Logically Speaking
April 16, 2020

Welcome to Logically Speaking. This issue is all about the virtual classroom: how to make the move to virtual training, managing instructors in a virtual setting, tips for selling virtual training, support for virtual and asynchronous training, and more.

In this issue:

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Virtual Training Made Easy

by Jon O'Keefe, MCCT, Technology Education Jedi

Making the move to teaching virtually can be daunting. Here are five things you can do to make virtual training a little easier:

  1. Make sure you are using your fastest Internet connection. For most people, that means hard-wired. Shut off any other applications that might eat up bandwidth, like Netflix or chat programs.
  2. Place a picture of a person or something that will catch your eye above your webcam. When you’re doing remote instruction and using video (which you should be), it can be easy to stare at your screen as opposed to making eye contact with your camera. Eye contact helps keep learners engaged.
  3. Plan on more frequent breaks. Digital delivery needs to be more interactive, and students will need to take breaks more often.
  4. Invest in a good headset with noise cancelling microphone. This way you will be able to hear your students more clearly and you will also not create any reverb or echo effects.
  5. Test your virtual delivery platform before the class. A good teacher can teach in any classroom, but virtual delivery has an added component of technology. Learning the technology can be just as important as prepping the content. Make sure you know everything your remote delivery software can do, and how you plan to use it in your lessons.

Want to learn more about online delivery and how to be the best virtual presenter you can be? Check out MCCTCertified.com and sign up to become a Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT®).


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Managing Instructors in the Virtual Classroom World

By Joe Mignano, President, New Horizons of Upstate New York

When leading a virtual class, instructors’ strengths and weaknesses are more apparent than in a physical classroom setting. Instructors do very well in situations where they have total control of the environment and the ability to quickly address issues that arise—which is the case when standing in a classroom in front of students. In a virtual classroom, the environment is subject to technical constraints and the students are less visible.

I’ve learned a bit from managing my group of six instructors spread out across New York State. The majority of my instructors deliver virtual classes far more often than traditional classes. Here are a few basics I’ve found that ensure instructors can deliver a successful virtual class:

The show must go on!

  • Given all the opportunities for failure in a virtual environment, instructor flexibility is key to success. The key character trait in any instructor is the ability to roll with the punches and work to solve problems independently. If their motto isn’t “the show must go on”, you either need to get them to adopt that mentality or consider replacing them.

Nothing bad ever happened from being early!

  • Class-day preparation is KING. For virtual classes, we ask our trainers to be “in the classroom” one hour before class just like a traditional class. In the virtual classroom, it is critical to ensure proper setup and testing of software/data files, readiness of presentation slides, and finalization of a complete lesson plan.
  • A full test of the virtual environment, including video and audio, is an absolute must. Ensure that a student can actually see and hear before the first student enters the classroom. To do this, have the instructor in both roles or have a person from your operations team ensure that everything is functioning properly.
  • 30 minutes before class, switch from “instructor preparation” to “student preparation”. Post a welcome so students know they are in the right place. On that slide, provide instructions for configuring audio/video settings in your virtual conferencing platform. Have a timer in your virtual meeting room showing when class will start, and use that timer throughout class.

Let certain students hide in the back of class.

  • In a virtual class, engagement check-ins are key. It isn’t enough to ask, “Does anyone have any questions?” Students will be more passive in a virtual class. Instructors need to call on them, pause class, and ensure each student is participating.
  • But certain student engagement is toxic. Virtual students quickly get frustrated and distracted when “that person” slows everything down. Getting everyone in their virtual room only to hear “How do I reset my password?” several times will cost you more than time, it will cost you your motivated students and good evaluation scores. While I encourage instructors to not let students hide in the back of the class, sometimes it’s appropriate to put one or two there.
  • The best part about the move to virtual classes for me, with six instructors in different cities, is the ability to multi-task in quality control. We are no longer limited by the laws of space and time. With virtual classes, our training manager can truly be in multiple places at once, and we take advantage of that fact! Help your weakest instructors in the morning and get them going on the right path. Be sure to sign into the highest priority classes where you have even your best instructor teaching. Provide feedback in real-time during breaks or using private chats. Let your instructors know you are there and available to help so that they can focus on instructional excellence.

The virtual classroom is here for good. Ensure that you have the right team that embraces this new reality. Give them the skills and guidance to be effective in the virtual classroom, and embrace the opportunity to use technology to manage them effectively.

Selling Tips for “Virtual Team” Training

by Jim Gabalski, Vice President Sales and Marketing

Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork...wins championships.” Known for his commitment to honing his own talent, Michael Jordan spent equal amounts of time working with his teammates so that they worked as a well-oiled machine. The same is true for professional work groups. Whether it is customer service, or sales, or application development, or cybersecurity, the value of the team is greater than the value of any single individual. And the team comes together when they train together.

What do you do when the team is “all over the place”, when the team cannot easily come together to train together? Bring them together anyway? Fly them in? Those are reasonable responses if the value is great enough. But what about for less urgent training? Budgets won’t allow for all that travel, and so the team often gets broken up or that training gets relegated to a different delivery modality like eLearning. That doesn’t need to be the case.

Virtual Instructor-Led Training allows for many of the benefits of live classroom training but at a fraction of the cost. Trading off savings from travel, a virtual event allows the team to work together on common training challenges while learning each team member’s problem-solving nuances.

As a result, the team functions more like that Michael Jordan championship-winning unit than a group of individuals that may not work well together. With that in mind, here are the top 3 benefits for selling a virtual class to a dedicated team:

  1. Save the cost of travel while realizing most of the benefits of team-based training.
  2. Deploy the training program quickly with less coordination required.
  3. Deliver relevant training that directly addresses the learning needs of the dedicated group.

In sales, there is a saying that you can have quality or speed or affordability, but you can’t have all three. With Virtual Instructor-Led Training for a dedicated team, however, you come pretty close.

Use VILT and eLearning to Create Winning Training Solutions

by Megan Branch, Chief Operating and Product Officer, CertNexus

Like many driven IT professionals, Application Developers don’t like to be slowed down. They appreciate learning new skills that allow them to deliver value in the form of more powerful, more efficient, more secure applications. Furthermore, they like to learn from experts, from people. But they REALLY don’t like to be slowed down.

CertNexus certifications, like Cyber Secure Coder®, are rapidly being adopted by IT organizations around the world. Companies embracing these certifications value emerging technologies and having teams adept at harnessing the power of those technologies. Through Logical Operations, CertNexus offers instructor-led training solutions that can be used in a physical and/or virtual classroom. Additionally, the same training can be achieved using eLearning solutions. But the most powerful solution is when you put them together to meet the needs of those impatient Application Developers. How?

We recommend using a hybrid approach and have seen it work quite successfully. Using eLearning modules as pre-class preparation, an instructor uses the virtual classroom time to quickly resolve any gaps in understanding of concepts and spends the majority of the face time working through team-based or individual activities. Class time can also provide rich discussion among attendees to exchange solutions, experiences, and valuable industry connections. When Application Developers are using their collective knowledge to work as a team to overcome challenges that they face in the real world, that’s when real learning takes place. In the hybrid approach, you keep the pace of the class brisk while keeping the challenge and attentiveness high.

When VILT and eLearning are used together and used correctly, a powerful learning event occurs with maximum effect. Especially for those creative, talented, impatient Application Developers…

3 Dimensions of the Modern Classroom

by Nancy Curtis, Vice President, Content

Logical Operations’ CHOICE paradigm is founded on the concept of the Modern Classroom, which has three dimensions:

Your training events may vary and combine along any of these dimensions.

  • You may serve learners both far and near.
  • You may be working with them at the same time or back-and-forth offline.
  • You may deliver in a traditional, full-day flow or in seminar-length segments across an extended period of time.

The Coronavirus crisis has moved many training and learning organizations to embrace the Logical Operations Modern Classroom and its three dimensions perhaps more rapidly than they had otherwise planned. To succeed in these challenging times:

  1. Rest assured that the support you need to succeed has already been anticipated and built into Logical Operations CHOICE curriculum materials and CHOICE platform.
  2. Consider adopting Modern Classroom Certified Trainer as your instructor-development standard.
  3. And keep serving your learners with excellence and integrity.

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CHOICE Platform Support for Virtual and Asynchronous Delivery 

by Mike Hoyt, Vice President, Platform and Publishing

The CHOICE platform is a great support for delivery in a virtual or asynchronous mode.  Here are some of the CHOICE features that will help you and your learners succeed: 

 

Feature

Description

Classroom

Allows students to incorporate links to the virtual-presentation tool of your choice.

eBook

Distributing curriculum materials digitally means students have access to them wherever they are located.

Collaborate

Open an associated community page on LinkedIn.

Twitter

Connect to an associated Twitter feed.

Spotlight

Play short supplemental media components to enhance and extend learning that is available not only through CHOICE, but on the go in the CHOICE mobile app.

Checklist

Quick reference material also available not only through CHOICE, but on the go in the CHOICE mobile app.

Action Plans

Lesson plans and instructions can be provided for students to guide them through an asynchronous learning flow.

Ask an Expert

Students can share direct messages with the course mentor when you’re working asynchronously.

Discussion Forum

Class participants can engage their peers at any time by sharing experiences and asking questions.

