When you are conducting virtual training, choosing suitable activities is vital. It's not a secret that virtual training lacks live communication. That is why creative activities come to fill in this gap.
Let’s discuss and analyze 25 virtual training activities that will instantly make the virtual teaching-learning process more fun and interactive.
The following article covers:
Virtual training activities worth implementing
Finding engaging activities for students could be really challenging for virtual instructors. The games and techniques used in traditional classrooms do not always fit in virtual classrooms. So if you are looking for fresh activity ideas, we've got you!
Having quizzes and quests during virtual training provides entertainment and improves cognitive abilities. Quizzes are perfect when it’s time to summarize a particular topic. You can hold not only regular but also live quizzes. In both cases, you will need to prepare the questions beforehand.
For live quizzes, share the screen with multiple-choice clickable answers with your students. The answers can be provided both individually or via group discussions.
One of the best strategies for virtual training is using gamification. Learning games bring joy into the virtual classroom and immediately lift spirits.
Taboo games will help to review the key points in the topic. Just choose a few primary concepts from the topic. Then define a few related words which cannot be used while explaining. They will act as taboo words. If your word is desert, taboo words may include camel, cactus, sand, hot, and water. Send the word to a student in a private message and have them describe it to a teammate. Whoever guesses the most words in one minute wins the game.
#3 Virtual Icebreakers
You should consider implementing icebreakers for a more friendly, open, and connected virtual environment. Next time you have virtual training, try these examples and see how they will liven up the atmosphere.
Two truths and a lie is a commonly used activity your students will love. For this activity, ask each student to write down three statements about them, from which two are true, and one should be a lie. Have other students identify what they think is a lie. Reveal the correct answer and be open to any follow-up questions.
Say it with an emoji is an excellent way to find out how everybody feels about a particular question right before starting the training. Typical questions may be:
- Which emoji describes your current mood?
- Which emoji describes our virtual classroom?
Brainstorming is a great technique to find out what your students already know or what they have learned. Some people think differently, and you cannot have your students shout random ideas they might have. To keep everything organized, make sure you use digital whiteboards. Some brainstorming whiteboards include PowerPoint, Google Docs, Miro, and Canva.
A commonly used brainstorming activity is figure-storming. This implies putting yourself in another person’s shoes and giving a solution in a way the chosen persona would provide.
#5 Video Learning
Nowadays, people tend to watch more videos than read a book. Video-based learning is gaining more and more popularity. The reason behind this is that videos provide a detailed overview of the topic in a shorter amount of time.
Animated explanations make it easier for learners to process information. And this makes the attention span last longer.
You can create your own videos or use tons of video resources on the internet. As an example activity, you can pause the video and hold discussions.
#6 Collaborative learning
As the name implies, collaborative learning is based on collaboration between students. Learners work more in groups or pairs than individually. Collaborative learning activities not only develop creative thinking and cooperation skills but also help to understand various perspectives.
A typical example of an activity is Jigsaw.
Divide your students into several groups and give them a topic for research. Each group should focus only on one aspect of the research. This way, students can share the information they gained with others and have the whole picture of the topic. Activities like Jigsaw improve critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills.
#6 Q&A sessions
Question and answer sessions are fundamental not only for physical but also for virtual classrooms.
It is certain that your students may need clarification on particular areas of the lesson even after thorough discussions. By asking questions, students learn from their peers and come to new solutions to problems.
You can have the students prepare their questions beforehand. First, give their peers a chance to answer from their perspective. Then, if there's a need, make clarifications yourself.
#7 Case studies
Everything seems much easier in theory than it is in practice. Analyzing and discussing case studies may be an interactive way to provide the practical aspect of the virtual session. You can prepare the case study material beforehand and propound the topic for further discussion. Another option is assigning students to introduce case studies themselves.
Both will help to reinforce the material learned.
#8 Virtual team-building
As a trainer, you may no doubt encounter some challenges connected with the virtual environment. In this respect, team-building activities may help to smooth these challenges and foster collaboration.
An activity example is a virtual scavenger hunt. You are probably familiar with the standard version of this game, when players have a particular amount of time to solve the puzzle or find things. It can be done in a virtual setting as well. You can create the tasks yourself or use websites that organize such online games.
Virtual training is not just about you lecturing and the students listening. It is a collaboration between you and the students in and of itself. So, it will be a perfect idea to organize separate discussion sessions. You can have both whole-group and breakout-group discussions depending on the size of your students’ group.
