Successful Virtual Classroom

How to Design and Facilitate Interactive and Engaging Live Online Learning


SuccssflVIrtlClssrmPNGVirtual training gives learning professionals unprecedented flexibility, making it possible to reach participants globally and unite physically dispersed teams. However, designers and facilitators must adapt their programs and delivery styles in order to be effective in this new medium.

The Successful Virtual Classroom goes beyond introducing the technology, to offer trainers proven techniques tailored specifically to engage live online audiences. Packed with easy-to-use tools, checklists, and worksheets–as well as case studies from Oracle, UPS, and more–the book introduces the PREP model for planning, rehearsing, executing, and then conducting a post mortem following the training event.
Readers will learn how to:


“Practitioners will love the icebreakers and exercises provided in chapter 9, which can be used to achieve and maintain a high level of interactivity with participants....As organizations are faced with pressure to cut costs, become environmentally friendly, support remote employees, and compete globally, virtual classroom training is one solution. The Successful Virtual Classroom makes a convincing case for it, and provides a straightforward guide on how to successfully plan and deliver virtual training. Practitioners will find this resource to be a welcome addition to their existing toolkits.”

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ASTD is now the Association for Talent Development (ATD)

“Considering the completeness of the content and the quality of the support materials included in The Virtual Classroom, I would have to say that this is one of those books that will get used until the covers fall off. Readers will learn from it when they are new to online facilitation and they will continue to refer to it as they produce each new program. It will find a role in development plans and in instructor training.”

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Learning Solutions Magazine, A publication of The eLearning Guild

"Delivering learning using alternative delivery methodologies is critically important for today’s learning organizations. This book provides relevant and practical information about how to design and implement virtual classrooms. A useful resource for anyone interested in managing learning in the digital age.”

Tamar Elkeles, Ph.D., Chief Learning Officer, Qualcomm

“If you’re looking for an accessible and practical book that will help you master the virtual classroom this book hits the mark. It’s a MUST read for today’s technologically enabled learning and development professional charged with developing effective virtual programs for an increasingly diverse and globally dispersed audience.”

Elaine Biech, Author: Training for Dummies, Editor: ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training & Development”

“Complete with step-by-step instructions, case studies, check lists and ideas for icebreakers and exercises to keep virtual training sessions interactive and engaging, The Successful Virtual Classroom is an indispensable resource for both new and experienced virtual trainers.”

Anne Schwartz, Vice President, Global Leadership and Talent Development, UPS

"Darlene Christopher’s The Successful Virtual Classroom guides new and experienced trainers to orchestrate high-impact virtual training. It takes a comprehensive, holistic approach, covering not only the what — features, functionality, and team roles — but also the how — design, facilitation, and global considerations. The Successful Virtual Classroom draws on different types of research, including insights gleaned from the author’s interviews with more than 20 chief learning officers at Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, and the U.S. military."

Karen Hyder, Online Event Producer and Speaker Coach, The eLearning Guild,
Kaleidoscope Training and Consulting


DChristopher150x120PNGDarlene Christopher, CPLP, is a Senior Knowledge & Learning Officer for The World Bank in Washington, DC, where she directs regional learning programs for staff and provides technical leadership on distance learning programs for international government institutions. She has been designing and delivering virtual training programs for global audiences for over nine years and has authored numerous articles on virtual training including contributions to the ASTD Handbook, Road Tested, SCORE! for Webinar Training, and the 2012 Pfeiffer Annual Training.  Darlene served as the Advisory Chair for the 2013 ASTD TechKnowledge Conference, is a regular speaker at ASTD national and local events and served on the board as the Director of Virtual Programs for the Metro DC Chapter of ASTD from 2008-2011. Previously, Darlene held technology development and management positions at Disney Internet Group, 3Com, and Nextel. She is currently a member of the Advisory Panel for the George Mason University Instructional Design and Technology program. Darlene holds a Master’s degree in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of California, Davis. Darlene blogs at and you can follow her on Twitter at @darlenec.










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Contact Info

darlene (dot) christopher (at)

Washington, DC