Whether you are conducting face-to-face or virtual training, choosing suitable activities is vital to any teaching process. It's not a secret that online training lacks live communication. It requires lots of creativity to come up with ways of keeping your students engaged and motivated all the time.
We will discuss some interesting activities for better learning and teaching experience.
So let's dive into it!
The following article covers:
What is virtual training?
First, let's make sure we are clear with definitions. As the name suggests, it is the type of training where classes are held in a virtual rather than a traditional environment. Instructors, trainers, or coaches facilitate learning using the same educational material as during in-person training.
The primary difference is that a particular platform is chosen in virtual training to facilitate learning. Unlike face-to-face training, when you have to be physically present in the classroom, virtual training provides the perfect opportunity to join classes wherever you like.
Virtual training benefits are not limited to only flexibility. In fact, virtual training saves lots of time and money for both learners and the instructor.
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!
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.
If you are using an all-in-one platform, you can create quizzes inside it. Uteach provides the opportunity to have different types of quizzes: multiple choice, questions with one right answer, dropdown questions, and choosing pictures. The best thing is that you can have your questions in any format you like: audio, video, or image.
One of the best strategies for virtual training is using gamification. Learning games bring joy into the virtual classroom and immediately lift spirits.
You can choose various games, including peer learning, friendly competitions, discussion, and fun games.
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.
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.
You should consider implementing icebreakers to have 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?
Interactive poll creation tools can be used to visualize all responses, or you can simply make use of the chat feature.
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. Using annotation tools, you can make collaboration between students fun and encourage participation.
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. Brainstorming activities foster imagination and creativity. Sometimes students refrain from expressing their ideas. However, when another person’s name is attached to it, they are likelier to say it aloud.
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.
Here are some more benefits:
- Animated explanations make it easier for learners to process information
- Videos can be paused, rewatched when necessary
- Attention span lasts longer
- Higher interactivity and engagement are guaranteed
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.
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.
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.
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.