The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Donahue Institute

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New at ODLS: Instructional Design for Virtual Learning (Webinar)

ODLS is pleased to now be providing a webinar-based skill-building series to support staff in converting their in-person trainings to on-line learning experiences.

Pre-work: Upfront Needs Assessment

Each participant (trainer) will submit an existing training program that they are experienced in delivering. Trainings should be no more than 1 day in length. Note: An ODLS Instructor will review each program design sent in to assess the current level of instructional design skill for each trainer.


  • Evaluate staff/team background, experience and skill sets
  • Better understand the needs/barriers of the target audience(s) for the trainings

Webinar #1 - Instructional Design for Virtual Learning:

  • Topics to include: Adult Learning Principles for Virtual Learning; Critical Role of an Upfront Needs Assessment; Different Methods for Virtual Learning (i.e. synchronous vs. asynchronous); Best Practices for Virtual Learning (i.e. webinar length, size of groups, scheduling, etc.); Formatting Learning Materials; Designing for Interactivity (i.e. scenarios, exercises, quizzes, etc.)
  • Homework: Program Re-design #1

Webinar #2 - Facilitation Skills for Virtual Learning:

  • Topics to include: Best Practices for Facilitating Webinars (How to keep your audience focused); Setting Ground Rules for Webinars; Clarify Roles; Adapting Facilitation Skills for Virtual learning; Advanced Webinar Techniques (i.e. Polling, Breakouts, Whiteboard, etc.); Program Evaluation
  • Homework: Program Re-design #2

Webinar #3 - Learning Lab: Breakout Discussion Groups & Large Group Debrief

  • Instructional Design Learnings
  • New/Improved Virtual Facilitation Skills
  • Largest Changes/Improvements to Training Programs
  • Challenges/Barriers to Implementation: Ownership of Intellectual Property; Maintaining CEUs; Other

Note: This webinar series can be shortened/compressed based on the target audience’s needs.

Contact Dana Henry, ODLS Director, at or (413) 896-6140.

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UMass Donahue Institute

University of Massachusetts Amherst

100 Venture Way, Suite 9

Hadley, Massachusetts 01035

(413) 545-0001

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