Whether you are an educator in a school, an office worker, or a keynote speaker at next month’s conference, you are likely currently feeling the pressure of shifting to working remotely. How will you have the same impact teaching/learning/working from a distance? As professionals in the eLearning industry for more than 20 years, Obsidian Learning has a few tips to help with this transition.

  1. Set up your learning or workspace at home for success. Find a quiet, comfortable place at home free from distractions and with good lighting. Make sure it is ergonomically suitable since you may be spending a lot of time in this space. If you will be connecting using a webcam, be sure you are happy with what others may see in your background or select a virtual background if available.

  2. Use all the features of your communication/learning software to moderate and engage. Familiarize yourself with how to mute/unmute participants, transfer presenters, set up breakout groups, take polls, chat, use the whiteboard, and use participant engagement indicators. Consider a quick tool orientation/review at the beginning of the session. When teaching a large group, and when possible, invite a colleague to serve the role as “producer” for you, managing the technology so you can focus on the instruction.

  3. Schedule one-on-one time in addition to group sessions. Not everyone is wired for success in remote learning, and all of us need human connection. If you are presenting to a very large group, consider a way to offer direct support at least for those who may need it most.
  4. Stay focused. Consider setting a timer for short, focused learning “sprints” then another for your “downtimes.” Then stick to the timing. Your brain will get better at shifting gears and maintaining focus with consistent practice. Hydration also impacts focus! Keep a spill-proof water bottle handy while you learn or teach.

  5. Be sure to record sessions for later viewing. This gives participants more flexibility and may provide you with a useful learning asset you can leverage in the future.

  6. If creating stand-alone courses or live webinars, keep individual lessons short and use variety in presentation. Have a strategy for intermittent learning checks to boost engagement and to confirm comprehension. Allow participants to take breaks and then return for more!

We know shifting quickly to an online format is challenging. As learners and presenters, be patient with the process. Treat it as a learning opportunity and lean in to expanding your skills. Take advantage of the support and reference guides likely available for the tools you are using. Here is a quick checklist to get your “conversion” thinking started. And if we can help in any way, be sure to reach out.

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