Virtual Classroom Training Survey:  What Can We Learn from Our Colleagues? A Framework for Virtual Classroom Training

This white paper provides insights into the findings of a research study conducted in January 2016 that focused on the types of training, if any, online instructors have received that pertains to teaching in the online environment. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Virginia who have broad experience in the field of online learning and believe that knowledge of the kind of training our colleagues have received will help academics and administrators shape training programs going forward. The Online Learning Consortium collaborated with the team of researchers to distribute the survey and present the research findings. Download now. 

Virtual Classroom Training Survey Infographic

Virtual classrooms are designed for interactivity. Unfortunately, from an instructor’s point of view, this wealth of interactive resources often seems more a curse than a blessing. Teaching in a synchronous virtual classroom poses a host of unique challenges for instructors. This makes virtual classroom training a critical component in any faculty development program. Yet little research exists on instructor preparation for virtual synchronous environments. This infographic for the three key takeaways we heard from our colleagues. Download now.


Learning to Teach Virtually:  An Investigation of Synchronous Virtual Classroom Training Webinar

There are hundreds of articles about preparing instructors for the transition to online learning in general, but very few focus on the specific challenges posed synchronous virtual classrooms. Even fewer investigate instructor preparation to meet these challenges. How much training do virtual instructors receive, what does it involve and how effective is it? In this “Learning to Teach Virtually” webinar we’ll share and discuss key findings from a Virtual Classroom Training Survey conducted in partnership with OLC that sheds new light on designing and implementing effective training for virtual classroom instruction. Register to listen to webinar recording now.



Glenn Kessler, Ph.D., University of Virginia

Glenn Kessler, Ph. D., has over 30 years of experience in higher education and information technology. His academic experience includes teaching (both online and face to face), advising and academic program development. He was an Assistant Dean of the College at the University of Virginia and the Associate Director for Academic Programs at the University of Virginia’s adult education program. Glenn served as the VP Emerging Technology of the RIA Group, a unit of the Thomson Corporation, and VP for Electronic Product Development for several Reed Elsevier companies including Reed Reference Publishing and Butterworth US. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy from McGill University and a Ph.D. in Logic from Princeton University. He is a senior consultant with Align Virtual Learning Solutions continues to teach online as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Virginia and the University of Maine System.


Michele Lewski, Ph.D. , Stevens Institute of Technology

Michele Lewski is a results-oriented educator and consultant. She started her career at AT&T Bell Labs, shaped and managed a sizable consulting organization, and has had a consulting practice for over 20 years. Current and recent clients include Phizer, Exxon-Mobile, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and not-for-profit organizations. Michele has led over 5000 corporate development programs in leadership development, technology management, and program management-related topics. She teaches within the MBA, Technology Management, and Executive Development programs within the Graduate School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr. Lewski holds a Ph.D. in Human and Organization Development, a M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University, and engineering degrees. She is also a certified Project Management Professional


Jennifer Withrow, Align Virtual Learning Solutions

Jennifer Withrow has over 10 years of experience in higher education and information technology as a student taking online classes, working with administration, and as an adjunct faculty instructor. She has experience teaching and co-facilitating in both virtual online and face-to-face environments. With her desire to improve the delivery and engagement of participants during her educational career, she has had her skill sets acknowledged with both class award and scholarship. She served on the NVCC Education Advisory Board for Veterinary Technology and currently serves the DCAVM as the technician liaison. She was invited to work with a global veterinary continuing education community in 2010. During that time, she also worked as an independent contractor working with global corporate clients as a virtual course associate. With her focus on quality, she has implemented successful strategies and techniques to enhance training, design, and engagement within the synchronous learning environments. 


Kathryn F. Wood, Ph.D., University of Virginia Faculty

Kathryn (Kate) Wood, Ph.D., is senior project director at the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research. She is instructor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia, and in addition teaches in UVA’s Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program. She is experienced with both face-to-face and online classrooms. Her research and teaching interests include research methods, the study of social inequality, and the sociology of religion.


This report was sponsored by: