One of the biggest challenges faced by virtual facilitators is participants who multitask during virtual classes. Participants who aren't paying attention aren't learning. There's a simple yet often overlooked way to capture attention and increase engagement: Create collaboration. It's often overlooked when facilitators try to include too much content, shy away from using more "advanced" tools, or are afraid of releasing control to participants. Yet building collaboration into the design and delivery of a virtual class creates a cohesive atmosphere that draws in even the most reluctant participants and creates an engaging environment that leads to learning.

In this session, you will first put yourself in a remote participant's seat to recognize the reality they face when attending virtual classes. You'll partner with others in the room to re-create a typical virtual participant experience in a short but fun experiential activity. You'll then discover the three reasons why participant engagement is important and how collaboration is a key to interactive learning. Next, you'll learn the three types of participant collaboration in virtual classes (large group, small group, partners), along with examples of each one. You'll discover exactly when the collaboration should start, and which common virtual classroom tools to use for each type of collaboration. This session will go beyond simple instructions like "have everyone brainstorm using the whiteboard toolsâ€쳌 and "use breakouts to get into small groups". Instead, you will take a deep dive into exactly when and how to use these tools to create collaboration activities. You'll see examples of opening activities to set the stage for collaboration, you'll learn exactly what to say when setting up these activities, and you'll hear best practices for running them. You'll also learn how to guarantee responses to your questions using collaborative tools. Please note that this is a platform agnostic session. You will be able to apply these techniques to any platform. You'll receive a handout with activity "tech tips" for each major platform (Zoom, WebEx, Adobe Connect, GoToTraining, MS Teams) to help you apply lessons learned. You'll also leave with facilitator scripts that you can adapt and apply to your classes.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Why participant engagement is important in virtual classes
  • How collaboration is a key to interactive learning
  • Three types of participant collaboration
  • When collaboration should start in a virtual class
  • How to run collaborative activities using common virtual classroom tools
  • What to say when setting up each activity

Technology discussed in this session:

Zoom, WebEx, Adobe Connect, GoToTraining, MS Teams