How to Be a Better Remote Instructor
Teaching online is a different experience than teaching in a traditional brick-and-mortar environment. For remote instructors looking to engage online learners, a different set of skills and techniques is needed. Remote instructor-led training is becoming the norm these days, as more and more businesses switch to remote working. If you want to be more effective as a virtual instructor, here are some tips to help you.
Your Choice of Language Matters
In a traditional classroom, you can easily interact with learners personally and create the kind of atmosphere you want. This is not the case with virtual training. When you can’t count on body language to help you, your choice of language determines the level of engagement in a remote instructor-led environment. You want to be professional yet at the same time connect with your learners on a personal level. That’s why it’s essential to use appropriate but conversational language when interacting with your participants and when delivering the lesson.
Why Tone and Inflection Matters
One of the disadvantages of online teaching is that your learners can’t see your body language, so you can’t rely on it to transfer the message entirely. All online learners see is your face, and in many cases, they only hear your voice. What will captivate them and make them pay attention to what you say? If you think it’s the lesson’s content, you are wrong. No matter how carefully you prepare the lesson and how brilliant your content is, your learners will lose attention if your voice is dull or if you speak in a monotonous way.
Research has shown that most people judge you by the way you speak. If your voice is soft and low, you may come across as being weak and shy. If your voice is too tense, you may be perceived as being nervous. When it comes to online instructor-led training, your voice matters and how you say it does. Speak too quickly, and your learners may have trouble understanding you. Have a strong accent? Some learners may have difficulty as well. However, contrary to some beliefs, your speaking voice is not fixed. With enough practice and willpower, you can improve it. Focus on the following qualities when speaking to your online participants: transparency, enthusiasm, clarity, focus, and warmth.
Create and Follow a Course Agenda
Remote instructor-led training courses rely heavily on a well-defined course agenda. While in a physical classroom, you can improvise as you see fit; the nature of an online classroom makes it harder to do so. Students or participants can’t turn the book to another page or navigate elsewhere without losing focus on the screen. An online remote instructor needs to prepare and structure the lesson well to go through it without disrupting the learner’s attention. While it’s recommended to follow a course plan, keep in mind that each person has a different learning style. You may want to delve deeper into personalized learning to adapt your course to individual needs better.
Encourage Q&A Sessions
Online learners can quickly feel isolated and alone in their journey if they don’t feel connected to the remote instructor or other classmates. One of the most recommended virtual instructor-led training best practices is to organize regular Q&A sessions. This way, learners can get their questions answered and, at the same time, interact with and learn from other course participants. This is perhaps the most social part of any virtual training course, and it helps keep the engagement level high.
Above are some practical and effective virtual instructor-led training tips to help you become a better online instructor. Making the transition from a traditional classroom to an online environment takes time and adjustment. However, since the world is moving towards digitalization, learning how to be a better online instructor will pay off in the long run.