Are you content with the learning activities you've implemented in virtual synchronous learning? Are participants? Perhaps you've stayed with the basics of virtual training and haven't yet included many activities.
Use breakout groups and other tools to engage learners and add a social element.
- Allot enough time for virtual learners to participate. Virtual activities require different timing than in-person activities. An icebreaker activity may require only five minutes in person but up to 10 minutes virtually because learners will need to come off mute or type a response in the chat. A breakout activity that in person can take 15 minutes for people to partner up and share their experiences may take 30 minutes virtually. You will need to send learners to breakout groups, allow for introductions and sharing, and build in time to reconnect them as a group. Account for the expanded time as you plan the training session.
- Set participants up for success. Unlike in-person training, you're not automatically privy to the discussions that occur during breakouts. You may not know whether learners are having problems with the technology or don't understand your instructions. To offset those challenges, give each group a slide with instructions for the activity. Alternatively, include instructions in the participant guide or assign a group leader to ensure everyone remains on task.
- Remember that you are part of all elements of the training course. Breakout groups aren't time to disengage or check emails. Instead, briefly join each of the groups to check in on how participants are doing.
Technology is great, but it's not perfect. Did learners have challenges with the tools? Ask for feedback, and be sure to remind learners during a session to use the chat or hand-raising function to alert you so you can assist and they can continue to engage in the learning.