All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This is true not only for Jack but for all of us. Play is a vital activity whether we learn, work or have ‘just fun’, irrespective of the age, culture and background. Play can actually be an amazing trick to gain undivided attention of learners in both offline and online learning environments. The topics, gaming activities and outcomes can be linked to make learning happen, conquer fears and make new connections. So, if you plan interventions carefully and include training games in your online sessions, you can succeed in driving curiosity and creativity of your learners while also achieving your other training objectives.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your online learners engaged and ensure they walk away from your training sessions, conference or webinar feeling as though they truly learned something, games are the way to go. Combination of the right online training software and games are the ways to make your training more engaging and interactive. In fact, there are all kinds of exciting and educational training activities to consider that you can apply to any industry. Here I have listed 5 most common interactive games for training sessions that can consider when planning your next online session.
Activity 1: Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are both fun and provide an opportunity for friendly competition. Think of a traditional scavenger hunt, where individuals or teams are on a quest for a list of items. Though this is played offline in an extensive area; however, it can be replicated in a virtual setting as well.
Internet scavenger hunt can be played to find different clues, answers or references you’re your company’s or third party websites. The items to be found can be chosen randomly. Depending on the size and locations of the people in your group, you can either separate your learners into teams or have them work alone. Use breakout rooms to make groups and allow them to discuss amongst themselves.
- Decide the items that you want to be scavenged. These could be related to the session that you will conduct right after that or to the previous training session to reinforce the learning.
- Start by separating learners into groups or let them work as individuals.
- Provide each team or individual with “clues.” The answers to these should be located on your website.
- Have learners submit answers to questions as they find them.
- The first team/individual to submit the correct answer gets a point, with the highest score being the winner.
This is an opportunity for your group to learn more about the topic at hand. It also helps them become familiar with the website and how to navigate it for answers/resources. Keep in mind that you can continue the scavenger hunt until somebody has found all the answers. However, if you’re on a limited time schedule, consider tallying up points after a given amount of time. Your learners will have so much fun with this activity that they won’t even realize they’re learning in the process.
Activity 2: Open Book Answering
Don’t have the time to set up webinar or training games that involve sending learners on an extended “quest” for answers? Try this simple open book answering activity instead. With such an activity, you can have each of your learners access the specific training material within the platform. This could be something you e-mailed to them prior to conducting a training or webinar or even materials that are readily available for download on your company website. Here’s how you can start:
- Put together a list of questions based off of the training materials.
- Have learners skim the materials to find the right answers.
- Share and discuss answers in real time.
Open book answering activities get people involved because it becomes a “race of sorts” to be the first to find the answer. At the same time, everybody has a chance to explore the training material and become more familiar with it. If you divide learners in groups, this acts as a training icebreaker.
Activity 3: Connect and Correct
“Connect and Correct” webinar or training activities are designed to get the learners in your group actively participating and formulating meaningful discussion. This creates an environment similar to what you would achieve in a face-to-face training seminar. This activity can be done either via voice/video conference call or even via real-time chat. Figure out what works best for your needs.
The premise of this activity is that the moderator/facilitator brings up different training topics for discussion. If you’ve conducted other training games, such as the scavenger hunt or open-book answering activity, you might consider bringing up topics that were brought up during those games.
- Start by bringing up a topic for your learners.
- Encourage peers to engage in a conversation about the topic.
- Allow learners to interject their own opinions/understandings to enrich the experience.
This type of activity provides an opportunity for the learners to “own” the topics they’re learning about without the need for a lecture. As a moderator, your role in this activity will largely be to facilitate conversation and discussion while avoiding conflict. This may mean staying away from discussion topics that may interfere with religious, cultural, or political associations. Also, you must ensure that the participants refrain from making personal remarks. The moderator plays the most important role in this activity.
The conclusions must be drawn and all points can be written on the whiteboard, so that at the end all participants have the deduction.
Activity 4: Be a Scriptwriter
One other activity to consider when conducting a training session online is that of script writing. This is a great activity for the creative learners and is an opportunity to get everybody involved.
- Start by introducing a training topic.
- Show a short video on the given topic.
- Ask each learning to create a script based on the video.
- Review completed scripts and conduct a poll to determine the class favorite.
Envisioning an example of this project can be helpful in seeing how it could work in your own classroom. Consider a situation where you’re training on customer service. You might show a video of a customer’s interaction with an employee, whether it be good or bad. Based on the video and your training, learners can create their own alternative script. The writer with the highest number of votes on their script receives some kind of prize or reward.
This activity is a good way to get your trainees thinking about real-world scenarios where their training could come in handy. It’s also ideal for helping trainees apply what they’ve learned to these situations. You’ll find that your learners have a lot of fun with this activity, and you might even be impressed with some of the script writing!
Activity 5: Time Management Word Puzzle
Who doesn’t like to solve word puzzles? So, why not use them during your training session? I came across a very interesting time management word puzzle here. You may want to look at it and include in your training sessions. The questions and difficulty level may differ depending upon your audience. In fact, you can create your own puzzles.
- Start by writing questions that you want to ask your participants.
- Decide the number of questions depending on the time you want to allocate to this activity.
- Create a puzzle box and write the answers to the questions.
- Fill the remaining boxes with random alphabets.
You may also want to give some prizes to the winners – those who found answers to the maximum numbers of questions in minimum time. This activity works best when played in a group of two or three.
These are just a few examples of online training games that you can easily incorporate into your next webinar, conference, or training session. Any of these activities are sure to engage your learners and keep things interesting—far better than any traditional lecture or speech ever could. Be sure to give some of these ideas a try in your next webinar and see how well they work for you!