After choosing the topic, you can provide your students with useful resources or reading materials so that they can prepare in advance. All that is left to be done during the session is acting as a facilitator and guiding the discussion.
#10 Guest-speaker sessions
If you have a colleague or someone who is an expert on the topic, invite them to run the training. Students will be definitely loving it!
It will be a great experience exchange. The speaker may bring about a whole new perspective on the matter, so the students will be able to study the topic in a more comprehensive way.
#11 Team presentations
Collaboration, visual aids, and development of public speaking skills - what can be a better virtual training activity than team presentations?
They are not only good for developing skills but also for fostering engaging and interactive virtual sessions. Team presentations do not require much to be organized! You can especially use them when summing up a topic. Each group will present the outcomes of their research using presentations. As a result, other students can learn from their peers.
#12 Peer reviews and feedback
One thing is when you provide feedback to your learners. Another is when students comment on their peers' work. It is an excellent learning opportunity for the reviewers and recipients.
So, next time when a student presents their work, have other learners comment on it.
- What were the strong points of the work?
- In which aspects could it be improved?
- How would they have done it differently?
As a facilitator, ensure the reviewers stay constructive and supportive.
#13 Self-evaluation surveys
It’s important for the students to be able to self-assess their own progress. When they know how much they have already accomplished, it serves as a spark of motivation to achieve more. What they can do is develop criteria according to which they will be evaluated. For example:
- Content comprehension
- Application of learning
This is how the learners can reflect on their progress.
#14 Virtual tours
Imagine being able to visit a place without leaving home. Sounds controversial and interesting at the same time, doesn’t it? Every training participant will be able to visit the same place despite their geographical location due to virtual trips.
Virtual trips combine fun, creativity, explorations, and learning. There are so many online resources you can conduct virtual trips with.
For example, if you have online art training, you could visit virtual art galleries or museums.
Role-playing is a great way to discuss topics. You can assign a persona to every student. Start a discussion about the topic and let your students react to it. The key is to answer from the point of view of their personas and not their own perspective.
It’s another creative and engaging virtual training activity you can use to spice up your session.
#16 Friendly Competitions
Who doesn’t like friendly competitions? You can use them in a virtual setting to boost engagement and interactivity.
Competitions may be either in the form of a quiz or a game. Besides having an educative purpose, competitions foster collaboration and teamwork among students. Divide your students into groups and start the topic-related game or the quiz. You can also prepare a little prize for the winning group.
#17 Storytelling practices
Storytelling is a useful activity that can be adapted to any topic. Whether your training is about learning languages or web design, storytelling may be used to enrich one’s imagination & creativity. Here is an example activity.
- Prepare some pictures on various topics
- Have one of your students make up a story about it
- Other students should toss around some ideas on how they are going to continue the story.
You can set a time limit or continue until the story reaches its endpoint. This activity is better for small groups.
#18 Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality is making its way into our lives so fast. So, why not incorporate some VR activities in virtual training sessions? If your group is not too large, you can create a virtual lab for experiments.
Everything the students learned for theory can be applied with the help of online VR games. Such games have multiplayer opportunities so everyone can get engaged in the experiment.
# 19 Concept visualization
Visualization may be a helpful virtual training activity to implement, especially if your students are dealing with lots of text. Visualization techniques can help to memorize the material better.
As an example activity, you can use audio recordings. While the audio plays, each student should draw an illustration. Afterward, they are going to render what was said in the audio using their illustrations.
# 20 Situation-based learning
Situation-based learning is also known as Scenario-based learning (SBL). It is another effective strategy when it comes to putting one's knowledge into practice. It can be used in a virtual classroom as well.
All you have to do is create various scenarios for the students about a topic you are going to discuss. For example, if it is about sales, students may come up with ideas on how they will sell a certain product or service to a particular customer. You can use the whiteboard to write down all the answers and hold a discussion.
# 21 Polls
You can include polls in your training for different purposes.
- for gathering feedback
- for doing pre-training and post-training assessment
- for checking the students’ knowledge
Whatever your goal is, polls will help to bring interactivity into the virtual classroom. For example, whenever you feel the lesson is getting monotonous, ask a fun question related to your topic and let the participants engage in a poll. It will bring a spark of freshness and let the students concentrate better.
#22 Role change
Imagine how the training will go if one of your students becomes the trainer of the day! You can pick one of the students as the one responsible for the session. They are free to choose any training activities they like as long as it resonates with the topic. The student should be able to conduct deep research on the topic to be able to introduce it to his/her peers.
