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4 Ways to Use Polling in Virtual Classroom Training

Posted by Alan Magnan on 12/8/14 3:00 AM
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Photo by: Christin Hume via Unsplash

After reviewing many virtual classroom sessions, I’ve noticed that polls are one of the most underused features available. They’re mostly used as a kind of “check-in” feature, asking learners if objectives were met, or if the pace is okay. Here are four other ways you can use the polling feature to liven up your virtual classroom training.

1. Evaluation

Rather than link people to a web form with your survey questions, use the polling feature to administer them right at the end of the session. You’ll get a much higher completion rate since you still have a captive audience. You’ll also avoid “pencil swipes,” when people just answer the same number to every scaled response question.


2. Puzzles and Icebreakers

You can start your virtual classroom session with a fun icebreaker, or include one part way through the course as an energizer. Using the poll feature, you can ask trivia-type questions that are quick, fun, and anonymous. You can ask people to keep track of their own scores and give a title to the winner, such as “Movie Master” or “Sports Authority.”


3. Scenario-Based Quizzes and Case Studies

If your training is performance-based, you can use the polling feature to test learners. Create scenarios that are relevant to the course skills and include multiple ways to address it in the answers. Even complex skills can be tested this way, using a scenario that keeps evolving from question to question. This use of polls works best for conceptual skills, rather than interpersonal or technical skills.


4. Group Consensus

Not all training is perfectly cut and dried. Sometimes there are other ways to accomplish a work result. The polling tool can help learners explore issues and make clear-cut decisions regarding work that is less structured or definite. This still allows you to limit their choices and avoid options that truly go against the organization’s policies.


As you can see, polls can accomplish a lot more than just asking, “How’s the course?” part way through. Since it’s already tough to make virtual classroom training as engaging as its older traditional form, we can use polls to create more interaction, fun, involvement, and even practice.


Happy polling!


Tips for Success in the Virtual Classroom

Alan has been a course leader with Langevin since 1996. He studied business administration at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. Alan’s philosophy on training is that it can be fun, engaging, and active, but that’s just what’s on the surface. Training must also be practical, realistic, and applicable. Alan is a computer geek at heart and enjoys programming and gaming in his spare time. He’s also a great fan of the outdoors during the summer months, and when the winter moves in, you’ll find him reading, or recording and playing music.

Tags: virtual trainer, virtual classroom

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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