Course 2 Community Discussion

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    • #27798 Reply

      What is the biggest challenge that you face as an educator transitioning from traditional face-to-face to online teaching?


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    • #27800 Reply
      Nadege Gbaguidi

      One of the biggest challenge is how to keep participants engaged! But I really like the strategies that are being shared during this online course!

      • #27809 Reply
        Michelle Candy

        Hi Nadege,

        I totally agree. I’m facing the same issues, and I’m also learning so much from the strategies that have been presented. The hardest part is changing my teaching style on the fly, since I don’t have lots of down time to do preparation.

      • #27812 Reply
        Rachelle Watson

        I completely agree with you!  We are having to learn a whole new set of strategies for keeping kids engaged and interested, so they can actually learn and retain and use the information.

      • #27875 Reply
        Michelle Marland

        Hi Nadege,

        Yes, the strategies are great and I hope that I will become more and more proficient. Some of them I am still scared to use with adults, but I do hope we can shift and use and teach some of these techniques at the WARO Youth Summit!

        Best of luck!


        • #27886 Reply
          Melissa J Kreek

          Michelle I agree!  We’ve been talking about getting participants over the anxiety of full engagement but use of these strategies also requires a new skill set for facilitators!  In a virtual workshop last week I tried a few new tools (for me) – use of music, mini quizzes and chat function to respond to questions/show participants were following material – these were comfortable for me and participants appreciated them.  I’ll be working myself up for some of the other facilitation tools!

          • #28073 Reply
            Anne Sellers

            Melissa – I agree with your comment too! I think that this course has made it clear that it can take a ‘lifetime’ to master all of these different strategies – but, by tackling a few at a time, trying them, refining them, etc. – you are on the right path! Good luck!

      • #27897 Reply

        Hello Nadege,

        Completely agree with you! I also have challenges with how to keep participants engaged. Ability to “read the room” is so much harder in online environment! State changes are so easy in on-site training delivery as we can just react to the state of engagement we observe. It is helpful to know that we just need to plan for them every 15-20 mins as for sure they will be needed!

        Thank you,


        • #28034 Reply


          I agree with you on it taking courage to try some of these strategies with adults! I think where possible using them with a younger audience to get comfortable before using them with adults will be useful. My youngest son is learning about the skeletal system and I found myself using movement to introduce the word “appendicular”. I think the more we can test these with family or in smaller settings the better we’ll feel doing it in a classroom/professional setting.

      • #28070 Reply
        Lisa Morelli

        One of the biggest challenges that I am encountering at YouthBuild is getting the students to log into Google Meets and attend their classes

        • #28231 Reply
          Ronnelle Sammons

          Yes Lisa! I agree!

          We struggle with student attendance in general, even when we are not facing COVID. Getting students to join Google Meets is tough. I hope that the third course of this training helps us with this aspect of virtual learning.

        • #28575 Reply
          Lany Moore

          I agree! Most of our students are very hesitant to join google meet. I send messages to the students every day to log into their virtual classroom but they don’t come. However, I create interactive assignments on google classroom for them to join in and do work there. When my students ask questions, I tell them to come to google meet for clarification and help. Interestingly, the students come.

      • #28107 Reply

        Hi Nadege,

        I’ really agree with that keeping participants engaged is challenging because we need to choose a good timing and also i need to change my facilitation style but here I have saw many tips who can help me.

      • #28174 Reply
        Dinorah Lorenzana

        Totally, keeping students attention for a whole class can be very difficult

      • #28439 Reply

        Hi Nadge i agree with you , with out having the strategies it was difficult but now this will help

    • #27808 Reply
      Michelle Candy

      My biggThe biggest challenge I’m facing is keeping learners engaged. I’m learning excellent, helpful strategies and am starting to integrate some of them, even if not as formally as set out in Tamara’s lessons.
      I’m in a minimum-security correctional setting, with my students in one room and me in the next. I have Zoom on my computer and Zoom on a student computer in my room, hooked up to the projector in the student classroom. They see me on the whiteboard and there is a webcam and microphone in their room to communicate with me.
      So it’s not one on one with tablets, but I’m also working on how to integrate using Padlet on student iPads.
      I look forward to suggestions or questions and to continuing to learn and figure this all out!
      est challenge is

      • #27813 Reply
        Rachelle Watson

        I am so appreciate of educators like yourself who have the talent to work with such a challenging group.  It must be very challenging to be so close, and yet so disconnected.  I’m curious, is that set up because of COVID protocols or is that a normal process to be in separate rooms?

        • #27876 Reply
          Michelle Marland

          Hi Michelle,

          I am glad to hear that you can incorporate at least one of these methods. Your hard work will pay off and the inmates will hopefully enjoy the initiative.

