As everyone continues adjusting to changes brought about by the Corona virus, they are taking advantage of the lull in normality and taking steps to prepare for what comes next in their careers. Adding to their work skills is how many are choosing to keep busy.
Because of the suspension of in-class instruction, the virtual classroom has become the best way of moving forward with new learning – and people are catching on to the fact that virtual learning has unique benefits that compensate for the face-to-face experience.
The Schulich Executive Education Centre regularly surveys participants to ensure that programs are meeting their needs and expectations. And as programs transition to the virtual classroom and online modules, people are pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed the experience.
In the virtual classroom, facilitators are quickly applying the many different capabilities of the Zoom video-conferencing platform to replicate the interaction of the classroom and give teams the chance to work with the material and apply the learning in real time.
One respondent wrote: “Really great course! I enjoyed the Zoom session. I really liked the breakout groups. I would have like to spend a little bit more time on the material because there was a lot to absorb in a short period of time but overall I liked the opportunity to apply the learnings immediately in the break-out groups.”
Another participant said, “I thought it had a good flow with the use of the breakout rooms,” while another admitted that as much as they approved of the virtual learning experience, “I need to improve my Zoom skills.” That alone is a new skill to takeaway into the new normal.
“I really enjoyed all the breakout activity sessions,” said one program participant. “It gives us a lot of opportunity to practise. It kept things interesting and able to meet and know the other attendees on a personal level.”
If some people wonder about a change from being in the classroom, one participant found an unexpected benefit: “I enjoyed this very much. It took away the anxiety of meeting so many people and having to commute each day.”
Each program includes more than just Zoom meetings. To enhance the value of the interaction, some material is provided in online modules using the Canvas platform. Not only does this method allow for some self-paced access to new knowledge, participants are finding these modules are valuable references they can refer to as they apply the learning at work.
Other participants, warming to the added value of virtual classroom and online learning are suggesting follow-up sessions with instructors, weeks after the program ends and some programs are now including this bonus feature.
If one comment typifies the reaction of most program participants, it’s this one: “I enjoyed the learning format. This was the first virtual course I have taken, and it worked extremely well.”
More and more of Schulich ExecEd’s executive education programs are being moved into the virtual classroom. For updates on the latest offerings that will give you a taste of the new online learning, visit the Virtual Classroom page.