Remote training

This page has been designed to offer some basic advice and guidance to presenters about running sessions via a webinar, as well as providing information for course owners about the administrative support from the People Development team.  People Development (PD) are currently trialling delivery options and will add advice to this page as we develop the procedures for supporting different systems.  If you have any feedback or thoughts about systems you have used please do let us know at peopledevelopment@exeter.ac.uk.  If you would like to discuss your session with an L&D manager please email peopledevelopment@exeter.ac.uk.

Online Tutorials: The People Development team can offer online tutorials to run through the basics of using Teams Meetings to deliver training and to help you navigate the key areas of the system.  Please email peopledevelopment@exeter.ac.uk for more information.

There are lots of resources about generic presentations on the University’s resource bank LearnSmart.

The Academic Development team have also produced a useful guide, with some great advice about online course delivery.  Areas of interest are:
•    8 Tips for Modifying Material for online delivery
•    Turning face to face content to online delivery
•    Remote Learning Teaching Tips
•    Or go to the Main Toolkit and have a look around (or enter ‘Remote online COVID’ in the search box for more specific articles)

If you already have a course that you delivered face to face then you might just need to tweak your training to suit remote delivery, or you might feel it requires a complete overhaul.  Either way the basic principles of teaching don’t change, think about your target audience, how will you keep them engaged, what key information do you need to get across and what is the best medium to do this?  Your level of confidence in the technology and systems being used might mean that you need to go back to basics and pull back control of the session more than you might have previously.  As your confidence grows you will find that you start to introduce more complex activities and interactions with your delegates but don’t feel that you need to do this immediately.

What are the basics that you should consider?

•    Is a webinar the answer?  Some subjects need interaction with delegates, perhaps because they contain a Q&A or discussion element.  Others might be better presented by expanding a PowerPoint presentation that can be accessed at any time from a web page or producing a workbook that can be explored at the delegates' own pace.  Make sure a webinar is the best solution for your remote training!  Consider:

         o    What level of personal interaction with delegates is needed?
         o    What information are you trying to deliver and what interaction does that require?
         o    What other options are available? (PowerPoint presentations on a webpage, a SharePoint site, a workbook etc).  You might just need to offer a face to face drop-in session or a Q&A session to support work-based learning rather than a webinar delivered session.

•    How comfortable are you with the technology?  You might be a whizz and able to create breakout rooms and interactive quizzes using various platforms.  However, remember that your audience might not be as confident as you, so consider how complex it will be for both yourself and delegates to manage.  If most of this is new to you make sure you create a session that you can easily control - interactive and interesting doesn’t have to mean complex.

•    Manage delegate expectations. Set out in Joining Instructions roughly how the session will run, for instance, will there be regular breaks where you will answer questions, will delegates' videos and microphones be enabled? Is there pre-course work to complete or resources they must have downloaded or accessed prior to the session?  It can be as simple as ‘you will need a pen and paper’.  Be prepared that even if you ask them to download resources delegates might not have been able to, so consider how vital it is to your session!

•    Length of the session.  The general rule with webinars is that the less delegates interact the shorter your sessions should be, more delegate involvement means the session can be a little longer.  Just consider your own experience of remote learning, listening to Podcasts and online training – how did presenters keep your attention and how long did they keep it for?  We would suggest a maximum of 90 minutes if you have a break in the middle and activities, without breaks or activities then 45 minutes maximum.

•    How to keep delegates engaged?  Creating a rapport with your class can be tricky so consider how important this is for you to achieve your session outcomes.  Think about whether they can see you at any point in the session, so that they can put a name to a face.  If you have a smaller group then introductions might be possible.  How can you keep them engaged throughout, consider small activities, input into the Chat box, games which require simple answers or that they can consider at home.  If you want to be more adventurous then consider something like a Kahoot quiz, a Slido poll or using the Whiteboard function in Teams Meetings.  Time for Q&A is best built into the session rather than constantly interrupting delivery.

