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Virtual ILT and Staying Connected

#becomeanidol #elearning #idolcourses #instructionaldesign #instructorledtraining #learningexperiencedesign #virtualtrainings Aug 06, 2020

I have been living in the Middle East for the last two years.  Although I am far away from my home in the United States, I have been able to connect with learning and development professionals from home and around the world.  Covid-19 has changed the world, but my face-to-face connections have been limited this year; my digital ones have been plentiful. I have my days where I can get Zoomed out or tired of all the screen time like anyone else. I make sure to choose encounters that I need to attend for work or ones I find interesting and will help me grow as a professional and network.

Virtual Instructor-led Training

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a Digital Encounter from the Central Florida ATD Chapter with special guest Jo Cook and Mike Cook.  Jo and Mike are a brother and sister team from the United Kingdom who are experts in the virtual classroom and webinar facilitation.

 Jo was a dynamic speaker who showed in practice how to facilitate Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) effectively.  In our post Covid-19 world, many people are attempting to transition their face-to-face instruction to engaging virtual training. This can be somewhat of a Brave New World for some trainers. Leaving the unknown world of the classroom to a virtual space can be scary and challenging. In this Zoom meeting, Jo and Mike highlighted some tools built into the interface that could easily engage participants during an instruction.  Another simple technique Jo used was using participant names. People like to feel recognized for their contribution to the conversation, even the virtual world. Jo shared her facilitator guide or live online classroom sessions (Thanks Jo and Mike for a great session). If you ever have the opportunity to join Jo and Mike in a virtual session, it is definitely worth your time. 


Staying Connected

I have leveraged the IDOL courses Academy community to add to my social connection during this time. Although I have not met Dr. Robin Sargent in person or any of the Academy members, I have gained friends in the L & D community and beyond. Additionally, if you are a Facebook person, I also enjoy the Become an Instructional Designer and Online Learning Developer and the Instructional Design Jobs groups to connect and learn about openings. 

 I have had several projects I am working on for work and some personal ones as well. I took this idea from voice over artist Josh Risser who has a remote workgroup called Remote Does Work.  Within the IDOL courses Academy, I have been hosting coworking sessions, providing protected time to work on your projects, and socialize in between and grow a supportive working environment for the group. It helps me stay accountable and keep on moving forward towards my various goals. If you have an accountability group or some ID friends this is a great way to get motivated. 

One of my favorite Global events has been John Hinchliffe’s Zoom L&D meetup held on Fridays. You have to see when he posts to sign up as times vary each week to meet the various time zones.  I have had the opportunity to meet L&D professionals from all over the world in multiple roles.  This is where I first met Jo Cook. Get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there and make new connections. You never know where they might lead. 

Lastly, I will be moving to San Antonio next month, so I joined the San Antonio ATD Chapter.  Yesterday they had their first virtual happy hour.  This was a great way to start networking and getting to know my new L&D community.

 Take advantage of the various virtual encounters out there that uplift you in some way personally or professionally.


Connect with Tabatha on LinkedIn or Instagram.

Tabatha is an EdTech entrepreneur, instructional designer, content writer, and educator dedicated to developing interactive and engaging learning ecosystems. She has a passion for gamification, learning experience design, and the integration of social learning to improve learner engagement and knowledge retention. Also, she is a respiratory therapist who hosts The Vent Room podcast providing a little inspiration to respiratory therapists.