Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Laurel Learning Tips

Tip #834: Virtual Design in Practice

On August 10, 2020, Posted by , In curriculum design,learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #834: Virtual Design in Practice

“Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process.” Kurt Lewin

I have become a devotee of Cynthia Clay, President and CEO of NetSpeed Learning Solutions. She is a charming and masterful presenter. I find her programs on virtual design incredibly useful and instructive. Her website offers many wonderful resources and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of them.

Cynthia recently gave a highly interactive webinar titled Rocking the Digital Workplace: Communicating and Leading Virtually. In addition to learning her content, I decided to note how she formatted the program.

Before the webinar began, early arrivers were given an opening question: “What do you want to gain from participating in this program?” They … Read the rest

Tip #833: Interactive Virtual Activities

On August 3, 2020, Posted by , In learning activities, With Comments Off on Tip #833: Interactive Virtual Activities

The planned activities are purposefully designed to get-and keep- participants involved in their own learning. They are designed to be interesting, relevant, useful, and appealing to adult learners. They have purpose and meaning in the context of the virtual training topic.” Cindy Huggett

In Tip #830: A Shoo-In for Virtual Training, I discussed how to convert interactive classroom learning activities into virtual activities.

I just attended a wonderful webinar conducted by Cindy Huggett in which she shared several additional interactive virtual activities. Her website, offers many more ideas.

The first six activities are adapted from her Interactive Virtual Class Activity Examples and Ready to Use Activities for Engaging Online Learning  I added the seventh activity.

  1. Draw Your
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Tip #832: Tips for Effective Virtual Communication

On July 27, 2020, Posted by , In presentation, By , With Comments Off on Tip #832: Tips for Effective Virtual Communication

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell

Your virtual communication will be more effective if you prepare your physical space, your virtual space, and yourself so that you can stay focused.

Prepare Your Physical Space

  • Choose a place with limited distractions that meets your work needs and will be comfortable and quiet for an extended period of time.
  • Get as close as possible to your router for optimal speed as well as optimal audio and video quality.
  • Get as close as comfortably possible to your computer screen and sit forward so you appear present and engaged.
  • If possible, sit facing or next to a window because natural light feels warmer and more comforting. Otherwise, have
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Tip #831: How to Make a Poor Virtual Impression

On July 20, 2020, Posted by , In presentation, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #831: How to Make a Poor Virtual Impression

“I believe that first impressions are very important.”  F.W. de Klerk

If you want to make a positive impression on a virtual platform, here are things you should NOT do:

  1. Sit far back from the computer screen so you seem detached.
  2. Not look at the camera so there is no eye contact.
  3. Look down at the camera so you seem aloof.
  4. Have clutter in the background.
  5. Not turn off email or other messaging applications.
  6. Not minimize external distractions.
  7. Check email during the conversation.
  8. Have lighting behind you or to the side, creating a shadow on your face.
  9. Allow sunlight, direct or reflected, to shine into the webcam.
  10. Wear black, white or bright colors that may reflect light.
  11. Wear thin stripes
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Tip #830: A Shoo-In for Virtual Training

On July 13, 2020, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #830: A Shoo-In for Virtual Training

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

A major concern about virtual training is how to keep participants engaged when they have so many distractions available. Virtual trainers are advised to have the participants do an activity every 2 or 5 or 10 minutes, depending on the reference source.

If your classroom training is already participant-based and highly interactive, I’m finding it is not that difficult to convert it to virtual training. A day-long training can be broken into short segments with 10-minute breaks every hour and an hour for lunch, just as it is handled in the classroom. Many of the learning activities can be … Read the rest

Tip #829:  Exploring Racial Injustice

On July 6, 2020, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #829:  Exploring Racial Injustice

“Prosocial behavior is characterized by a concern for the rights, feelings and welfare of other people.” Kendra Cherry

A colleague has been attending a course put on by the Prosocial Institute. One focus of the prosocial movement is to build individual awareness by clarifying what matters most, building awareness around the individual, and helping others to commit to action.

The Institute uses the ACT matrix, which is effective in helping people align their values with their thoughts and actions. You can see a description of the matrix and an example here:

One member of my colleague’s group, Norman B. Anderson, adapted the group ACT matrix to explore racial injustice with an organization. First, he posed the initial question: How Read the rest