Due to the coronavirus, more and more companies have to switch over to all things virtual. That’s also the case for language courses! Did you know that 85% of our training courses last year, both one on one and group courses, took place in an online classroom? A remarkable (r)evolution in comparision to some time ago. But how do you, as a student, best prepare for such an online course? We’d like to give you some of our best practices for taking an online language course.
01. Infrastructure: have the right devices.
Having the right devices for your virtual classroom is the key to success . It’s best to use a headset for sound, but the earphones of your smartphone should work just fine. It’s not recommended to use a tablet or phone for the virtual sessions; it’s possible that you might not have access to all the tools needed during your course, or that you do not see the entire screen. A computer or laptop with webcam is the way to go!
02. Preparation: test if everything works beforehand.
A job well begun is a job half done . Testing if everything works beforehand is important. Do I have audio? Do I have video? Can other learners see me? Get to the online meeting room 10 mins early. That way, you can detect possible issues and have plenty of time to get the necessary tech support.
Are you taking a virtual one-on-one session with a language teacher? Even then you can make sure everything goes smoothly. Our coordinators will make sure that you have all the information you need about your online training: which tools will be uses (Skype, Zoom, Teams, whichever suits you best) and how can I get in touch with my teacher for the meeting (invitation link, user name, meeting room ID, …)
03. Punctuality: be on time in your online course.
Arriving on time is even more important in screen to screen sessions than it is in a face to face one . As beging late is even more distracting for all parties involved ! Did you know that our virtual classrooms have a waiting room? Perfect to get to know other learners and chat before the lesson starts. This also makes a virtual classroom more personal.
04. Communication: respond quickly and communicate clearly during your online session.
Face to face communication is not the same as virtual communication . Not only is the non verbal aspect missing, it takes a completely different approach. As learner you will need to learn how to laugh , raise your hand, applaude, give feedback, … all within the context of the virtual classroom! And with the tools that are available to you there . Your trainer will make it clear how they expect you to respond: via microphone, chat or poll. Try to respond as quickly as possible, showing that you are active and attentive.
05. Focus on focus: do not disturb!
“Do not disturb” mode on! Because during your virtual lesson , you’d want as little distraction as possible . Why ? A virtual sessions demands a higher degree of concentration from its learners . Choose a quiet setting, turn off e mail notifications . Your cellphone should best be out of reach . Your colleagues might not always realise you’re in training (as in many cases you’ll still be sitting at your desk). Make it clear to them that you’re not available . An additional tip? Make sure your desk is clean as well. Because a clear space equals a clear mind.
Have we peaked your interest about online language training? Do you want to find out more? In this blog we debunk 5 of the most common misconceptions about virtual classrooms!
Do you also want to get started with your language course in an online environment? Get in touch!