Successful Virtual


How to Design and Facilitate Interactive and Engaging Live Online Learning


Virtual 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:


Darlene Christopher, CPTD, is a Senior Knowledge 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 ATD 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. 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


"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

“All virtual classroom facilitators need this book!” --Learning Solutions Magazine

“Provides a refreshing look at the art of virtual training and facilitation...Practitioners will find this resource to be a welcome addition to their existing toolkits.” -- TD magazine

"A resource for those starting out or those already conducting virtual learning sessions who want to learn more." -- Technical Communications



Free downloads to guide your Virtual Classroom:

  1. Successful Virtual Classroom Ch 1 by D Christopher
  2. PREP Model Checklist
  3. Virtual Classroom Observation Template
  4. Questions to Consider When Learning to Use a Virtual Classroom Tool


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Contact Info

darlene.christopher at

Washington, DC