Which virtual activities should you be using to help people learn?

Several weeks ago, I asked readers to share how confident they felt in delivering virtual presentations. This was the result:

Over the past week we offered a series of webinars to share some thoughts on how to more effectively convert programs from in-person to virtual delivery and hundreds of Train Like A Champion readers participated in these webinars. From conversations that took place during these webinars, it appeared that one of the biggest sources of anxiety for people entering the world of virtual training delivery is their unfamiliarity with which virtual tools to use, when.

The first key piece of information you need is to identify what is possible with the platform you’re using. We did some quick research into the features available on the most popular virtual platforms and this is what we found:

Then, just like you would for in-person training, you can begin to connect your learning objectives with some specific activities. Here is a new chart that might help you decide which virtual features you would want to use based on the learning objectives you’ve identified:

As you can see, there are a ton of ways that you can interact with and engage your learners, regardless of the platform you’re using and the features with which you’re most comfortable.

Of course, if you need some specific activity ideas and step-by-step instructions on how to use these tools to help you accomplish your objectives, you may want to look into Interact and Engage: 50+ Activities for Virtual Training, Meetings and Webinars, written by Kassy Laborie and Tom Stone.

Based upon our conversations over the past week in our webinar series, there are two final notes I’d like to make here when it comes to growing comfort and confidence to design and deliver effective virtual training:

  1. Having a producer is a must. I’ll write more about this in the coming weeks, but having a colleague available to help with virtual meeting logistics, technology issues, monitor chat and questions and to set up polls and breakout rooms is invaluable.
  2. Practice, practice, practice. Just because you say you want to use a poll or a breakout room doesn’t mean it will go smoothly. Pull some colleagues (or a spouse or children or whomever) together sometime prior to taking your virtual session in front of your real audience, and practice to be sure your polls even show up on everyone’s screens, to be sure your breakout rooms work and to be sure any features you plan to use are enabled.

Out of Curiosity

Do you rehearse your virtual session before you take it in front of an actual audience?

Do you use a producer to assist in your virtual delivery?

Virtual Instructor-Led Training Session

If you missed our sessions on delivering virtual instructor-led training, you can watch a recording after you answer a few survey questions!

2 thoughts on “Which virtual activities should you be using to help people learn?

  1. Hi Brian, I just wanted to point out that there are two versions of Webex — Webex Meeting and Webex Training Center. They are two different licenses. Only the Training Center version has all the features you list on your table. The Meeting version has far fewer features and can be quite limiting unless someone is really creative.

    • Thanks Teddi – that’s a really good distinction. As I mentioned in the fine print we just did a quick test of the tools using free trial subscriptions, but this is really helpful when it comes to people who may be using WebEx (especially the meeting version).

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