you (or your co-facilitator or producer) responds to hands up and chat comments and questions promptly
    • Keep up the pace, do not allow pauses where learners do not know what is happening and find other distractions to entertain themselves – tell them what you are doing in the dead bits
    • Speak to the learners, not the computer
    • Verbal interaction and conversations should be encouraged and where possible mics left unmuted. But keep it focused – a longwinded explanation from a learner will lose the rest of the group. And make sure there are no distracting external noises being picked up by the learner’s mic
    • Communication via chat can be useful if learners have different first languages – it is often easier to write in another language than speak it
    • De-mark the chat subjects or questions by typing **************************** between sections
  • Using your voice
    • Work on your ‘radio’ voice. With limited body language, your voice needs to be particularly engaging. 
    • Use variations in tone, volume, pace and energy to emphasise points and keep the session lively
  • Using a producer
    • Consider using a producer to assist with the session module delivery
  • Timings
    • Keep focus on time and keep the delivery punchy
    • Encourage learners to move away from their screens in the breaks and do something physical
    • To ensure learners have sufficient screen breaks and have an opportunity to move around, there will be breaks every hour, a minimum of 10 minutes per hour of VILT delivery.
    • Stick to timings but know where you can flex. Start and finish on time

4. Activities

  • Introducing activities
    • Learners should be invited to actively participate, ideally every 3–5 minutes, through speaking, reading, chat, hands up, answering a poll, breakout group etc
    • Every activity needs a clear objective
    • Use a slide to introduce the activity and specify what you want learners to do and what tool to use
  • Question tips
    • Avoid broad, open questions broadcast to the whole group
    • When asking questions, ask a closed question and ask for hands up or a yes/no response. Then nominate a named individual to elaborate or share their experience
  • Engaging learners
    • Monitor the activity levels of different learners and involve people by name, particularly if they have not been active
    • Ask learners to nominate another member of the group, e.g. to answer the next question in a quiz
    • Keep a few short interactive games/quizzes at hand to break up lengthy sessions with a bit of fun
    • Apply creativity to meeting skills objectives when simulating real work situations online, e.g. for audit courses, script an audit and have learners play the auditee roles
    • Should ensure each learner actively participates. Active participation is where the learner is asked to do something other than listening passively; this could include:
      • structured exercises and activities, 
      • providing answers to questions using icons or chat, 
      • using emoticons to show their reaction to something, 
      • annotating a PowerPoint slide with a sticker, 
      • reading something, 
      • discussion (verbal or chat), 
      • answering polls etc.

5. Equipment

  • Quality of hearing
    • Wear a headset (wireless if possible so that you do not have to sit down the whole time), and encourage learners to do the same
  • Presenting yourself virtually
    • Use an external high definition webcam if possible, and set it up to optimise the picture, e.g.
    • With the light in front of you so your face is not in shadow or a light source, such as a window or lamp is not behind you
    • Set the camera up near the chat and participants section of your screen – this is where you will be looking, so it gives the impression of eye contact
    • Consider your background carefully or use a virtual background
    • Use two screens if possible – use the second screen so you can share documents by dragging and dropping from your second screen to your main screen without stopping or switching screens

6. Technical support

  • Internet stability
    • Have a broadband backup or work with a co-facilitator/producer in another location who can take over if your internet fails
    • Know how to connect to a ‘Mobile Hotspot’ so you can connect via a mobile device if the power fails
    • Connect to the broadband router via a wired connection if possible, rather than Wi-Fi
  • Supporting learners
    • Technical support should be available to learners before and during the sessions
    • Suggest that learners download software and test the connection before the session
    • Have a ‘plan B’ for all situations!

Last modified: Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 5:13 PM