333 - Building Psychological Safety in Your Virtual Sessions

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Virtual Classrooms

Online facilitators often talk about building engagement during their sessions to ensure higher rates of retention and transfer into behavior. We've also heard about great strategies: design with interaction in mind, give your audience space to participate, use their input in your delivery. But what happens when after following all these principles, your audience is simply not engaged? Have you thought that perhaps they don't feel 'safe enough' to share their thoughts with their colleagues and you? Promoting a psychologically safe climate plays a major role in effective learning, especially when you need your participants to take risks in front of their peers.

In this session, you will learn strategies to build a safe learning environment for your virtual sessions as a vehicle to promote true engagement and participation, especially when your interaction with the audience is meant to be transactional and there are no expected follow-through activities. You will learn how to plan your sessions to consistently promote interaction and leverage the audience's responses in your delivery. You will also learn how to devise pre-session activities that set the appropriate expectations and help build trust in the learning experience, with a minimum investment of your audience's time and guaranteed maximum impact. We'll explore specific tips to respond to common concerns (both expressed and unexpressed) and anticipate them. We'll describe how these adult learning principles compound in highly successful learning experiences, and what they mean in the context of psychological safety. Finally, you will learn how to strategize the use of your communication (both front and back) channels to foster an open conversation in a safe learning environment.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to build a safe learning environment in your virtual sessions
  • How to keep your audience's attention focused on your session
  • Why is important to set expectations and build trust BEFORE the virtual session starts
  • How adult learning principles will help you build psychological safety
  • How front and back communication channels can be used to promote open conversations

Technology discussed:

Virtual classroom applications, integration with LMS, backchannels

Juan Mavo-Navarro, Instructional Designer & Learning Architect - Juan Mavo-Navarro

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