Files

Exercise Files and PowerPoint slide decks for the course can be accessed anywhere.

Assessment

Self-checks enable students to ensure mastery of the course material regardless of instructional mode.

LogicalLABS

For skills-based courses, LogicalLAB remote, virtual environments enable learners to complete hands-on activities when it best suits them and the course flow.

eLearning

Video instruction and demonstration of key concepts and procedures may be available to supplement the instructor-led portions of class.

Locker

A way for learners to share files or code examples with the instructor or mentor.

Different courses will have different combinations of features. If you want to be able to select your own feature sets for your CHOICE course deliveries, contact your Logical Operations representative to talk about a custom instance of CHOICE.  

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Latest Product Releases

Data Analysis and Visualization with Microsoft® Excel®

Cyber Secure Coder (CSC) (Exam CSC-210)

CyberSec First Responder (Exam CFR-310)

For a complete list of current and updated courses, download the Product Summary Guide.

 


Get Ready for Virtual Delivery with Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT)

by Jon O'Keefe, MCCT, Technology Education Jedi

Virtual training is upon us. We know that many of you are scrambling right now to move your training online and still deliver top quality classes. The good news is that we can help. Whether you are a new instructor or have been teaching for the past 25 years, moving to online instruction poses unique challenges.

Our Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT®) class and certification can you help you take your virtual delivery to the next level. With the Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT®) course you will learn the key challenges of remote education and how to master them:

  • The Role of Technology—While a face-to-face instructor might use technology, in the virtual classroom, technology becomes the main platform.
  • The Role of Virtual Platforms—There are many platforms you could use, but Zoom is the most popular. Our focus in this class is to teach you skills to be successful using the Zoom platform.
  • Managing a Virtual Classroom—Master the ability to manage the classroom, including monitoring learner progress and troubleshooting common technical and learner issues.
  • Engaging Learners—Different strategies are needed to engage and build a rapport with learners the instructor cannot see.
  • Multitasking—Instructors need to simultaneously present, engage learners, and use the technology platform.

The virtual classroom can be your opportunity to open new markets and reach new students. Make sure you are ready. There is still time to register for an upcoming MCCT class:

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Top Security Thought Leader Completes MCCT Certification

Adel Abdel Moneim, experienced security instructor and thought leader, recently took the Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT®) course and had these positive thoughts to share.

“With 25 years of experience in the training industry, I can say that the half-day MCCT course, in addition to the course material, is what every trainer needs to conduct successful and effective online courses. The course explains how to manage the technical environment (machines, camera, microphone, lighting and students’ sessions) as well as the students’ mindset, how to engage your students and have more interaction. Moreover, it contains comparisons between the most famous video conference tools to select from. I highly recommend #MCCT for everyone who is considering conducting online courses.”


To learn more about MCCT and view the latest list of classes, visit MCCTcertified.com.

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Whether you are Delivering VILT, Asynchronous, or Hybrid, We Can Customize Your Content

by Andrea Montanarella, Manager, Custom Production

The Logical Operations Custom Department can support your business needs in this rapidly changing climate. Whether it is:

  • Virtual ILT delivery,
  • A hybrid approach,
  • Hosting your proprietary content on our platform, or
  • Our Custom LO content via digital-only delivery  

You have creative solutions and we can support your ideas with blended delivery modalities. With that being said, we are offering Digital Custom Content with no setup fees through April 30th.  

What does this mean?

  • If you need a new Custom order, we will waive the setup fee.
  • You will only pay the digital book price.

This will give you the ability to save on shipping, setup fees, and you can distribute the custom access keys to your students safe and effectively via email where they can study remotely.

Stay safe and healthy.

cprint@logicaloperations.com | 800-456-4677—Option 4 | Direct: 585-350-7014

Meet Mike Hoyt

I have been with Logical Operations for more than 20 years. As the VP, Platform and Publishing Services, I'm responsible for preparing all of our content for print and digital distribution. On a day-to-day basis, I handle the loading, provisioning, and administration of content on the CHOICE digital learning platform.

Since the beginning of the “new” LO in 2012, Logical Operations has always provided their customers with the option to consume their content digitally. We knew that training centers and students wanted more options for their content, and we built out the CHOICE platform to provide just that—which puts us in a place to serve our customers in the new, ever-changing world of delivering training virtually.

There are many things I love about working at Logical Operations. I am grateful for the opportunities the organization has provided me over the years to expand my career. The technology and processes are always constantly evolving so I am always learning new things. No two days are the same, which keeps things exciting!

On a personal note, I am an avid cyclist who enjoys getting out on the road as much as possible, and every year I try to do a long charity ride or two to raise money (which Logical Operations always helps with) for a worthy cause.