b'Virtual Classroom WHAT WE HAVE LEARNEDOur attendees arent the only ones being schooled in virtual training. When the pandemic hit and we pivoted Our WCA Education facilitators find the positiveRECORDING FEATURE 1 2 Virtual Classrooms Offer to online sessions, this is what we discovered.Steps for Staying Engaged:Greater Opportunities for While the quality and value of a virtual classroom is comparable to an in-person course, Peggy Zurkan,People in Remote Areas.Manager, Learning and Development at WCA, saysSeems obvious, we know, but the response weve that it is also very different.had from members who wouldnt have been able to during the pandemic, providing learning experiencesThe learner must be completely tuned-in andattend in-person sessions because of geographical engaged online, just as they would in-person,limitations has been significant. that go above and beyond the traditional classroomZurkan says. There are more potential distractions model. It provides participants thewhich is why we recommend a quiet space, with aReaching folks in the Brandon or Winkler areas opportunity to go back and review keydoor that you can close and keeping your webcamfor a one-hour info session is more likely online concepts and training. on and turning off all other devices (just like youthan if they had to drive to the WCA, says Zurkan. would in-person).Location and weather are not a barrieronline ENHANCED DIGITAL- Peggy Zurkan, Manager, Learning & Development, WCA Face-to-face interactioneven via webcamisclasses are easily accessible to those near and far, even if there is a snowstorm.TECHNOLOGY: proven to be more effective when in a meeting,James Johnston, President, Quality Dynamics Inc. on a call and especially in classroom and learningand WCA facilitator, has recognized that instead situations. Not only does seeing someone on screenof distancing colleagues, the virtual element has. We have been able to leverage. We have the option of recordingpsychologically foster a more authentic humanallowed firms to embrace a new kind of partnership.some digital technology that hasthe training which is great forconnection, but it encourages attendees to remainWe have also noticed that national and enhanced some of the game play thatreviewing after as an opportunity toengaged and participate.international construction companies have normally takes place during in-persontweak and adjust for better facilitationIn addition to ensuring she can see her studentsregistered people from multiple offices for the same sessions. In one case, we are trying toin the future. on the screen, Wendy Hofford, WCA facilitator andcourse which has allowed a level of collaboration figure out how to bring that web-basedPresident of WH Strategic Drive, goes the extra step functionality back into the in-person classroom when weto engage with her students and guarantee theynot previously practical, explains Johnston.get back to normal! - Wendy Hofford, President, WH Strategic Drive Inc. dont lose interest. - James Johnston, President, Quality Dynamics Inc. The intent is to connect with your audience as if you were in the room with them throughVirtual Classroom Tip:storytelling, interacting with them by using their MULTI-DISCIPLINE names in the chat or include their name as you . It may seem like there would be more opportunitiesEXPERTS FROM ACROSS offer examples of the concept you are trying to getUse Breaks Wisely.across, Hofford explains. Connecting with your for participation and engagement in a traditionalTHE COUNTRY audience is important no matter if you are standingZurkan suggests getting some fresh air or exercise classroom setting, however, this is not necessarily true.in front of them in a room or on a screen in a virtualbefore reconnecting with the class. Try and move There are many ways to interact in virtual classrooms. The biggest benefit is the ability to engage expertiseroom but can certainly be more challenging in theaway from the screen(s) when you are on a break through breakout rooms and chat asin a virtual classroom. Your eyes and brain need to contribute. well as social learning. The interactivefrom anywhere in the country to assist in the presentation3 Education is a Priority. to disconnect so that you can refocus when class virtual classroom.features in the virtual classroomof the training. We have a lot of experienceresumes.workshop, like polling, white boardin this industry that we can learn from and breakout room activities allow me,but flying them across the country for as the facilitator, to constantly supporta physical classroom setting is cost interaction and learner engagement. These features alsoprohibitive and consumes too muchDespite a change in our education delivery, WCA members and industry contacts have confirmed the importance of help learners to engage and connect with peers in theof their time. The ability to have thesecontinued education and furthering their knowledge and skills in the industry.industry. In addition, it also allows learners who may not betrainers, with decades of experience,Perhaps the most important lesson that I have learned in facilitating virtual classroom workshops is that there are many as comfortable with interacting in-person an opportunityparticipate in the virtual training is like having mentors atpeople in our industry who are actively engaged in their own learning journey. They are excited to embrace the new your fingertips! The virtual classroom has enabled us tovirtual classroom delivery platform. They are asking questions and engaging in activities to increase their knowledge provide training from all three partners (project owner,and to understand new ideas and new processes and procedures, says Lee Kelly, President, Constructing Minds. Many - Lee Kelly, President, Constructing Minds consultant and contractor) and their perspectives. learners have worked with the same company for many years and have not been exposed to delivering a construction - Debbie Hicks, President, DSH Consulting project in any other way than the company way, so they are excited to learn and take the new ideas back to the shop!Issue 1 Spring Edition 2021 BUILD MANITOBA 23'