For help, advice and discussion about stuff not related to aviation. Play nice: no religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
#1779036
Any opinions? I suspect I will have to split my (classroom) 6 hour r/t course (includes a sample practice practical test demo) to go online v soon. In the real world i either do 1 x 6 hour in classroom or 2x 3 hour evening class, but suspect online without others to bounce off, 3x 2 hours sessions might be better. Any opinions?
#1779044
Like many others, I have spent most of the last three months on interminable Zoom, MS Teams, Webex, WhatsApp etc calls.

After more than 2 hours I am trying to remember where we keep the rusty razor blades.
Irv Lee, T6Harvard liked this
#1779047
I think the reason to do long sessions is to avoid waste of time travelling to/from too often - which is not relevant with online meetings.
So it should simply be down to the most effective time span in terms of learning. Unlike live sessions, online sessions tend to be mostly receptive for the students (ie limited interaction) - my personal feeling is that you very quickly will start to lose them after an hour. And, as opposed to live sessions where you see that, you will probably not be aware of it happening.
And also for you, it gets very tiring very quickly.
I have still not got used to presenting at webinars with hundreds of people in the 'audience'. Very unnerving to drone on for any length of time without any visual or audio feedback at all, knowing they were there - or were they? :think:

So I think 2 hour session are pushing the limit but may be OK if you add variety, take a break, get them to interact etc. I would also suggest that you do ask them to turn on their cameras (unless you have very large classes) and that you often go back to showing your face and not just the slides - or both if your system allows you to. Zoom allows you to have 'polls' as you go along - you could e.g. use these as multiple choice questions as go you along to keep them entertained?

But this is just my opinion - others are sure to have their own and it may also depend on the demographic of your students... Maybe a google on 'best ways to teach online' could give some food for thought?
Graham56, Irv Lee, T67M and 1 others liked this
#1779051
I run training courses in Business Writing and related subjects, and like every other trainer, have moved to online delivery. I'm still learning how to make this work.

I think it depends a lot on the motivation of the participants (high in your case), the distractions they face (emails arriving, kids and pets, etc).

60 min sessions
I've run courses in 1 hour segments (plus a few minutes to deal with technical issues etc). The participants also get practical activities to do ('homework') between the sessions. An hour works pretty well. Online learning is intense and they have lots of distractions nearby, so the 60min keeps them involved. It doesn't allow much time for group discussion or group activities though.

90 min sessions
I've also run 90 min sessions. In this case I use short practical activities for group use within the sessions (sending the participants to Zoom breakout rooms for a few minutes). This also works pretty well and working in teams breaks the ice and encourages them to talk and chip in during the session. It allows you a little flex to go up highways and byways to suit the group.

Longer?
I'm not sure about this. I think you'll lose them to emails and other distractions unless you are a seriously rivetting performer...

I'm supposed to be doing a programme with three-hour sessions, two per day, in September. I'm not sure how this is going to work, but that's what we are going to try.

General
As I said, I'm still feeling my way, but this is not an easy option by any means. There is always someone with technical issues who can't make their system work, and in every case so far I've had to offer sweep-up session to people who couldn't attend a module or dropped out for whatever reason.

Breaking the ice between the participants and persuading them to join in is more difficult than in a classroom. Some people will also be reluctant to switch on their camera, so you won't even know if they are still there,

One problem for me is the difficulty of 'reading the room' . You don't get anything like the feedback from participants that you do when they are sitting in front of you. And in Zoom or Teams, if you share your screen to present a visual element (powerpoint etc) you don't see most of your participants, so it sometimes feels that you are speaking into the void.

The other issue about visuals and screen sharing is that they don't always work too well if the participants are using a phone. You need to make your text larger and readable than is necessary for a large screen.

It's all doable though. And right now, people and businesses are prepared to accept it all being a bit 'rough round the edges'. Although in a year's time we'll need to be a bit slicker and more 'business-like'.

I can see this being the main way I'll be delivering training in the future. Although I don't like it so much, I'll have to adapt to the market.

Good luck with it!

