In general, you want to reduce the end user’s cognitive load. Basically, that means you don’t want them to waste their energy trying to figure out how to navigate and use the tool, especially during the live session (unless, that is, you have a session specifically on tool use). You want them to use that cognitive energy for learning the content!
Consider these key questions when designing your live virtual learning session:
- How will you clearly communicate norms and expectations to participants prior to your live meeting?
- How will you clearly communicate learning goals during the session?
- How will you communicate information beyond just speaking? How might you use slides, video, chat, or other outside tools to enhance student learning and engagement in the session?
- What platform will you be using?
- Are there any unique features for the platform that you are planning to use?
- How might you expect students to use this platform or any additional tools during the session?
Design and Format
- How might you use your first virtual learning session to have participants practice the expectations that you communicated? (You can provide demonstrations and then have participants practice how to use chat, emojis, breakout rooms, or any other features you plan on using.)
- How might you use something that is familiar in a normal classroom setting and do it in a digital way?
- How might you build relational capacity during your live virtual learning session?
- What will your group size be?
- How long will your session be?
- How will you practice your teaching session and feel comfortable before you hold a live session? (You can run through your session on your own or with a colleague, family member, or friend. Practice using all the tools and sharing content so that there won’t be additional dead airtime during your live session.)