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effective virtual training

How to Make Virtual Learning Engaging and Interactive

Posted March 6th, 2024

Delivering live virtual learning sessions online provides its own set of unique challenges. Whilst online training allows learning to be delivered differently and remotely, it can also lead to screen fatigue, which can disrupt learning and impact engagement.

But if you can deliver exciting, enthusiastic online training courses via Zoom or Microsoft Teams in a way that promotes active learning and participation, you will be able to avoid a stagnant session.

Designing and facilitating engaging and collaborative learning experiences in a virtual classroom doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

If you’re looking for ways to make your virtual learning sessions more fun, take a look at our top tips:

Start on a high note

Building collaborative activities should begin as soon as the lesson starts. After introductions to the course, it’s key to begin providing exercises to engage your learners immediately.

This could be as simple as having everyone in the group take turns to state their names and one fun fact about themselves.

This will set the tone and also break the ice between yourself and the group so that participants are relaxed as they enter the learning environment.

Conduct brainstorming sessions

The great thing about collaborative platforms such as Zoom is the breakout room feature which enables focused individual meetings. You could try pairing learners or splitting the group to discuss a topic from different angles.

Breakout rooms allow you to create separate, smaller groups within a larger meeting or training session and you can visit any of the breakout groups to assist and answer questions.

You’re also able to use video, chat, whiteboards and screen sharing during a breakout room session to maximise your time.

Present efficiently using a whiteboard feature

A whiteboard activity is something that allows you to draw up information and share it with the group.

This is a great tool to use so that you can avoid standing at the front of a room, drawing on a physical whiteboard, which isn’t easy to see and may affect the audio quality the further away you move from the device recording your session.

It also allows your learners to save the whiteboard file if they want to use it in additional learning sessions.

With the whiteboard feature, you can create activities and Q&A sessions, or further explain points visually.

Create an interactive activity to engage your learners

Enriching your learners’ experience online is an essential part of online sessions, but with limited resources, coming up with tasks can be challenging.

Something as simple as hosting a web browsing activity can allow your learners to do something and not simply listen.

Web browsing enables learners to move away from the presentation or information and use their initiative to come up with a relevant example to answer your question.

It also allows for further learning if you ask your class to switch over to an article or resource page where they are all able to read at their own pace instead of you screen-sharing the paper directly.

A session plan goes a long way

Drawing up a session plan is a great way to lay out exactly what to expect from the session.

Take a look at one example:

Lesson plan: Effective Communication Skills Virtual Training

9 am-9:15 am: Introductions and a fun fact about yourself

9:15 am- 10:am: Communication basics and the history of communication models presentation

10 am-10:20 am: Web browsing activity (Find a point in history where communications changed drastically)

10:20 am-10:35 am: Short break

10:35 am-11 am: Breakout room brainstorming session about the future of communication technology

Etc…

Allowing your learners to know exactly what will happen and at what time enables them to anticipate different tasks and know that they will need to prepare something in advance.

Avoid screen fatigue

Screen fatigue is something that you can avoid by breaking up your topics appropriately.

This could be holding regular breaks, incorporating discussions, brainstorming, collaborative theories, web browsing activities and individual presentations.

In the digital age, it’s essential to change the way that you teach based on the resources available to you.

For example, you could use your whiteboard and chat feature to add a brain teaser or word search which highlights the next point in your presentation.

Exercises are a great way to transition from each point to avoid overloading your learners with information for lengths of time.

Chat features to share ideas

The in-meeting chat feature allows you to allow your learners to start a discussion which isn’t vocal, which can cut down on learners being spoken over.

Non-verbal feedback

Sometimes, you may need to provide feedback during your lesson and at a point which could interrupt your speaking.

Non-verbal feedback can be given using the Reactions Icon at the bottom of your screen to communicate a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ by using the tick or X icon.

Make use of the polling capabilities

Polling is a great way to create a fun activity for your learners to break up the session.

Whether you utilise the poll to give your learners a choice for how the session moves forward or if you are using it to create multiple-choice questions, it’s one way to use different features and mix up your learning tools.

Further reading

If you require your learners to read additional resources ahead of the next session, instead of pasting the links into the chat, try including them on a whiteboard template and sending the chat a file which they can download to their devices.

Utilising screen sharing will also enable you to show your class abstracts from books or videos as part of your learning plan.

At Trainer Bubble, we provide engaging virtual training course materials that help you deliver an effective online training course. To find out how we can help you enhance your training sessions or to download some of our virtual training course materials, visit our website for more information and easy access to a variety of tools.

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