Webinars have become synonymous with online lectures that might or might not include opportunities for participants to ask questions or share answers. In an effort to be “interactive,” webinar presenters use polls that all too often don’t add much meaning to the content and where the relevance often is not clear to the audience. The result: Disengaged participants. One key to increasing the value of webinars and other synchronous online learning opportunities is to include meaningful interactions and experiences for the participants. Creating webinars that are interactive and highly participatory keeps participants engaged and involved in the learning process. One particularly useful approach is the use of breakout rooms. Many webinar platforms and teleconference systems have options for breakout rooms or sub-conferences which, when used well, can support high levels of participant engagement and interaction.

Participants in this session will focus on using breakout rooms in synchronous online learning events to engage learners in a highly participatory manner. You’ll learn how to effectively design and facilitate breakout activities, as well as how to surmount the challenges of using online breakout rooms.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to design webinars that use breakout rooms to support social learning
  • Strategies for engaging webinar participants using breakout rooms
  • About challenges associated with using breakout rooms in webinars, and how to co-create concrete solutions and workarounds to address these challenges

Participant Preparation

For the live session, we will be granting microphone rights to some participants. If you would like to participate in this session in a speaking capacity, please enter the session room by 8:10am US/Canada Pacific Time (20 minutes before the live session) so we can conduct audio checks with you. You will need a functioning headset or external microphone. Participants without microphone rights will still be able to participate in the session, but through the standard channels of Chat and structured interactivities.