We have experienced the wonders and convenience of Skype video conferences. Notice how inexpensive and effective such online meetings are. The emotion, the human face and the human voice help fill for the missing warmth in an eLearning setting. And yes, there are indeed many learning situations that call for a video-conferencing session. Find out the four ways to improve your next video conferencing session.
Video conferences are one of the leading strategies to implement telecommuting or distance education. With greater broadband connectivity, users increasingly prefer to communicate using videos conferences. Meetings occur over miles at the same time. Productivity and performance are boosted and so is user satisfaction.
The human face, voice, expression and body language orchestrate together to produce satisfying communication experiences. Many misunderstandings created during a voice or text chat are eliminated automatically. Demonstrations of critical procedures or steps are easily carried out on video and easier to replicate than if the instructions were text-based only. This ensures a complete learning achievement.
Video conferences are also advantageous in inclement weather. Despite such uncontrollable barriers, users can still interact meaningfully and continue business as usual.
The total effect has lead to serious financial gains. Think about the money and efforts saved when interviewing an instructor based in India to invite them to work in New Zealand. Depending on the quality of the Internet connection, both the interviewer and the interviewee can communicate and get their message across with little ambiguity. If things work out, the interviewer can be invited to attend the second interview.
The first video communication helps both parties decide if the in-person interview is feasible and useful or not.
One drawback of videos is that people tend to think that videos are easy to create. Most use their smartphones to shoot amateur videos and upload for the world to see. We have experienced many distasteful videos that had too many technical errors. Avoid these pitfalls and create professional looking videos ready for live transmission easily.
When your learners are ready to connect with you and expect to learn from your actions through the video conference, you do not have a lot of time or space to make mistakes. Live videos cannot be edited! You need to plan out well before the session begins. Rehearse and watch yourself before you are ready to go live.
In an eLearning environment, video conferences can help establish stronger rapport and bond between the cohorts. Logging in and communicating for project-based meetings is also more enjoyable than simple chat.
Video conferencing software options are plentiful. The simplest ones allow quality live videos to be exchanged easily. They also provide the option of cancelling the videos and using still images of participants if they are not comfortable.
There are plenty of video conferencing tools available, all rich in functionality and excellent in what they do. What they lack however, is the ability to connect a live training session with other aspects of elearning.
Here’s where an LMS comes into play: It allows for seamless integration of one or more video conferencing sessions with the overall training plan. eFront can work out of the box with two popular video conferencing tools, Webex and BigBlueButton (BBB).
Cisco’s Webex is a well-established, feature rich conferencing tool suitable for small to very large enterprises. BigBlueButton (BBB) is a free and open source video conferencing platform that offers all tools required for effective real-time training.
eFront allows for single-click setup of conferences, mixed-and-matched with traditional elearning content, storing and delivering recordings of past sessions and more, while at the same time takes care of the conferencing tool’s own configuration complexities and requirements. Your next Instructor-Led Training will be smoother and more enjoyable with eFront learning management tools.
In an eLearning video conference, the geographically dispersed participants can see and hear each other. Video conferencing enables learners to see a small video image of the learner or a still-image.
Video conferences are utilized for online demonstrations, role-playing activities and for presenting feedback on physical actions. Follow these four best practices when conducting an Instruction-Led Training (ILT):
Prepare a video-conferencing studio: No matter where you hold your video-conference from, make sure you have a good camera and the presenter is well-lit, by natural light or even an artificially designed solution. Minimize the background distractions. Tidy up the place. Make sure everything is stationary in the background. Frame the background and make sure the camera is steady at all times. ILT sessions need to give off professional vibes to the learner. So make sure the background is work context related as opposed to a casual setting.
Prepare your presenter or yourself if you are presenting: Make sure the dress of the presenter is simple and preferably in lighter or solid colors. Rehearse and watch a sample video before presenting. Dark colors against a light background are great for ILT’s as they allow integration of additional onscreen messages for the learner.
Prepare the learners for the session: When the session is open, instruct your learners to keep their cameras off until they are given a chance to speak. Discipline in using the camera can prevent clogging of the network connection. Provide instructions similar to the first and second points above to your learners before the session. A notable tip to add here is to inform the learner of the nature of the session. Provide a short tutorial on ILT’s and their expectations from such a video session.
Conduct a smooth session: Make all movements and transitions predictable so that the entire presentation seems to follow a uniform theme. Keep any demonstration-props ready for use. Use close-ups to show details. Vary the camera angle to keep things interesting. Keep sessions prepared for live questions and answers with peers, experts and with instructors. A good idea would be to hire a transcriptor who would record all conversations in text format for all to see and respond appropriately.
Great applications of video-conferencing involve showing moving objects. This occurs when your course content requires you to show how a piece of machinery works. In a live video conference or an instructor-led training session, your learners can watch and imitate; and also interrupt you to ask questions.
Video conferences also make people seem real in an otherwise remote learning environment. Lastly, deliver powerful emotional messages through video sessions to convince and change the attitude of your learners towards a concept.
If used properly, video sessions and conferences between instructors and learners can prove to be motivating and engaging. They also lead to pleasurable learning experiences. Avoid showing long video sessions or a talking head!
Do tell us about your own video-conferencing or ILT sessions.
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