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One year ago, the world shut down.  Or, it would have shut down had technology not come to the rescue.  From Amazon to Zoom, web-enabled technology kept the world’s economy moving during the worst of the shelter-in-place orders.  One area that came to a screeching halt for the first month or two after the orders was face-to-face training.

Naively thinking that we were only going to be working from home for a few weeks to a few months, companies at first cancelled their classes and adopted a wait-and-see attitude.  By the end of the second month, it became clear that training needed to adapt to the virtual world, and that sheltering in place was going to continue for the foreseeable future.

Organizations first experimented with webinars, basically taking their classroom materials, and chunking it into two-hour lectures with a short Q&A period at the end.  As the months passed, the number of live web lectures grew exponentially.  Keeping people interested and engaged in webinars has become more challenging.

Lucky for you, web-conferencing software and Comprehensive Learning Solutions are here to give you ideas to make your online sessions more engaging.  Consider using some of the web-conferencing features in creative ways to boost engagement:

  • Chat: Turn lists of pros and cons into an activity by asking half the participants to write the pros in the chat function and the other half to write the cons.  For example, in a course on loans, ask the first half of the participants list (or any other way to divide the class) to write the benefits of debt financing; ask the bottom half of the list to write the drawbacks.
  • Breakout rooms: Create fun competition in the group by dividing the class into breakout groups and have them devise a plan to win some type of class tournament.  This could include debates, learning competitions, or creative problem solving.  Use the breakout rooms for preparation, then go back to the main room to run the competition.
  • Screen sharing:  Encourage participants to stay focused by giving them a reason to study the screen.  Use graphic puzzles to help them identify issues.  For example, in a construction safety webinar, show a picture of an unsafe workplace and ask participants to write in the chat the 10 things wrong with this picture.
  • Annotation: No matter how old you are, it seems you are never to old to enjoy a little bit of fun drawing, especially if there is little expectation that the drawing looks good.  Use the annotation feature to make brainstorming more fun.  For example, in a strategic planning session, start by asking participants to draw on the screen images that represent success for the organization.  Conclude by discussing those images.

Want more tips on how to convert your classroom training for the online environment?  Comprehensive Learning Solutions has been advising organizations of all sizes on how to do this.  Contact Comprehensive Learning Solutions today for training or advisory services on remote learning.

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