TEACHING AS STORYTELLING:
MAKING VIRTUAL CLASSES VISUALLY ENGAGING
One of the biggest challenges of moving from the physical classroom to the virtual classroom space is how you connect with your audience. To put it simply, it can be difficult to tell the “story” of your class to an audience when you cannot physically see them and interact with them in person. Make no mistake about it, storytelling in education is difficult but so important. As Robert McKee famously said, "Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today."
So, how can you effectively tell stories to our virtual audiences when they can only see you on a tiny webcam and are constantly distracted by all the technology at their fingertips?
1. One of the best ways to do this is through engaging visuals that go beyond the PowerPoints. Consider adding music and moving visuals to keep your students focused and entertained while you teach.
2. When telling effective stories online, it is also important to make sure you break your class down into manageable acts. When you see a play or a movie that isn’t structured properly, it quickly becomes obvious, and you can easily check out. The same happens in online learning. You need to make sure you’re telling a good story, but you also must make sure that the story has a beginning, middle, and end that fits in a time frame that a student can digest, usually no more than 90 minutes.
3. Find all the great moments in your story and make sure you build to them appropriately. Every training has those “lightbulb” moments where the students will realize that the bits and pieces they’ve been learning are coming together. Don’t rush those moments, let your audience savor in what they’ve learned and encourage them to be excited for it. You can’t have a great story without a thrilling conclusion, so know where those moments are in your classes and teach around them.
If you’re interested in learning more about making the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom, you can check out our Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT®) program and certification. Virtual education is here to stay, so make sure you’re offering the most engaging training possible with MCCT.