•    Consider co-presenters or support.  If you are busy trying to deliver training and manage resources it might be helpful to have a colleague managing the ‘Chat’ box and general queries, or supplying the links to documents and videos.  They can collate and direct questions to you when you have a Q&A break and sort out minor queries.  

•    Sending out resources.  Consider how this will be done, by attaching to Joining Instructions, by a link in the Chat box on the day, through a SharePoint site? Embedded videos tend not to work therefore think about sharing these via the Chat box.  Also be careful about who you are giving access to if using a link to a SharePoint site.

•    PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE – this is the same advice that any teachers would be given no matter the medium for delivery.  Ask colleagues and friends to attend short, mock sessions so that you can check everything works; what can they see? Are links working, is changing screen working? Can you manage delivery and questions at the same time?  Practice until you feel comfortable with system.

Creating new training
•    If you are creating new training please speak to one of the People Development L&D Managers or our Events Team about how we can support you.

People Development (PD) can continue to support the set up and administration of your courses as we did previously.  The system will now work as follows:

Using Teams

•    As the course owner you send dates and times of the training to People Development – these will be added to Trent and advertised in the usual way.  Staff can book onto a session, via Trent, for which the location will say ’Delivered Virtually’.  If it is a new course you will need to complete an Event Booking Form (EBF), please contact peopledevelopment@exeter.ac.uk for more information.

•    If it is a course that already exists on Trent the course owner checks that the Trent course overview is still relevant, if changes are required to the wording please let PD know and we will update it.

•    The course owner sends proposed wording for the joining instructions, plus any attachments, to PD (an example is as follows – consider any additional or specific information that might aide you and your delegates.  If the session is going to be recorded you must let delegates know in advance).  Example wording for joining instructions

•    PD will set up a Teams Meeting from the PD Outlook calendar using the wording supplied by the course owner and invite all those nominated as ‘presenters’.

•    2 weeks prior to the event PD will extract the attendance list from Trent and add the attendees to the Teams Meeting request.

•    On the day of the event the course owner starts the meeting and runs the session.  Please note that People Development will not be present at the course/meeting.

Internal administrators / Running your own training:   If you would like to set up your own training from your Teams calendar or have an internal administrative team who would like to support your training please contact the People Development Events Team at peopledevelopment@exeter.ac.uk who can give advice about this.

Using Zoom

To follow

•    PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE – this is the same advice that any teachers would be given no matter the medium for delivery.  Ask colleagues and friends to attend short, mock sessions so you can check everything works; what can they see? Are links working, is changing screen working? Can you manage delivery and questions at the same time?  Practice until you feel comfortable with system.

•    Arrive First! On the day enter the meeting 10 minutes prior to the session start time.  Consider setting up an introductory message in the Chat box.  Open all of your windows that you are going to need to share, prepare any links or documents.  

•    Your introduction.  Although you will not need to explain where the toilets and fire exits are you still need to orientate delegates so they understand how the session will run.  If possible have your video on in order to greet delegates even if you are turning it off for the rest of the session.  Explain the basics, when will you speak, will they have a chance to speak, what should they see, what do they need to do to participate?  If the session is being recorded you must let delegates know in advance. 

Example introductory slide:

•    Protocol for if you drop out.  What happens if your sound or Wi-Fi fails?  Perhaps ask your co-presenter to take over, or just let delegates know that if it happens they should stay online until you can reboot!

•    Wrapping up.  As with the start of the session it is good if delegates see the instructor at the end of the session.  If possible offer to remain online for any questions.

•    If it is a session that People Development (PD) have set up we will be able to see who joined the meeting and can therefore print off the attendance list and complete it on Trent.  If it is a session that the course owner has set up in Teams Meetings then please send us the attendance list so that we can complete your course on Trent (if required).

•    PD will send delegates a link to a post course questionnaire, we can attach resources to this email if you wish to send anything to delegates after the event.