Why Engagement and Project-based Learning is Key to Successful Virtual Training

We’ve all had to sit through “that” meeting, class, or training — you know, the one where somebody drones on interminably at the front of the room, requiring nothing more of you than your presence. You might have even attended the event with the intention of learning something, but that aim is thwarted by the presenter’s failure to merit your attention.

‘Engagement’ is a term that is bandied about a lot these days, as studies have shown time and again that lecture-style trainings and classes aren’t merely boring, they’re antonymic with learning. In order to guarantee that employees draw benefit from the time and effort you expend to put together a training experience, you have to find ways to engage their attention. It’s safe to say that if a traditional lecture doesn’t manage to do that, it certainly won’t work in a virtual training environment, where potential for distraction is so much higher.

The key to a successful virtual learning experience, then, is to provide engaging project-based activities that don’t only require your attendees’ presence, but command their interest.

What is project-based learning?

Project-based learning (PBL) is exactly what it sounds like: learning by doing. In other words, instead of an instructor/presenter simply telling a roomful of people (in this case a virtual room) how or why to do something, he or she facilitates experiential learning activities that drive the message home. The idea behind this kind of activity-based learning is that learners will gain a broader understanding of a subject’s real-world applications as well as benefit from improved retention.

Benefits of PBL

Aside from the benefits mentioned above, project-based learning provides several other advantages in the virtual training arena:

  • It facilitates collaboration – One of the best ways to promote a teamwork mentality is to have small groups work on projects together. Jigsaw Interactive has the capability of facilitating breakout sessions for these kinds of activities.
  • It develops project management skills – Trainees learn how to see a project through from start to finish, on time and with feedback.
  • It fosters problem solving – In any given profession or trade, problems will arise from time to time that require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Experiential learning activities prepare learners for the kinds of problems they will face in their field and give them authentic experience solving them.
  • It builds confidence and a sense of empowerment – If you give your project teams as much autonomy as is feasible, they will take ownership of their learning, grow in confidence as they master the work, and take pride in the final product.

The key to success in virtual training is the extent to which employees feel interested in the experience and committed to putting their best effort into learning. Jigsaw Interactive is dedicated to providing your organization with a wealth of engaging, interactive options for project-based learning that will ensure your employees have a fruitful, productive, and enlightening training experience.