Activities for Making Training Online Interactive

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"Training online is a completely different medium than training in a classroom and requires completely different tools," said Becky Pluth, vice president of training and development at The Bob Pike Group. "Those who think training online is merely a matter of taking the classroom plan and training it online are sorely mistaken if they really want online training to be effective."

"Online training, just as in the classroom, needs to be interactive; however, the methods of interaction as well as the frequency, are very different," she said.

When working with Jiffy Lube International to create effective webinars, Becky infused many different activities to help reinforce the content. Here are some of the ones she used that went along with Jiffy Lube's industry and focus.

License Plate Puzzle

"I created some vanity license plates and showed them on the computer screen. I asked participants to then work together to figure out what the license plates said and then text chat it," Becky said. "I used this as a soft opener at the beginning of the webinar as a fun way to help the participants become familiar with some of the tools on Blackboard Collaborate."

Guessing Games

"Some of the training we worked on was helping employees increase their product knowledge," Becky said. "So one image was that of an odometer showing 100,000 miles and then having participants identify what goods and services might go along with that picture."

Teachback

"I use teachbacks in the classroom. I have also found them to be effective online. Participants are given a link to a workbook ahead of time so they can download the workbook that accompanies the online training. Then, during the webinar, I'll have each of them go to a different page and read the content. Then, one at a time, I will turn on each person's microphone and have him or her teach the other webinar attendees the information on that topic."

Role-Playing

"Jiffy Lube already had some great content such as video clips we could resource for online training," Becky said. "We could then show the short videos regarding a customer interaction and then have the participants go into small groups of four in breakout rooms. The participants would do role-playing scenarios where one person was the customer, one was the Jiffy Lube location manager and one was the coach."

Additional tips for making online training interactive can be found in Becky Pluth's book Webinars with Wow Factor or in our workshop Webinars that Work.

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