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Designing Virtual Training Certificate

Design powerful activities for instructor-led virtual training.

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Organizations today are increasingly using virtual classroom platforms like WebEx, Adobe Connect, and others to convey information and build skills quickly, cost-effectively, and just-in-time, as learners need to know and apply the material. Virtual classroom platforms commonly feature tools such as chat, whiteboards, application sharing, and breakout rooms. Sure, these tools seem cool, but what is the best way to use them from an instructional perspective? This online certificate program enables participants to create learner-centric collaborative exercises using these synchronous tools and design instructional materials to support their online learning programs. Throughout the program, best practice tips for online training design that leads to maximum learning transfer will be explained, modeled, and reinforced.

Former Course Name: Designing Synchronous Learning

  • Online 6 sessions, 12 hours total
  • On-SiteFlexible dates & duration

Dates & Locations

Live Online

Nov 02-Dec 14, 2017

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Live Online

Jan 18-Feb 22, 2018

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Live Online

Mar 15-Apr 19, 2018

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Live Online

Apr 05-May 17, 2018

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Program Overview

Program Overview

The term synchronous means happening at precisely the same time, and refers to an online learning experience in which an instructor and a group of participants speak and interact in an online classroom. Designing learning for this environment requires a different way of thinking about participant engagement and interactivity. But the fact is most virtual classroom platforms provide the tools to allow participants to collaborate on meaningful group activities. This program, presented by ATD in partnership with synchronous learning experts InSync Training, provides twelve hours of live, online instruction. Templates for a facilitator guide and participant guide, and an interactivity planning tool will be provided. Participants will leave this program with skills and tools to successfully design synchronous training programs, including establishing learner engagement, creating collaborative activities, and creating appropriate instructional materials for a synchronous program.

Why You Should Attend:

  • Apply collaborative design techniques to migrate online presentations to online learning events.
  • Create collaborative synchronous exercises utilizing whiteboard, chat, breakout rooms, application sharing, and synchronized web browsing.
  • Use the templates provided in the workshop to create synchronous facilitator and participant materials.

What to Expect:

  • Supplemental Resources: Participants will receive a downloadable participant guide to accompany the online sessions, as well as electronic tools and templates for synchronous design.
  • Online Sessions: Live online sessions will be conducted once a week for six weeks. Each session is two hours in length. You'll participate via the WebEx Training Center platform plus a teleconference for audio. Special software is not required. All you need is a standard web browser and a telephone to participate! In addition, it is strongly recommended to use a desktop or laptop computer as using a tablet or phone severely limits your ability to fully and actively participate in the program.
  • Discussion Board: A discussion board will be available as a support tool throughout the program. The instructor will post information and discussion topics. Participants may post questions for the instructor and topics for discussion as well.
  • Opportunities for Application: In addition to the interactive weekly online sessions, participants will also have the opportunity to design and get feedback on three synchronous activities using their own curricula and the interactivity planning tool provided in the workshop.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

Week 1: Creating Collaborative Synchronous Exercises

This two-hour session discusses and explores the concerns that many online facilitators have: how to keep participants engaged and active in the online environment so that the learning is of the same quality participants expect of classroom-based programs, and the same results and performance improvement organizations expect.

After this session, participants will be able to:

  • Choose the correct event type from among meetings, presentations, and learning events.
  • Apply a three-step instructional design technique used to determine which instructional objectives can be taught in a synchronous environment.
  • Define online interaction and online collaboration.
  • Explain when and how interaction and collaboration should be designed into synchronous events.
  • Discuss the design of serial and concurrent collaboration.

Week 2: Using Whiteboards and Chat

This two-hour session introduces how whiteboards and chat can be used in innovative ways to create participant interaction and engagement.  

After this session, participants will be able to:

  • Design effective whiteboard and chat exercises that maximize interaction and collaboration.
  • Develop instructions for participants to guide them through activities that use these two tools.
  • Identify instructional uses, constraints, and best practices for each tool.

Week 3: Web Browsing

With online learning, the entire World Wide Web has become the classroom—the challenge lies in using it appropriately. This two-hour session provides creative ways to create interaction and collaboration in a virtual classroom setting using synchronized web browsing. Topics include instructional uses of the tool, frequently asked questions, best practices and techniques, ground rules for collaborative exercises, and exercise design.