Graham
Irv Lee, Morten, T67M and 1 others liked this
#1779055
Thanks all so far, as I sort of suspected, but heeding your inputs, maybe over 3 days (not necessarily consecutive) with an hour late morning, break for an hour lunch, another hour.
When I do the 2x3 hours evenings I leave a week between to allow "thinking and preparing questions" before the 2nd evening.
Now I think about it, the 6 hours includes breaks so it isn't really 6 hours, it is 5 point something.
T6Harvard liked this
#1779064
Irv Lee wrote:Now I think about it, the 6 hours includes breaks so it isn't really 6 hours, it is 5 point something.

That's like the proverbial Eskimo* numbering system, isn't it? "One... Two... Many".

In other words, doesn't matter whether 5.x or 6 hours, even your famed extra-riveting delivery using the Medium of Modern Dance is going to have lost 'em ages ago.




*@kanga : I know, I know. I have referred myself to an anthropologist for re-education.
kanga liked this
#1779074
Zoom meetings where people already know each other, with minutes, agenda, papers beforehand max 90 mins

Teaching strangers:

Compulsory reading beforehand.
Examples presented to illustrate the theory in practice, multi media, 20 mins then 10 mins Q&A.
10 mins break, strictly enforced.
Repeat x3
Set next compulsory reading.
Fin

2 to 3 sessions per week. Allow recording by students or remote access via portal for those who had to look after kids, be on call etc. ( For limited % of sessions ).


Personally it’s hell, not my style at all.
T6Harvard liked this
#1779076
Some people really aren't comfortable with feeding back to a very large group - so discussing in small groups (using Zoom breakout rooms) helps and breaks up lessons nicely. Its harder to guage the room when video calling compared to in person so shorter blocks work best. Make sure that people are aware of the planned breaks in advance.
#1779077
Morten wrote:I think the reason to do long sessions is to avoid waste of time travelling to/from too often

Absolutely agree.
At work we're a national organisation, and so tended to have infrequent half-day meetings because people had to get there. You'd cover lots of topics, people present on behalf of others to avoid travelling, etc etc.
Initially this simply got replicated to video calls (perhaps not entirely bad initially as in the early days there was 10 minutes of 'I think you're on mute', 'can you see my screen now?' etc )....... but now we're in the swing of it, 30 minutes meetings focus on a particular topic is the way to go, and no excuse not to get the expert to dial in and talk through his stuff, rather than his boss having to blag it.
Not sure if this replicates to training, but a consideration...
#1779079
Dave W wrote:
Irv Lee wrote:That's like the proverbial Eskimo* numbering system, isn't it? "One... Two... Many".





*@kanga : I know, I know. I have referred myself to an anthropologist for re-education.


Nakungmek.... :)


Inuktitut does accommodate a full range of numerals, cardinal and ordinal; otiose to provide here.

However, it's partly correct in that it has 3 grammatical numbers: singular, dual, and plural. These can inflect verbs, nouns and adjectives (although these are slightly unsuitable ways of describing the word forms, which are agglutinative). The dual is a feature of European languages, too: classical Greek and older Slavonics had one, modern Slovene still does, and it is still apparent in some contemporary Russian nouns. It is also used in the Semitics such as Arabic.

</Linguistic nerd :oops: >
Last edited by kanga on Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dave W, T6Harvard liked this
#1779081
I haven't read the other replies so as to not colour my opinion.

Short and sweet would be my suggestion. Small punchy nuggets packed with good info.

90 minutes / two hours is far, far too long to keep people engaged unless you're the most amazing presenter in the world and even then it would be a challenge.

Plus, everyone is absolutely zoomed out at the moment. I scream every time someone invites me to one now...
T6Harvard liked this
#1779087
Dave W wrote:
Irv Lee wrote:Now I think about it, the 6 hours includes breaks so it isn't really 6 hours, it is 5 point something.

That's like the proverbial Eskimo* numbering system, isn't it? "One... Two... Many".

In other words, doesn't matter whether 5.x or 6 hours, even your famed extra-riveting delivery using the Medium of Modern Dance is going to have lost 'em ages ago.

Don't panic Mr Mainwaring, I wasn't meaning I would revert to long sessions, I was just realising the "meat" would fit into 5 x 1 hour sessions, with a follow up short practice demo test (typical navex as per the safety sense Leaflets) to finish, and if it ran ahead of plan, demo could be in the 5th not separate.
Dave W, T6Harvard liked this