Last week I attended a webinar. Let’s say that the topic was time management. After introducing herself, the presenter chose to use a poll question as an activator. I leaned in, ready to engage and answer the question. Here’s the question, varied just slightly to protect her identity.
Which of the following is the biggest time waster for you in the work place?
I stared at the question for a few moments and then began to work on something else on my desk. None of the answers applied to me! I work for myself (no colleagues), I control how many meetings I schedule, I am skilled at prioritizing and have up-to-date tech solutions. Instead of feeling connected to the content, I felt a bit left out and began to wonder if the webinar wasn’t going to be of value to me. I turned my attention to something else, and eventually walked away from my computer.
If you are going to use poll questions, be sure they are inclusive. A forced choice answer can be used if there is one correct answer, but in this case the correct answer for me would have been “other” or “none of the above.”
Better yet, replace poll questions with a variety of other engagement techniques. Want to know what those include?
Look back over the last few years of Tips on my website (here are a few), or contact me to explore some virtual training on best practices for virtual training!
Caffeinated Training Design: An Engagement-Centered Process , filled with ideas, can be on your desk in just a few days!
This quick summarization strategy provides learners with an opportunity to retrieve and review new learning – all with NO PREP on your part! I call it High Five Retrieval.
If you are using break out rooms, you can pair participants and ask them to work together to list ten items and then raise their hands. If not, ask learners to jot down five things they remember and email it to you. Then share your screen to show a few of the emails for review. (I use a dedicated email account so that I don't have to worry about private emails showing in my in-box.)
As an alternative, try this at the beginning of your session to activate prior knowledge about the topic and to get your learners talking with each other.
Looking for even more research-based strategies to improve learning? Check out my most recent book, Caffeinated Training Design: An Engagement-Centered Process or contact me to work with your organization.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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