You have probably already thought of lots of fantastic and engaging ways that you can deliver remote learning. But if you haven’t started to think about this yet, here are a few simple ways that you can adapt your courses.
The easiest way that you can deliver your courses remotely is simply to do what you always do, but rather than address a training room full of learners you address your computer. You can then share your screen when appropriate, and trust that your learners are paying attention to their screens.
But do you really want to talk to a computer all day? Here are a few simple tips to help you with virtual teaching during (and after) lockdown.
1. Breaking it up
Break your training up into manageable-sized chunks that can be delivered in 60 to 90 minutes (also known as bite-sized learning) and split up by learning outcome and assessment criteria. You can then deliver these over a period of days to help keep you and your learners energised. If you do nothing else, this will enable your learners to reflect on each session before the next one.
2. Mixing up methods
If you normally use Powerpoint and talk over the slides when training, you can instead paste the slides into a Word document and intersperse these with text. To make sure that your learners are actively reading your documents, include questions in the text or at the end of each section. You could link each section to a gapped hand-out (cloze test) and ask your learners to fill in the missing words or phrases from the information provided. Depending on the level of the course you could provide a bank of answers for the learners to choose from.
3.Provide additional sources
If you want to make the process more active for your learners, you can set them things to find out for themselves or ask them to access specific areas of course-relevant websites for additional information such as the Food Standards Agency, Health and Safety Executive or the British Nutrition Foundation. If there is a reputable journal in your subject area, you might be able to access articles and share them with your learners as well.
4. Use the SQ3R technique
For longer articles or chapters from books, you could consider employing the SQ3R. This stands for: Survey, Question, Read, Recall, Review (or Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review for the American version of this active reading technique). If you aren't familiar with this technique there are numerous how-to videos available to help you get up to speed. Although these mostly refer to gaining information from chapters in textbooks, it can easily be applied to shorter texts that you produce yourself.
You could adapt this method by providing your learners with instructions on reading the text or chapter and asking questions about the text. The aim is to ensure that their reading and understanding of the information you provide them with is an active and engaging process.
5. Send videos in advance
If you normally use video clips in your training, email these to your learners or upload them to YouTube and send them the links. If you normally demonstrate a particular procedure or technique, you could ask a colleague to video you doing this on their phone.
6. Follow an example remote learning course
These tips are ways that you can send your learners their course information for them to read through in advance, rather than being delivered directly to them by you as the trainer. Once your learners have the information and accompanying instructions and questions, you can use your time for small group tutorials online with your learners to answer any questions they have, discuss the topics and check their understanding.
A remote learning course could follow the example sequence below.
Session 1: All learners. Introduce the course and how it will be structured and delivered. Send learners the information (training notes, links, questions etc) for the first part of the course. All subsequent sessions can be delivered to the whole group or to smaller groups of learners and repeated as required.
Session 2: Tutorial: Summary of the information you sent. Answer any questions about the information, ask questions to check their understanding and send out information for the next section.
Session 3: Tutorial. As for session 2, covering the information sent out at the end of session 2. Send out the next set of information.
Continue this until the final session, where you provide your learners with information about the assessment process.
7. Check out the Ofsted guidance
Ofsted have recently released some guidance for online teaching methods, which draws on real-life examples of what has worked for teachers, colleges and higher education providers. It includes ideas for how to deliver material online, engage students and what device is the most effective. You can read the full guidance here.
8. Register with RSPH Learn
If any of your learners don't have access to a computer, you could consider posting them hard copies of the information and arranging tutorials by telephone. If they have a smartphone, you can send them video clips and links to their phone instead.
If all of your learners do have access to a computer you could also consider utilising the RSPH online learning platform RSPH Learn (launching soon) in a blended learning approach. One approach would be to give instructions about which section(s) of the online learning programme your learners should cover for each session of your course, and reduce the amount of information that you send them accordingly.
Our eAssessment platform can also be used for assessing your learners. New qualifications are being added to this platform and also to RSPH Learn so keep an eye out for updates on the RSPH website.