The single most important factor for successful digital learning is the attitude both of the instructor as well as of the attendees towards the course format. Delivery of countless Live Virtual Classes (LVCs) for Oracle University made me realize that. There are technical prerequisites of course: A reliable and fast network connection and the usage of a good headset is mandatory, else the participant is doomed from the start. Other prerequisites are the same as for traditional courses: Good course material, working lab environment for hands on practices and last not least knowledgeable instructors. For that part notice that we have the very same courseware, lab environments and instructors like for our classroom courses at Oracle University education centers also for LVCs. The major difference is in your head 🙂
Delivering my first couple of LVCs, I felt quite uncomfortable with that new format. Accordingly, my performance was not as good as usual. Meanwhile, I consider the LVC format as totally adequate for my courses and that attitude enables me to deliver them with the same performance as my classroom courses. Actually, they are even better to some degree: I always struggle producing clean sketches with readable handwriting on the whiteboard. Now look at this MS paint sketch from one of my Data Guard LVCs:
Attendees get all my sketches per email if they like afterwards.
In short: Because I’m happy delivering through LVC today, I’m now able to do it with high quality. The attitude defines the outcome.
Did you ever have a teacher in school that you just disliked for some reason? It was hard to learn anything from that teacher, right? Even if that person was competent.
So this is also true on the side of the attendee: The attitude defines the outcome. If you take an LVC thinking “This cannot work!”, chances are that you are right just because of your mindset. When you attend an LVC with an open mind – even after some initial trouble because you need to familiarize yourself with the learning platform and the way things are presented there – it is much more likely that you will benefit from it. You may even like it better than classroom courses because you can attend from home without the time and expenses it takes to travel 🙂
Some common objections against LVC I have heard from customers and my usual responses:
An LVC doesn’t deliver the same amount of interaction like a classroom course!
That is not necessarily so: You are in a small group (mostly less than 10) that is constantly in an audio conference. Unmute yourself and say anything you like, just like in a classroom. Additionally, you have a chatbox available. This is sometimes extremely helpful, especially with non-native speakers in the class 🙂 You can easily exchange email addresses using the chatbox as well and stay in touch even after the LVC.
I have no appropriate working place to attend an LVC!
You have no appropriate working place at all, then, for something that requires a certain amount of concentration. Talk to your manager about it – maybe there is something like a quiet room available during the LVC.
I cannot keep up the attention when starring the whole day on the computer screen!
Of course not, that is why we have breaks and practices in between the lessons.
Finally, I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences with online courses! What is your attitude towards Digital Learning?