Top tips for developing and delivering online training

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Top tips for developing and delivering online training including The Skills to FosterTM Pre-approval course digital edition.

Preparing online courses

Firstly, you will need to consider which platform to use to deliver your online training. Zoom has proven to be one of the most popular platforms for delivering online training because it allows the trainer and participants to all see one another on screen at the same time. It also has other features such as break out rooms, screen sharing and a chat function that lends itself to training delivery. If you decide to use Zoom, here is some information to consider

Although Zoom has recently been updated and now includes end to end encryption, we appreciate that some fostering services have made the decision not to use Zoom due to concerns around security, so please consider other platforms such as Microsoft Teams that are available and can also be used for delivering training online.

Here are some other areas to consider when preparing an online course:

  • Design your online sessions and adapt materials according to your platform.
  • Consider hosting an additional welcome session to test technology and troubleshoot any issues.
  • Amend the group learning agreement to set out how participants should engage in the online course and with each other.
  • Agree availability between sessions and contact either between participants and/or with the trainer.
  • Consider how families will be able to participate from home and what activities might be needed.
  • Keep group numbers small, for example to four or five groups or families. 
  • Have shorter, more frequent sessions, for example no longer than two to three hours.
  • Consider and agree if you are going to record sessions and seek permission from trainers and participants.

 

Preparing course sessions

  • Ask participants to mute their microphones when not speaking, to reduce distracting noise.
  • Encourage participants to make eye contact with their camera.
  • As with a face-to-face course, continue to use a range of learning methods, for example presentation slides, films and your screen. 
  • Start with an informal ice breaker.
  • Send participants into virtual breakout groups to encourage them to work together.
  • Allow for a slower pace and create a structured way for people to share views.
  • Schedule in short breaks.

 

Ensure trainers have:

  • time to plan and prepare for each session
  • the opportunity to practice using the equipment and run through sessions
  • a colleague to support delivery of the training, for example troubleshooting any issues with the technology and coordinating a chat/comments function if using
  • a good internet connection
  • a computer with a camera, speakers and a microphone
  • a quiet, private space to deliver from
  • shared joining instructions with participants in advance of sessions.

 

Ensure all participants have:

  • a good internet connection
  • a computer with a camera, speakers and a microphone
  • a quiet, private space to join from
  • log in details in advance of the session
  • the agenda, course materials and handbook in advance
  • information on how to participate in the training, for example how should they comment or ask questions
  • details of how to log out.