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How To Start a Virtual Classroom for Construction Training and Education Organizations

03/27/2020 Article

As we continue to look for ways to fulfill our commitment made to our students, apprentices and trainees, the concept of the virtual classroom becomes a real solution for many of NCCER’s training and education organizations.

Here are a few suggestions for you to begin assessing if you can ramp up a virtual classroom.

Step 1:

Does my company or school have a web conferencing platform already in place?

Many organizations use web conference for virtual meetings. There are any number of choices when it comes to virtual conferencing platforms.

You will also need to understand what limitations there might be for your students.

Do they have a device and connectivity to participate? Does my organization fall under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

Make sure your students know that Comcast and Spectrum are offering free wifi and discounted rates for internet services for the next 60 days.PullQuote-comfortable

Step 2:

Becoming familiar with running a virtual classroom is first about becoming comfortable with the technology. If you are not accustomed to using this type of technology, do not be intimidated.

We can all learn new ways of doing things. Ed Prevatt, NCCER’s Master Master Trainer, offers some of his own tips as a first-time virtual instructor here.

Step 3:

Coordinate with your students. Do they have access to online content?

NCCER and Pearson are currently offering access to online resources to supplement your student’s print book to assist through this school year. Find out about eText, NCCERconnect and more options.

You and your students can practice interacting through your new virtual classroom and there are some fun ice breakers designed to be used in the virtual classroom to get the whole team comfortable in this new environment.

Take advantage of the discussion boards and chats usually offered through these platforms to engage and challenge your students during the teaching session.PullQuote-discussion

Some platforms even offer breakout rooms where your students can discuss a topic or work on a project together in small groups.

Set up your classroom hours and be sure to communicate times when student can reach out to you one on one.

Step 4:

Assess your students’ learning. NCCER is offering free access to online craft module tests (knowledge only) to assist you with this process from April 6– May 15, 2020. Learn about how to get started testing online and remote proctoring here.

Here at NCCER we know that you are facing unprecedented times. We continue to work daily to fulfill our commitment to you to prepare a safe, productive construction workforce for our industry.

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