For the last ten months, chartered accountant, external auditor and trainer Virginie Kimpe, has been running her training courses via Glowbl virtual classrooms. Here she gives her feedback.
A simple and fun virtual classroom solution
Virginie Kimpe is an independent chartered accountant, external auditor and trainer for Paris Ile-de-France Organisation of Chartered Accountants, the Compagnie Régionale des Commissaires aux Comptes de Paris external auditor organisation (ASFOREF), and ESCG Accounting and Management School. Her students, who are training to be chartered accountants, have six hours of classes with her every week. She uses Glowbl every day to teach groups of 20 to 45 students. In April, Virginie added a third string to her bow and now also teaches ASFOREF training officers, all fellow chartered accountants and external auditors, how to use Glowbl. Indeed, it is not easy switching from a seven-hour, in-person format with a great deal of material (including 300-page presentations) to a remote, virtual method. During the first lockdown in March last year, one of her employers, ESCG, decided to use Glowbl for remote learning. “So I switched to Glowbl overnight and when I first started using the platform, I found it to be very simple. I thought it was brilliant and signed up! I loved the fun aspect with the bubbles. It’s great!”
Further reading: “We needed an efficient, user-friendly solution that would mimic real-life training.”
Interactive functions to enhance your teaching
What Virginie Kimpe immediately liked about Glowbl was being able to share content on the table, without needing to use screen share, so that everyone can read and react to it at the same time. “Every time I invited clients or colleagues to join me on Glowbl, they loved the platform and the fact that you can choose whether you make content on the table downloadable or not. That’s great because you can share some material temporarily without necessarily wanting participants to download it there and then.”For Virginie, another advantage of Glowbl virtual classrooms is managing student participation. At the main table, only presenters can switch on their webcam and microphone and communicate orally. Students can then do the same at their sub-tables, where there are more interactive discussions. “I think it’s important that not everyone can speak at the same time in the classroom. On Glowbl, you can give a lecture-style class at the main table, and then move to sub-tables for group work. At the main table, the live chat and “hand up” functions are more than enough to manage student participation.” Virginie uses Glowbl to run her training sessions in the same, shared space for everyone, just like in real life. “I worked with a client who didn’t know how to organise work groups remotely. So, we used my Glowbl virtual classrooms and used sub-tables to quickly create work sub-groups. People who use other platforms have to juggle between different links to join groups in different classrooms that are not interconnected. It is unmanageable. With Glowbl, on the other hand, I can have two teachers in the same room and make my sub-groups accessible straightaway.” In smaller groups, Virginie Kimpe also uses sub-tables for one-on-one consultations. “When I have eight or nine students, they each take a table and I go from one table to another. That way, they can see me privately for a few minutes and ask questions without the other tables hearing us. It’s even better than a private chat because we can also share content easily. You can do everything in just one work space.”
A people-focused tool for more inspiring virtual classes
Above and beyond her own experience, Virginie recognises that her clients and students appreciate Glowbl’s ergonomic design and convivial nature. “They like the solution’s people-focused aspect, the fact you can see each other in the bubbles, move around and get closer to each other. It’s more friendly than traditional videoconferencing platforms.” While some training officers might find it difficult to adapt from real classroom-based learning to remote solutions, Virginie Kimpe is getting to grips with the functions of the virtual classroom. “Often I reserve two or three tables as break tables. Participants can go and chat there between classes. It’s a way of making often rather long training days more pleasant. The advantage of Glowbl for seven-hour training sessions is being able to move around the virtual classroom, change table, have conversations. Glowbl is a brilliant tool, you feel as though you can be with people without being physically present.”