Particularly in today’s world, web conferencing has a multitude of advantages. With a sizeable swath of the workforce doing their jobs from home, web conferencing is utilized more often than it ever has been in the past. However, it can be difficult to create active learning opportunities that engage audiences and keep them focused. Adding in interactivity elements can go a long way toward rectifying this situation and ensuring that workers are constantly adding to their knowledge.
What Interactive Web Conferences Consist Of
Many people are experienced with web conferences that are nothing more than a group of people staring at their screens with uninterested expressions while a presenter communicates and goes through a series of slides. The issue with this technique is that learners can easily be sidetracked by surfing the Internet, talking in side chats, or cleaning out their email inboxes.
When this occurs, no interaction is occurring, and the workers aren’t learning anything. But when done right, some online training options can be amazingly effective and engaging. While it’s easy to see some of the benefits of web conferences, such as saving money and time while offering easier methods of training for remote employees, others aren’t as evident. With interactive conferencing, you can provide a space for active learning.
All About Active Learning
Active learning refers to learners who engage with the things they are being taught. Rather than sitting and looking at a screen, they’re thinking and going through activities. This allows workers to better internalize whatever is being taught. Research shows that when learners can interact while training, they tend to be more cognitively engaged. With active learning, training effectiveness can skyrocket through long-term retention, training effectiveness, and skill transfer.
Any kind of training is more effective if an effort is required to learn. When implementing online web conferences, having interactive aspects will allow employees to remember, understand, and apply the content in real life.
Delivering Exceptional Interactive Web Conferences
There are many ways to make online learning more engaging for employees. The first is to be fully aware of the software you are using for web conferencing and learning management. Next, the focus should be on strengthening the content you provide. Last, add interactive activities that ensure workers stay focused. Below are several tips you can use to create interactive conferences.
Create Break Out Discussions
When people have the option of talking about the things they are learning, it results in better retention. This can be encouraged in a web conference by incorporating forums for discussion. You could ask a question of the group and then use a breakout system to place workers in small group rooms to talk about what is being taught. When everyone remains in a large group, the same people tend to speak, and others will stay in the background. A small group environment encourages participation and can be less intimidating.
Work with Diverse Media
Rather than using one type of media, considering mixing it up. Slides, even when paired with interesting text and images, can get boring over time. Instead of always using the same media, consider adding infographics, videos, and other items. Make sure any visuals you use are engaging. They should be entertaining, eye-catching, and of high quality. Consider whether the information is easy to understand and if it relates back to the main purpose of the presentation.
Add a Gamification Aspect
One of the best ways to create better engagement is by incorporating friendly competition to what you are teaching. One survey indicates that 85% of people would rather work using software that has gamification elements. Making learning enjoyable is a great way to ensure learners stay invested and interested in the content. An LSM can track gamification related to your web conferences. You could add a leaderboard that shows the progress of work with levels and challenges that tie into the content.
Take Surveys and Polls
If you want a quick and simple method for keeping learners engage, add ways for them to weigh in on different topics. Polls and surveys run in real-time can be incorporated into your training solutions. When you ask people their opinions, it causes them to think more deeply about their own values and opinions. It adds a personal aspect to training which makes it more memorable for everyone involved. Simply responding engages the employees’ emotions and minds. They may become invested in how their response matches up to others in the organization.
Incorporate Audience Participation
Learning can be made much more active when you create opportunities for participation throughout a session. If the employees are required to work on something, they’ll be paying more attention and tend to get additional information from a learning session. This could be incorporated by simply asking questions from time to time and asking learners to share their thoughts through chat or audio. Perhaps have a volunteer read the content or explain what it means. The surveys we mentioned earlier can also add interaction with the screen. If the learners are involved in the process, they tend to block out more distractions and become invested in the content.
Use Focused and Relevant Content
Employees appreciate when their time is respected, which is why streamlining the content to the most relevant information can be useful. People show up intending to learn something important and necessary. The best option is often to avoid adding in interesting information if it might be related to a side topic. If you aren’t sure what to keep and what to cut, think about whether learners can gain the skills they need without the theory you are sharing. Could some of the content be optional for those who want to learn more? If so, move that out of the web conference and focus on the things that must be shared.
It’s easier than ever before to roll out training across an organization, but passive learning can be an issue in some situations. Just because the content is provided doesn’t mean that learners are going to gain all of the knowledge contained within it. Instead, consider tailoring your training to incorporate active learning opportunities. Try some of the tactics above and remove distractions that can be a common issue in remote working by offering engaging content.