Virtual Learning Show 2013 – Day 1

Posted on Jun 20, 2013

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m participating in the 2013 2-day Virtual Learning Show. Whilst I am directly involved as a panel chair on Day 2, I am also attending both days as a participant .


Here are my reflections on Day 1 and in particular each session, with a particular focus on:

  • A key ‘take-away’ from the sessions content itself
  • The way in which it was facilitated (in part or in whole) with a view to what can I re-use/build upon for myself.

Keynote: Virtual Learning in Europe

Presented by Colin Steed
10.30 – 11.00 UK BST

Colin Steed
Chairman and organiser of The Virtual Learning Show, Colin Steed welcomes you all to this unique event.

During his Keynote, Colin will report on the headline findings of the ‘Live Online Learning in Europe’ survey he conducted over the past two months. There are some revealing findings that you’ll find invaluable when planning your live online sessions in your organisation. There will be plenty of discussion in this session so bring your questions!


My key facilitation take-away

Colin commented when he could see the ‘multiple people typing’ message appear above the chat pod and informed people that he was going to pause until those responses had come in. I’ll keep an eye on that area above the chat panel in the future and moderate my delivery accordingly.


Virtual Training : from desktop to device

Presented by Elaine Giles
11.00 – 12.00 UK BST

Elaine Giles

If you think webinars are the epitome of a desk-bound sport – think again!

The major web conferencing services all provide feature rich Apps for mobile use. You can be forgiven for thinking these are limited to providing a second class way of just attending a session. The truth is very different – these Apps provide a feature rich experience including access to chat, slides, polls, audio, video and whiteboards.

In this session, Elaine will cover:

  • Present from an iPad?
  • Monitor your audience with just an iPhone?
  • Deliver an entire webinar via your Android device?

All is possible! In this session you’ll find out just how far virtual training has come in recent times.


My key content take-away

Look into how I might be able to use Reflection to upskill people on using their mobile devices via our Adobe Connect platform/

My key facilitation take-away

Don’t get caught up in the demo at the expense of the attendee interaction. There was a lot of talking from the facilitator but I felt very little interaction with the audience other than ‘feel free to chat in the chat panel’ comments.


Engaging your learners with meaningful interactions

Presented by Phil Green
12.30 – 13.30 UK BST

Phil GreenIf it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck“. To some trainers and teachers, working live online may seem less daunting than other forms of eLearning. It does, in most cases depend upon the teacher to be present. It can easily support the model of “sage on the stage”, and presenters can deliver elegant and beautifully illustrated lectures very close up and personal. If it looks like a lecture, sounds like a lecture and works like a lecture then…

Many examples of ingenious interactions have been developed to exploit the features of virtual classrooms, or to overcome the constraints. Lectures and intricate interactions have their place, but in a spirit of “less is more”, how can a skilled facilitator mount truly participatory sessions? In this webinar Phil Green shows some examples of how “a little technology and a lot of creativity” can engage learners live online in meaningful activity without over-elaboration.


My key content take-away

I was only able to attend the first few minutes of this session so I’ll update this once I’ve listened to the recording

My key facilitation take-away

I was only able to attend the first few minutes of this session so I’ll update this once I’ve listened to the recording


Comparing Webex, Adobe Connect and Goto for your virtual sessions

Presented by Karen Hyder
14.00 – 15.00 UK BST

KarenHyder_new_125Once you calculate the time and travel cost savings, the decision to offer training online using virtual classroom software is easy. Choosing the right software to support your content, trainers, and learners isn’t as easy. There are many tools on the market, and the features and licensing fees vary dramatically.

In this session, you’ll see three different virtual-classroom software tools demonstrated, and you’ll discuss the features you’ll NEED, as well as the ones that are really NICE to have.You’ll also learn some simple methods you can use to ensure successful sessions, regardless of which tool you use.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What to look for when shopping for a virtual classroom
  • Which features make premium products worth having
  • What you can do to ensure your virtual classes are successful from the start

My key content take-away

If I’m totally honest, I took very little content away NOT because it wasn’t there, but because my Org has recently settled upon using Adobe Connect and as such I undertook a LOT of research into the pros and cons of each tool, which Karen essentially covered in this session.

My key facilitation take-away

I plan to use a poll at the end of my session to ask ‘what do you need next’. This would serve as a great way for me to identify who needs what sort of support and will help me concentrate my efforts.


Design is everything: 5 techniques for designing an interactive virtual class

Presented by Cindy Huggett
15.30 – 16.30 UK BST

Cindy Huggett

Engagement is the best way to create an effective learning experience for your participants. And engagement stems from your training class design.

In this session, Cindy Huggett, author of the best selling book ‘Virtual Training Basics’, will explain five techniques to design an interactive virtual training programme.

You will leave this final session of the day with some practical tips that you can immediately apply when designing your next live online session!

  • Design techniques for virtual training programmes
  • Select activities to effectively engage any audience
  • Establish interactivity from the start of a session

My key content take-away

There was a lot of talk around providing ‘intro’ sessions to the online classroom tool BEFORE the actual ‘real’ event commences. I’ve been running some ‘hidden’ intro sessions under the guise of ‘getting to know’ sessions about our intranet, however these are due to finish soon. This session has reinforced my determination to get some more of these ‘intro’ sessions into the diary…..

My key facilitation take-away

Cindy spent a lot of the session responding to attendees questions and used them to steer her session, rather than the questions being ‘in addition’ to her content/intended direction. I’d like to think that I’ll do this in the future.

Did you participate?

What did you take away from the day / each session?


  1. I agree with your very fair comments. I too want to ensure I run my sessions as Cindy did – it was a great session.

  2. Love your hidden intro idea. I’m so stealing that. WendyTagg

    • WendyTagg Steal away wendytagg (I probably stole it from somebody else in the first place!)

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