15 Learners’ Expectations of Virtual Learning and How to Fulfill Them


The virtual learning environment presents a distinct set of challenges that necessitate a precise definition of the trainer’s performance. In this virtual realm, the responsibilities of an trainer are defined mainly by the learners’ expectations coupled with excellence in learning design. Therefore, the learner’s expectations listed below are considered minimal standards for a trainer.

Whether you are teaching time management, leadership, systems, technology, yoga or flower arranging, your virtual learning environment should be buzzing with fulfilling learner expectations.

So, without further ado, let us get going:

1.    Maintain A High-Quality Learning Environment

Learners determine the bare minimum of interaction and management required between themselves and virtual trainers to maintain a high-quality virtual learning environment. It is expected of you as a course trainer to ensure that you never deliver the bare minimum, but maximum engagement in the highest quality learning environment.

2.    Follow Proper Guidelines For The Course Management

Learners expect you to stick to the virtual course’s start and end dates. When learners sign up for your virtual course, they expect it to begin and end on time. However, schedule changes may be required to meet deadlines for learners who are not graduating from the course.

Include a faculty bio that includes your photo, credentials, and other relevant information about yourself. You must also provide contact information, office hours availability, and a response time for learner inquiries. According to research, learners must establish a connection with the trainer for learners to succeed in virtual courses.

3.    The Course Is Greeted With Open Arms

A warm welcome announcement aids orientation and contributes to creating a safe, trusting virtual environment, critical to virtual course success. It is strongly advised that you make a welcome video so that learners can put a face to a name well before the virtual program begins.

It is critical to include an introductory forum and icebreaker in the first lesson to foster community building and interaction. The interactions that take place in the virtual classroom have a direct impact on learner retention and success in your course.

4.    Get Your Learners Interacted And Engaged From The Start Of The Course

Expectations, including those for grading assignments, are clearly stated. All expectations should be stated concisely and clearly by trainers. Expectations should be communicated well in advance and in a prominent location (syllabus, announcement, course outline, brochure, first lesson, etc.) and should be reinforced as needed.

5.    Weekly Announcements And Updates Are Made

On longer programs updates and announcements serve to remind learners while also maintaining clarity and communication. Therefore, we recommend announcing your class at least once a week, informing learners of the topics you will be covering in the coming week, and reminding them of any due dates or essential course or information.

6.    Set Clear Expectations For Virtual Communications

Expectations for virtual comments, responses, questions, and other forms of virtual communication should be clearly stated so that every learner understands what is expected. Monitor assignment submissions, communicate with learners and remind them of missed and upcoming deadlines.

7.    Proactive Course Management Strategies Are Helpful

Proactive course management strategies can help ensure a successful learning experience. This is best done through a private email or coaching meetings with learners who have missed assignments. In addition, announcements can be used to notify all learners about upcoming assignments.

8.    Use A Variety Of Assessment Methods

Your learners learn in different ways and, as a result, assessing learning application needs to happen in different ways. Assessment in your course can include assignments, discussion postings, presentations, quizzes, assessments, activities, labs, and other course work. Remember that trainers use assessment to ensure that learners understand the course objectives and drive learning application, not just to assign grades.

9.    Respond To Learner Inquiries Within 24 Hours

Because virtual learners must carefully manage their time, a prompt trainer response to email or questions posed in discussion forums is critical. If you cannot provide a detailed response within 24 hours, we recommend that you notify the learner when a more detailed response will be provided. Use clear and concise language to provide timely and meaningful feedback on learner work.

10.    Always Provide Feedback To Your Learners

You have an ideal “teachable moment” when providing feedback on learner work! Simply telling a learner “good job” or “needs work” does not provide them with the information they require to succeed. They require (and desire!) more specifics. What was it about the work that made it so good? (They’ll be able to do it again!). What needs to be improved, and how can they do so?

11.    The Trainer Participates In The Virtual Discussion Regularly

The trainer is the essential aspect of any learner’s learning. Therefore, the trainer should participate in the virtual debate and other group activities. In most cases, the trainer responds to questions, encourages learners, initiates new discussion topics, and identifies learners who may require additional help. Whether the trainer makes a few or many comments, learners must feel the trainer’s constant presence in the virtual classroom and discussion.

12.    There Is Some Virtual Text Provided, But Not A Lot

It is acceptable to include brief written materials in the course. Most learners, however, will not read a large amount of text, however those that do absolutely relish in it. Therefore, in addition to online reesources, consider using print textbooks, audio lectures, slides, videos, pictures, and other methods to convey information. Active learning occurs when learners participate in one or more activities during the course.

13.    The Activities Can Take The Form Of Virtual Or Offline Projects

When learners participate in activities, such as creating content, their learning is enhanced. PowerPoint presentations, virtual collaborative projects, role-playing, debates, and other activities are examples of activities. Inform your learners ahead of time when you will grade and return all assignments and exams. If you do not tell them this information, you will undoubtedly be questioned!

14.    Always Ensure The Use Of The Latest Technologies

Ascertain that you have immediate and predictable access to the same technology that learners in your course are required to use. Your course outline, brochure or syllabus is an excellent place to communicate to your learners about the technology they must have to participate in your virtual courses effectively.

You will also want to ensure that you’re using a computer system and network that can meet those technological requirements!  If you cannot log into the course for several days or more, notify your learners and the department/program chair in advance (e.g., during professional travel).

15.    Always Encourage 360 Degree Feedback Among The Learners

Encourage your learners to provide feedback on assignments. Feedback from learners is an excellent way to improve the course or your teaching method.


Whenever possible, provide information about real-world or current event topics that allow learners to connect the content you’re teaching to their own lives. Using the help of ID9 Intelligent Design, you can proactively fulfill all the expectations of your learners.

Contact us today to accelerate in the world of learning and development.