Tip 1: Prepare before the actual online course.
- Important to connect one week before the course to get to know each other
- Get to know your scholars in advance.
Tip 2: Prepare each session
- Prepare a few reflective questions.
- Identify connections between large group didactic content and small group discussions in advance; these can be shared with scholars to deepen their learning.
Tip 3: Get to know your learners in the first session
- Short introduction from each scholar. Avoid creating hierarchies, but people should get to know a little about the professional and personal background of others.
Tip 4: Start each session with a check-in
- Do a short check-in to connect with your learners and to make certain that everyone is mentally present to participate in the discussion.
- Approach each session with humble inquiry, curiosity, and mutual respect as human relationships and compassion make a difference in the learning environment.
Tip 5: End the session with takeaways
- To solidify the acquisition of concepts, do a round table on takeaways. Facilitators can also role model by sharing their own takeaways. This may enhance psychological safety of the virtual environment and encourage learners to share their takeaways
Tip 6: Focus the discussion on previous experiences and how to apply knowledge
- Ask learners how these concepts relate to their professional and personal life and how they will be able to apply them in their work. This can align learning with the Kolb cycle, moving from activating prior knowledge to acquiring new knowledge to applying it in their reality. (See picture below)
Tip 7: Be open to feedback
- Ask learners to give feedback on the experience in the new learning environment for everyone.
- Be vulnerable to make sure the scholars have the best experience possible.
Tip 8: Share the leadership
- We found that alternating the primary leader each session worked well. This allows learners to experience different teaching styles and get a strong message that there is no hierarchy.
- As a rule and when possible, consider co-facilitating, this can make virtual learning more
Tip 9: Manage time effectively
- Be strict on time management to make true on the learning objectives.
- Time for a mental break between sessions.
Tip 10: Be open to discussing different topics
- Avoid stopping a useful discussion if productive and relevant just to cover all the topics. It is the foundation of meaningful connections.
Tip 11: Listen more, speak less, the person doing the talking is the person doing the learning.
- Avoid taking too much space and derail a useful conversation for scholars. Avoid filling a silence with your intervention to help introvert learners have a space to intervene.
Tip 12: Take advantage of the virtual environment benefits
- The possibility of sending private messages. This can help facilitators to enrich the discussion.
- Use the chat to share links to interesting articles, but you should make sure to avoid having more conversations in the chat than verbally among scholars.
- Use the whiteboard to summarize ideas and concepts.