          Keep us posted!

          Michelle M.


          • #27917 Reply
            Michelle Candy

            Hi Michelle–thanks. We’re still struggling to get Padlet to work on our very locked-down iPads. I’ve had one of our tech guys working on it for a couple of weeks with no positive results yet. Still keeping fingers crossed, but increasingly not expecting it to work.

        • #27916 Reply
          Michelle Candy

          Hi Rachelle,

          The set-up is like this because of Covid protocols. Up until about August last year, we were still teaching in the same room as our students, though we had to limit them and space them six feet apart. Then we were not allowed to be in the same room with them for more than 15 minutes, so we had to come up with a way to deal with that. When we are really locked down and students aren’t allowed out of their dorms except for very specific times, we have a tv on a cart with a computer in a cage and we wheel that into the dorm. That is the worst, so far.

      • #28200 Reply
        Jack Kaburu


        That’s a great strategy to keep the learners engaged. That’s a strategy I will be trying out in my next class.

    • #27811 Reply
      Rachelle Watson

      The biggest challenge I have faced as an educator is the mental shift between what we used to do and what the learners need now.  We read this really great post about how we have to change our mindset for when we get kids back in school because they will have lived a whole different history than expected.  We have to work to change our goals and expected outcomes.  That has been a huge shift for a lot of the teachers in my school.

      • #27885 Reply
        Melissa J Kreek

        Agree!  It’s been so interesting to observe how my 1st grader is now engaging in remote learning.  His teacher is alternating use of 3 software packages to keep things interesting for learners.  I have been pretty impressed with how quickly these 6-7 year olds have picked up habits to jump on to another application and use passwords to enter. As Tamara noted, I suppose it is all about getting learners comfortable with the technology, familiar with the learning pathway, and to establish these tools as norms for learning.


      • #27899 Reply

        Hello Rachel,

        For me as well! I think in onsite trainings I have relied so much on visual cues to prompt state changes. You plan for a few but then you really react to observed attention or lack of attention to implement state change or flash review. That lack of physical interaction is the biggest challenge for me.

        Thank you,


        • #27918 Reply
          Michelle Candy

          Hi Velida,

          YES! That lack of physical reacting to cues really frustrates me! When I can walk through my classroom and observe my students working or struggling and can see where they may be working wrong and give them a little nudge, I feel a lot more on top of things. Now, I feel like I’m barely able to know what they are doing.

      • #27910 Reply
        Emily Lloyd

        Rachell, I agree. Going from teaching in class students to online has been hard to get use to. It also effects the communication between my students and myself. See the students allows me to see the face of the student and tell if the understand the information being taught. I fear that the students will not speak up if they are having a problem and they will remain silent, therefore not learning the lesson.

    • #27874 Reply
      Michelle Marland

      I think one of the biggest challenges is zoom fatigue. People definitely drown out or loose focus and do other things like checking emails, etc.

      • #27898 Reply

        Hello Michelle,

        Indeed, I think people are just overwhelmed by online meetings and trainings. It is hard to find the optimal (yet maximum) time one can spend on online training per day. As it cannot really be a full day, the training is then spread throughout few weeks, but then the question is should we sequence all the days or give people a bit of space to breathe and perhaps do a session every other day or every third day. Lots of questions and we learn as we go :). I think this course is a good model. I like the challenges that come in and remind me what I need to do, and how much time it will take.

        Thank you,


        • #27936 Reply
          Ariel Espinoza

          I am agree with you, sometimes the long sessions are a bit boring and we get distracted easily.

      • #27909 Reply
        Emily Lloyd

        I agree it is very hard to keep the students attention. I use a bitmoji as the instructor and it seems to grab their attention.

        • #27919 Reply
          Michelle Candy

          Oh, that’s an interesting idea–how do you set up the bitmoji as instructor? (I’m not a luddite, but I’m not up on all things tech, either)

      • #28074 Reply
        Anne Sellers

        Hi Michelle – I agree with you, zoom fatigue is very real! I experience it on an almost daily basis! 🙂 I do like the ‘sprint’ idea – and the mixing-it-up of zoom (synchronous) with individual/asynchronous learning. And spreading the sessions out too – I know that’s one thing we are planning to do with our upcoming learning event, especially since we know staff/participants don’t get to leave behind their regular job responsibilities to participate (as they might have when traveling to an onsite session!). All of those help – but none of them completely solve the problem!

