You are probably asking yourself: Where can I run a workshop online that doesn’t loose the interactivity and collaboration of face-to-face? I want a virtual solution that feels like a real workshop.
There are many platforms where you can upload your content and sell them online. And many online video chatting options. But what about a way to integrate the two. There will be many things that you need to consider determining which platform is the best for you. This is not a comprehensive list. Nor is this a comparison list. There are plenty of those posts online. The intention of this post is to make it clear that there are things to consider.
There are many benefits of running workshops as a group. Particularly for learners who need to ask questions in order to fully understand materials. This is why face-to-face workshops have been used for years for continuing education and professional development. There are many online platforms that allow you to run your workshop virtually with most of the features of traditional workshops. However, by moving to a virtual system you can leverage other features. Features such as full Learning Management Systems to keep track of all students. Many services allow you to create a website landing page to generate new traffic if you want to run your course all the time. Many provide analytics on users.
Tele-conferencing as gotten so much more developed over the years. Particularly as more people work remotely. And as internet connection has also improved these options are feasible in a way they haven’t been previously. It is possible to have a classroom with 25 students all with each other’s video feeds sharing to the other students. These platforms are designed to be used ‘on the go’. Because of this they normally work across all devices. Imagine having students from other countries attend your workshops.
There are so many things to consider when you are delivering a workshop online. This type of platform listed below is best used webinars or workshops where interaction and collaboration are crucial. Read this article for platforms for where to host and sell non-interactive courses online for passive income.
Platforms that allow you to run your workshop online as a classroom:
Go To Training
With this platform, you can teach in real-time. You can set up a camera and teach with a whiteboard and share that video feed with the group. It is designed around being a hybrid of online and in-person teaching. So you can use this in a face-to-face environment in order to share documents and slides with people or use it fully online. The platform works on Desktops, Tablets and Mobile phones. The platform even picks up students’ video feeds, video-conferencing.
During the classroom time, you can share documents and videos so everyone is looking at the same thing at the same time. Just like a real workshop, you can increase learning and collaboration by breaking into several groups with only a few clicks. After they work together as a team, everyone can regroup and recap on the learnings. You can even set up polls and quizzes during the workshop.
You are able to record the training sessions so you can get feedback about how the students are interacting with your classroom. There is easy sharing of handouts where you can upload materials to individual modules.
For administration, GoToTraining can help by setting up registration and schedules.
This is really set up with the education and government sectors in mind. Can have many people all tele-conferencing together to workshop online. Students have the ability to raise their hand virtually to get the instructors attention. Quizzes and polls can be used during. There is the ability to do break out sessions to increase collaboration. There is an additional chat room. The presenter can select a user to be able to share their screen. Then whatever software that person is using can be shown during the class. Great for letting everyone show off their work. Everyone has access to their personal whiteboard for drawing and brain storming. Then they can share these.
As far as accessibility goes. There is the ability to have text, video and audio options so all learning style are covered. But they go even deeper into the accessibility by allowing captioning which can be turned into text-to-speech for deaf users. They have made sure that their interface is very easy and simple to use on all devices and the colours used are optimised for best readability.
Blackboard Classrooms is a sub-product of Blackboard. In terms of classrooms and student development this product is focused on K-12 learning. They have Personalized Learning Designer where teachers can set up their classroom to send different instructions to students based on the different learner styles. Each student gets the instructions they need. This online learning product is usually blended with traditional teaching. It is quick and easy ability to set up an Education Continuity Plan in case a student is at home.
Within the classroom, the teacher can set up a mobile library so the students have access to all the content, all the time. Teachers can even grade materials from their devices.
One of the cool features of this platform is the Virtual Training Environment. Useful for continuing education, professional development and employee onboarding. After being introduced, users can do into different rooms to get the training they need. An example is the “Auditorium” being used for lectures, education and professional development. The organisation can put as many courses as they need in here and can even set up filters. So if all managers need three units of new training to be in alignment with policy. Then only the managers get access to those units.
There is ability to have different rooms where certain gathering happen and only users who can be in those rooms have access. An example is the onboarding room, the training room and the leadership development room. At the start of working at a company you would only have access to the onboarding room and all new staff can be onboarded together, virtually.
The methods that this platform caters to are: continuing education, establishing knowledge center, reaching and targeting ideal clients, turning your conference digital, certification, customer engagement, delivering workshop online, brand and thought leadership, product marketing. Specific industries that will benefit are financial services, manufacturing, associations, life sciences, media, technology.
This platform allows for a couple of different training styles. There is basic teleconferencing and there are virtual classrooms. Some features in their virtual classroom are: video, voice, whiteboards, chat, screensharing of multiple screens and the session will be recorded. There is a whiteboard with built-in drawing tools. The drawing tools can also be used to annotate files during screensharing. Great for marking up a document to request for changes.
Your company can change the colours of the interface a little bit. There is a LaTeX Equation builder so that means all your math functions can be formatted correctly. There are 50 languages with human translations so you can teach to more people. Many reporting options are available. There is a virtual hand raising option so users can get the attention of the facilitator. All materials used to teach with can be included in the Integrated Content Library. Includes Breakout room support.
This system is better for teachers at a K-12 level. Each student is listed and you can set up their personal curriculum. There is 24/7 access to the materials and discussion groups. Teachers can set up assignments and quizzes directly in the app, students can do these tasks, and then you can grade the work. All within the app. Because the platform allows for unlimited storage, you can now store everything you need for your classes in one central location. This will boost productivity and safe time because you won’t have to hunt around on various computers for files or websites.
This particular company is a non-profit organization offering their Learning Management System (LMS) for free because they want “to democratize global education among the learning community”.
Some of the time and resource saving from teaching in this way is not having to photocopy handouts. Students can use them directly inside their device. And then if there a multiple-choice quiz, the platform already knows the answers so the teacher doesn’t have to take time checking and grading those quizzes.
Disclosure. I have no affiliation with the services mentioned in this article. However, I can help you design content including workbooks and webinars for these platforms.