At the same time, you may act as a student. You can carry on the experiment for as long as you want.
#23 Challenge of the day
Do you want to keep the student’s attention til the last minute of the training? Use this activity, especially if you have planned to have a lecture. The point of the activity is that you offer a challenge, the solution to which your students will be able to find by the end of the training session.
Before starting to elaborate on the topic, propound a problem or a theory. At the end of the training, each of the students will present their suggestions to prove the theory right or wrong.
#24 Microlearning activities
Microlearning activities are a great way to increase motivation. The focus of microlearning is delivering a small piece of information to facilitate quick learning.
Let’s say you want your students to learn hundred new words by the end of the virtual training. So, you find a resource, such as online vocabulary flashcards, and share it with your students. They will be able to practice in their free time and at their own pace. You can set a deadline and later discuss the task with them during your last training session.
Podcasts have become extremely popular recently. And, of course, you can use them to bring freshness into your virtual classroom setting. It is a nice way to expose the learners to different perspectives.
For example, you can pick a short podcast relating to your topic. If you want, you can also record one yourself. Play it during the training and have your students take notes. Afterward, hold a discussion and see how actively engaged the students become.
How to make learning fun?
You don't want your students to hide behind screens, do you? So remember that besides being insightful, content should also provide fun and engagement. Here are some tips to get you going.
Know your students
Put yourself in your student’s shoes to attract their attention for longer.
- Find out what people of their age group are interested in to meet their expectations.
The content you share with younger learners would be very different from that with adults. For younger students, it would be better to use simple explanations. You would also like to include more animations.
- Remember that people learn differently. Some are kinesthetic learners, and others are auditory. While some people prefer more visuals, others demand more reading and writing activities. Combining learning styles to provide a varied learning experience is best.
Did you know that almost 65% of the world's population are visual learners? The reason behind this is that when people don't feel tense, they become more receptive so that they remember better.
Another good reason for implementing visuals is that, in most cases, only text can't transmit the message well. Presentation, infographics, animations, videos, and various illustrations will help students process information quicker, improve comprehension and memorize better. This being said, there are better options than sticking to only text or video formats. So consider experimenting with the variety of content without overdoing it.
Using visual elements purely for decoration is also not a good idea as subconsciously, the learners will try to understand the message behind the image rather than paying attention to what is being said. Visuals should only support learning goals.
Make students feel included
While the training is in a physical classroom, it is easier to keep learners focused. Reading long texts and giving some time to work individually are typical activities for face-to-face classrooms. However, such activities can be monotonous when implemented in a virtual classroom.
To make sure your students are motivated, ensure they are taking an active part in the virtual lesson process. What do I do so their attention doesn't shift from the lesson?
Here's what to consider:
- Ask a student's opinion on the topic discussed by mentioning their name at the beginning of your question. By doing so, the student feels that you appreciate their opinion.
- Allow them to form conclusions by connecting with the discussed content and their experience.
- Build interpersonal relationships by providing your students with constructive feedback.
- Remember that you act as a facilitator. So try to encourage your students and make them feel valued.
Brush up your presentation skills
It's crucial for every good trainer also to be a good presenter. In the end, you want to keep students' interest in the topic you are presenting. For this reason, make sure to pay attention to your voice and pitch, as you want to speak in a warm and friendly way.
Also, consider the following:
- Avoid using too many fillers in your speech. Instead, use more attention-grabbers
- Ask if they can hear you well to ensure everything with audio works fine.
- Pay attention to timing! For interactive lessons, you don't want to explain and present all the time.
- Use storytelling techniques to make your presentation memorable.
Ask for feedback
Another way to make your training more appealing is by asking for feedback. Otherwise, how would you know if the training is fun?
Collecting answers from students is the best way to know:
- What should be improved in a virtual training session?
- Which activities did learners like better?
- Is there something missing?
Provide them with a virtual survey, analyze the results, and start improving!
Looking to upgrade your virtual training?
If you consider bringing your virtual training to a new level, consider using a teaching platform like Uteach.
Uteach provides lots of opportunities to facilitate the teaching process, which in its turn, makes learning fun. It offers live lessons via video conferencing tools you prefer. This way, you can hold group discussions and put into practice any virtual training activity you like.
Using a platform like this, you can build your website in just a few steps and start a blog. It will allow you to reach even more students.
Uteach is easy to use and saves time and effort to provide a full learning experience for your student.