Inside BEST Practices for the Virtual Classroom and Blended Learning

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BEST Practices for Virtual Classroom and Blended Learning

The learner of today has instantaneous access to information virtually anywhere, anytime. In contrast, the traditional classroom environment required learners to participate in a 5 day workshop. This is very different from the new world of life and work.

Wikipedia reports that there were 7.1 billion internet users in 2013 which represented 71% of people in the developed world and 39% in the developing world (compared to 6.5 billion users in 2005 representing 51% in the developed world and 8% in the developing world). Increasingly, more of these users are accessing information on their mobile phones as the number of mobile phones exceeded 6.8 billion in 2013 as well. In fact, it is estimated that 50 billion instant messages were sent in 2014.

  • LinkedIn: 332 million LinkedIn users.
  • Facebook: 890 million daily active users (745 million on mobile).
  • YouTube: 300 videos are uploaded every minute.
  • Uber: 1 million daily trips.
  • Yelp: 72 million 71 million reviews.
  • Wikipedia: 31 million articles in 285 languages.

So what does this mean for the learner? They expect and in fact demand a learning environment that is more like their daily work environment.

  • Instant access.
  • Easy and quick.
  • When I want it.
  • Where I want it.
  • How I want it.
  • Connected to others.
  • Continuously updated.
  • Totally relevant.

This book is focused on 185 Best Practices aimed at supporting the type of Blended Learning Environment just described. These best practices are based on our research of Blended Learning and Virtual Classroom Best Practices, over 20 years of experience researching virtual and remote team effectiveness and practical experience designing and leading hundreds of virtual meetings, webinars, workshops as well as Virtual Classroom and Blended Learning experiences across the globe.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction                                                                                     3
  • Developer (Designer/Architect) Best Practices                        9
    • Blended Learning                                                                      9
    • Virtual Classroom Technology                                              57
    • Virtual Classroom Design                                                      65
    • Designing for Engagement and Interaction                       79
    • Effective PowerPoint Design                                                 99
    • Managing the Virtual Classroom Experience                   103
  • Administrator (Coordinator) Best Practices                           111
  • Producer (Host/Moderator) Best Practices                            125
  • Presenter (Instructor/Facilitator/Trainer) Best Practices  143
  • Guest Speakers Best Practices                                                   151
  • Technical Support Best Practices                                             153
  • Participants (Attendees/Learners) Best Practices                159
  • Blended Learning Technology Vendors                                  165
  • The Future of Blended Learning: More Best Practices        193
  • References and Resources                                                         195
  • About the Authors and VirtualeTeams                                   209