Humans are social beings. As a human, social interactions are essential for you to survive. The same rule applies when learning. According to the 70-20-10 model for learning and development, 20% of learning comes from your interaction with others. This is a challenge for the new normal—remote learning. Since the learner and instructor are separated by time and distance, especially when remote learning is done asynchronously, there’s little interaction. This means that your learners can’t get a good chunk of knowledge and information that they need to have. But, fear not—you can make your remote learning interactive and social! Here are 4 things you can do.
4 Things That’ll Make Remote Learning Interactive and Social
Use a collaborative platform
If you want to make your remote learning interactive, you first need to have a platform that will help you do so. Video conferencing tools are good for synchronous learning since the participants and the facilitator can have real-time interaction. You can also use a learning management system which usually comes with a built-in collaboration tool such as forums or virtual classrooms.
When deciding on a platform, you have to carefully evaluate if it will help you achieve your goals. You also have to take into consideration your capability to purchase the platform, and if you’ll be able to fully utilize it to get your money’s worth. Remember to weigh the pros and cons and decide which best suits your learning programs.
Encourage discussions and question and answer portions
What’s one of the best ways to make your learners interact? Discussions. When conducting a remote learning program, make sure to encourage discussions among the participants. This could be done during the session or through forums. It’s also good to have a question and answer portion to provoke discussion. Participants will learn better if they could express their understanding of the course topic, and ask questions on the parts they can’t or have doubts.
Here are other things you could do to promote discussion:
- Separate learners into smaller groups to do their own discussions, preferably in a breakout room so that they could talk freely.
- Do interactive activities such as role-plays and simulations, which works online but only needs more preparation.
- Ask your learners about their opinions on thought-provoking statements or situations.
Gamify your remote learning to make it interactive
Gamification has been a controversial topic in learning and development. Some swear that it made their training programs better and more engaging, while some claim that it’s only a fad. But, the concept behind gamification, which is the use of game mechanics to drive engagement in non-game business scenarios and to change behaviors in a target audience to achieve your goals, is indeed beneficial when it comes to learning and development.
As a human, you have this innate desire to be better than others. It’s common to compare yourself. You feel good if you win, and feel bad if you lose. There’s nothing wrong with that. And games are good at invoking this sense of competition within you. When you gamify your remote learning, you make your learners be more excited in the course and take a more active role. Which, in turn, makes them more interactive, more social—more engaged. A little healthy competition in your remote learning goes a long way.
You can even take a step further to nurture this motivation by offering rewards or incentives. After all, positive reinforcement is very powerful. Having a reward for a job well done makes them want to do better so that they could have the same or an even better prize for their work.
Here are some ideas to gamify your remote learning to make it more interactive:
- Add fun quizzes or tests
- Conduct games as part of your remote learning
- Score your learners when they answer your questions correctly and reward them if they get the highest number of points
Ask for feedback
Last but not the least, ask for feedback. Getting feedback is a great opportunity for interaction. At the same time, you can also learn how well your remote learning program did in the perspective of the participants, and even get insights for the things that you can improve. Simple questions like “How did you feel about today’s [course topic/learning program]?”, “What thing/s stuck to your mind in this course?”, or “What did you learn today?” can be used to start.
You could also make the participants answer a post-attendance survey to have a more streamlined process for gathering feedback. Make sure to ask for their comments on what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they think could’ve done better, and learn from those for your future remote learning programs.
Just because remote learning has the word “remote” in it doesn’t mean that your participants have to feel isolated during the program. Use the 4 things we listed above to make your remote learning more interactive and social!
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