      • #28339 Reply
        Fernanda Orellana

        I struggle with zoom fatigue, now that I am aware of the need to change state every few minutes I try to keep it in mind and have people move and switch focus so they keep engaged but I feel like after 5 hours of remote work, the very last thing an adult want to do is sit in front of a computer, turn their camera on and actually involve in a training. SPECIALLY ON A FRIDAY

    • #27884 Reply
      Melissa J Kreek

      For me, it is the 6th engagement strategy – social interaction and variation.  This has been particularly challenging for me in a virtual format to reach participants and encourage active engagement and participation!  I’m thinking of community of practice calls where we have 2-3 participants who usually speak and about 10 others who tune in to listen. I do think some of the strategies we’ve discussed in course 2 will help create lower-risk opportunities for others to engage through use of chat function and other anonymous feedback.


      • #27920 Reply
        Michelle Candy

        Hi Melissa,

        As an introvert who is very ready to let others talk, I think coming up with chat and other ways for introverts to communicate in a community of practice meeting is a good one. I would prefer to communicate that way than with my microphone, that’s for sure!

        • #28075 Reply
          Anne Sellers

          Hi Melissa and Michelle, I also feel the same way! And now that sessions are often recorded, that probably adds additional stress for introverts who aren’t super comfortable with speaking out! I think that break-out rooms can help with that too – just having the smaller, less formal opportunities to discuss may help. I liked the poll prompt used as an example in the course, ‘are you A, B, or C?’ because it helps people process individually but the response is somewhat defined so that may help people feel comfortable responding too!

    • #27908 Reply
      Emily Lloyd

      The biggest challenge is capturing and keeping the students attention. I do not want to fail any of my students so I worry if my content is engaging. I try to make my classes interesting and interactive.

    • #27935 Reply
      Ariel Espinoza

      The biggest challenge is how to keep students interested base on the quality of teaching and resources that allow them to have a dynamic interaction.

      • #27937 Reply
        Ariel Espinoza

        Totally agree, I think the information must be structured in the best way possible and manage the time, we must avoid to use long sessions and provide clear ideas to our students.

    • #28035 Reply

      My biggest challenge has been having adult learners engage in the asynchronous content. I definitely see the same in myself though. We generally are able to keep engagement/attention in a live session but when not live work and life demands get in the way and even engaged and interested learners tend not to complete all of the pre/post session work. The challenge then becomes if there was pre-work to be done and most people haven’t done it, to adjust the live session to compensate for that.

      • #28322 Reply
        Fernanda Orellana

        I agree with you Coniqua things get awkward when you start making questions or make reference to pre-work and nobody or just few of the attendants went through it. So adjusting in the moment can be a real challenge. I would recommend insisting on their reading the material as a MUST prior to the session sending emails and reminding them a few hours before the synchronous part so maybe they can have a quick scan reading before jumping in the meeting.

    • #28173 Reply
      Dinorah Lorenzana

      For me it has been how to apply the social interaction and variation. It has been hard to have group work or pair work, as I can not be supervising as usual.

    • #28199 Reply
      Jack Kaburu

      The Biggest challenge I encounter is ensuring that the learners are engaged during the entire training. I try engaging them by using the chat box or short assignments using breakout groups

    • #28229 Reply
      Arlene Benitez

      Like many who have posted here, my biggest challenges have been social interaction and variation. I’m not teaching online, but in webinars and other online learning events, it is easy to rely on the same framework of powerpoint presentations and questions in the chat box, which leaves a lot of people out. That said, as a learner (and an introvert), I find that I am definitely more comfortable with the chat box rather than voice or video, so I think my own preferences probably impact my choice.

    • #28230 Reply
      Ronnelle Sammons

      II would say that our largest obstacle here at YouthBuild is getting students to join their class times. Our attendance levels are something we always struggle with; however it is much worse in this online setting. There are also barriers associated with student’s technology knowledge levels. Students struggle with using Google Meets, Google Classrooms, their student emails and more.

      • #28576 Reply
        Lany Moore

        I agree with you that the students need to be trained on how to do all the platforms we have online. We need to help them first learn how to navigate google classroom, google meet, and even how to use their emails. When the students are not confident about what they are supposed to do, the harder we get them to participate in our virtual classes.

    • #28319 Reply
      Fernanda Orellana

      The biggest challenge is teaching students how to use the platform we will use to have the synchronous session, I have tried sending step by step guides with pictures or links with video tutorials, anything and yet there are many who have no idea and sometimes end up showing up late or never showing up, this is because my team and I work with people of different development areas and therefore only have one session every month or so.

    • #28346 Reply

      The students doesn´t want to use their camera

    • #28577 Reply
      Lany Moore

      We have done different strategies to encourage the students to come to google meet. But we have not been very successful in getting a lot of students to come. Students are used to doing their work on their own. They contact the teachers when they need help.

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