Photo by: SDI Productions via Canva
Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about how to keep participants engaged in the virtual classroom, the software tools available to do that, and how to implement them. But have you given much thought to how these tools are engaging your learners?
The tools can be divided into two categories: active and passive. Active tools require learners to physically interact with the virtual platform. Passive tools require little or no interaction from the learners. Now, you’re probably asking, how do I know which tools are active and which ones are passive? Here are some examples of each:
- Whiteboard Annotation Tools
- Feedback/Status Icons
- Verbal Interaction (Learners)
- Content Sharing
- File Download
- Verbal Interaction (Facilitation Team)
- Video/Audio Streaming
- Webcam Streaming
A virtual classroom course should use a combination of both active and passive tools throughout the session. Doing so keeps learners tuned in and engaged, and encourages them to interact with the platform, one another, and with the facilitator.
Here are some examples of active and passive tool combinations:
1. Video streaming combined with poll questions or chat For example, learners watch a video that demonstrates a technical process. As the process unfolds, learners must enter process-related keywords in chat.
2. Content sharing combined with feedback/status icons. For example, a PowerPoint slide contains an image. Learners must use the green checkmark or red X to indicate if they agree or disagree with a question related to the shared content.
Now that you know a little more about how to combine active and passive tools in the virtual classroom, take some time to consider your own courses. Are your learners actively engaged or are they just passively receiving content? If you answered the latter, consider combining content sharing (your PowerPoint slides) with some active tools. You’ll find the learners more engaged and, in the end, have better retention of the information you’re providing.
For more on using virtual classroom tools to get maximum engagement in your courses, enroll in our Maximizing Engagement in the Virtual Classroom workshop!