After this session, participants will be able to:

  • Use a facilitator guide template to design effective web browsing exercises that maximize interaction and collaboration.
  • Develop instructions for participants to guide them through their activities.
  • Identify instructional uses, instructional constraints, and best practices for web browsing.
  • Critique a web browsing activity for appropriate use of the tool, clear instructions, interaction, and collaboration.
  • Anticipate the issues and design solutions to address issues with participant’s self-management of activities.

Week 4: Breakout Room Activities

In a live classroom setting, there is no better way to involve students than to split them into smaller discussion groups. Now, similar capability is available in virtual classroom platforms in the form of breakout rooms. This two-hour session provides instructional techniques to encourage collaboration using breakout room activities.

After this session, participants will be able to:

  • Design effective breakout room exercises that maximize collaboration.
  • Develop instructions for participants to guide them through their activities.
  • Create facilitator guide instructions for facilitator’s to manage the activities.
  • Anticipate the issues involved with participant’s self-management of activities.
  • Identify the producer’s role in supporting breakout activities.

Week 5: Application Sharing

Application sharing, or remotely viewing and controlling a software application on someone else's computer, is one of the most attractive features in the synchronous environment, but to fully engage participants we need to move beyond “watch me demonstrate” and allow participants to interact with the application. This two-hour session provides creative ways to encourage collaboration in a virtual classroom setting using application sharing. Topics include instructional uses for application sharing, best practices and techniques, ground rules for collaborative exercises, and exercise design.

After this session, participants will be able to:

  • Design effective application sharing exercises that maximize collaboration.
  • Describe instructional uses constraints and best practices for application sharing activities and the chat tool.
  • Develop instructions for participants to guide them through activities.
  • Create clear facilitator guide instructions for facilitators to manage the activities.
  • Understand the importance of the producer’s role in supporting application sharing.

Week 6: Blended Programs and Materials

In order to achieve interactive and “high touch” synchronous programs, it is critical to have participant and facilitator materials that adequately support the content. This two-hour session provides design strategies for creating learner-centric materials, encouraging participant completion of self-directed work, and assisting the facilitator in managing the online program.

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Create a design document that includes asynchronous and synchronous components.
  • Consider the overall curriculum design approach including pre-, post-, and intersession work.
  • Assess what items are important to include in design materials and how they affect the course.

If you have not delivered learning in the virtual classroom environment or want to focus on delivery rather than design, we recommend our Facilitating Synchronous Learning Certificate Program.



  • Topic 1 - Creating Collaborative Synchronous Exercises
  • Topic 2 - Using Whiteboards and Chat
  • Topic 3 - Application Sharing
  • Topic 4 - Breakout Exercises
  • Topic 5 - Web Browsing
  • Topic 6 - Designing Instructional Materials for the Synchronous Classroom
  • Appendix
Who Should Attend

Who Should Attend

This program is for professionals whose current or future job responsibilities include designing synchronous online courses. Or, anyone who wants to improve the quality of their synchronous training programs.
Credits & Attendance

Credits & Attendance

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Earn 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon successfully completing this program. Learn More

CPLP© Recertification Points

This program may be eligible for up to 12 CPLP recertification points. Learn more at

HRCI Recertification Credits

This program has been pre-approved for 12 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

SHRM Recertification Credits

This program is valid for 12 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

Attendance Policy

Participation in all online sessions at their originally scheduled day and time is mandatory to receive a completion certificate and 1.2 CEUs. All sessions will be recorded and available for participants to review throughout the program.

ATD requires active participation in our online program to receive credit for the program  Active participation includes, but is not limited to, participating in virtual classroom activities, discussions, breakout sessions, and intersession work.

For programs with 5 or more sessions, one missed live session can be made up by listening to the session recording in full. Participants who miss more than one live session will not be eligible to receive the certificate.
For programs with 4 or fewer sessions, attendance at all live sessions is required to receive a certificate. If you meet the eligibility requirements, a certificate will be issued to you through the ATD Learning Portal at the end of the program. 


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