Creating Engagement During Virtual Training with Slido
Business Performance Institute (BPI) is a learning consultancy that helps companies identify and address business-critical learning needs, i.e. in tailor-made trainings. Their blended approach combines elements of group, self-paced, and on-the-job learning, that usually happen both virtually and in-person.
Even before COVID-19, many clients requested a growing share of online sessions to minimize out of office time, travel, and costs. Now, due to the pandemic, all our sessions are fully virtual, shares Johanna Reiss, Learning Consultant at BPI.
But running training remotely has its challenges.
Engaging people in a webinar is much more challenging than in-person. You can’t see people’s emotions and reactions easily. It’s more difficult to spark interaction, explains Jo.
To increase engagement, get the participants’ emotional buy-in, and gather instant feedback, she came to Slido. Here’s Jo’s story.
The challenge: Engaging people in a virtual setting
Jo’s main challenge was creating audience engagement in an online group setting.
Historically, group workshops used to happen in the physical classroom.
The moderators could walk around the room with a mic to interact with the audience and create dialogue, starting with the more outspoken people. But we wanted to capture all the voices, Jo says.
Since the start of the pandemic and the subsequent rise of remote meetings, they now deliver all of the group sessions strictly online.
We needed to keep people involved and capture live feedback virtually. That’s when we found Slido, adds Jo.
Using Slido in remote learning sessions
Recently, Jo was tasked to design a learning journey for a corporate client. The aim was for local marketers to learn how to identify opportunities and translate them into convincing business cases.
In this context, Jo used Slido in different ways to connect with the participants.
Uncovering participants’ existing knowledge with polls
Jo’s main objective was to tailor learning to the participants’ needs. To do that, she needed to find out what they knew before starting a learning journey.
When I introduce a topic, I don’t want to just tell them what they should learn. I want to know their thoughts and get them to think before diving in deeper, Jo explains.
At the start of the kick-off webinar about business cases, Jo asked the audience to define a successful case in a word cloud poll. She shared her screen on Zoom as the results came in.
This opening question got the attendees thinking about the concept. Once the results were displayed on the screen, Jo tied the answers into the expert definition on the next slide.
It’s a great way to break the ice and open a dialogue with the online audience. It helps me to see what people think is a viable solution in their company, and to tailor the dialogue accordingly.
Running live competition to engage the participants
To make the learning journey even more interactive, Jo came up with a fun idea: a pitch competition.
The topic was creating convincing business cases. So, after explaining the nuts and bolts, we asked the participants to apply their on-the-job learnings, and develop their own cases.
In the first round of the competition, Jo organized a webinar. In Zoom rooms, she split the learners into groups of five, and each person had to pitch their case to peers and experts.
To determine each group’s winner, Jo asked each person to evaluate the pitches via rating polls.
People could give 1-5 stars, according to how they liked it. It was useful to see and share a room-by-room snapshot of the votes in Slido. This was great feedback for the learners, too.
Once we had all the results, I reviewed the votes across each room, then noted and revealed the winners. Doing it quickly helped to keep the excitement of the group really high.
In the second round, the finalists presented the cases to their business leaders. The audience and jury chose the ultimate winners, who received funding in a final rating poll.
The biggest value of Slido is the ability to collect live votes and announce the winners instantly. It was fun – and easy, despite having participants spread from Britain to Bulgaria, adds Jo.
Capturing timely and less laborious feedback instantly
At the end of each group session, Jo wanted to know how people felt about their learning.
In the past, she used to collect feedback on flip charts.
People would draw smileys on post-it notes and stick them on the chart. But sorting through them took time, continues Jo.
To make it more effective, Jo replaced the flip chart with a word cloud poll in Slido. She displayed a question on the screen, and participants used their mobiles to type in answers.
To monitor the feedback across the journey, Jo asked the same question at the end of each session: How do you feel about the session? How about the remaining learning journey?
The learners appreciated the space to speak up and to see what their peers thought.
It makes them feel heard and strengthens their sense of belonging, Jo explains.
Using collected insights to demonstrate the impact
The collected insights not only helped Jo understand how the participants felt. Thanks to the data, she was able to demonstrate the value of the training to her clients.
I can use the feedback to illustrate the impact on my clients, show my learning design is effective, and highlight the value in continuing the learning program.
Jo also included the data in her reports to senior leaders at BPI.
We include the word clouds to showcase our results internally, tells us Jo.
The result: Real-time engagement and demonstrable ROI
Using Slido in combination with Zoom helped BPI create real-time engagement in a virtual setting that included every single participant. This helped the participants to break the ice, build trust, and experience fun and effective learning.
Thanks to Slido, we were able to create a continuous engagement and demonstrate the return on investment to the client during the whole learning program. This experience also helped us to quickly adapt our training to a fully virtual setup due to the pandemic.
As a result, the interactive workshops stimulated individual learning, group connection, and wider culture change for the group of learners and their organization.