Virtual Classrooms: 3 Essential Topics for Highly Interactive Trainings

Online trainings and virtual classrooms come with their fair share of pros and cons, some common sense and some not-so-obvious. Based on past experiences, I would encourage adoption of a few practices (below) to foster interactive participation in trainings and classrooms.

Basic rules and reminders

Please kindly observe the “ground rules” and reminders below:

  1. Mute your mic when you are not speaking; help reduce audio feedback and picking up of background noise.
  2. Maintain video and camera connection at all times.
  3. Display the name you would like to be addressed by.
  4. Ensure that you are taking this video call in a quiet place (free from audio and visual distractions).
  5. Refrain from taking this video call during a commute or in a transitory environment.
  6. Refrain from working or multi-tasking on unrelated matters.
  7. Ensure that your background is “clean” (no embarrassing, sensitive, and confidential information visible).
  8. Raise questions via the chatroom (to streamline management of the classroom, we won’t be monitoring any “raise / lower hand” function).

Breakout room notes

The following applies where Zoom breakout rooms are adopted:

  • The trainer may share worksheets and other materials with the class during breakout group work time.
  • Download shared worksheets and other materials via the chat screen in Zoom. This is available in the desktop version of Zoom; not the mobile version (at the time of this post).
  • Save a copy of the completed files with filenames identifying you or your group (e.g. XXXX_GroupZ).
  • Once you have completed the requisite worksheets and materials, share the files by uploading them in the chat screen.
  • During the group discussion, you will be invited to share your screen to present the group work and the relevant files.

Online security

Online security is a unique aspect of running virtual classrooms.

  • The links to access video calls should be password protected, and only invited participants should be shared the relevant access link and password.
  • “Waiting room” function may be enabled at the start of a video call.
  • Participants may be muted by default upon joining a video call.
  • Only the host(s) should have default access to share screen. The host will enable the share screen function for participants when they are invited to present.