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Virtual Training Best Practices – Common Collaboration Tools

There are a variety of collaboration tools common to virtual training environments that enable you to effectively engage participants and enable for them to collaborate and share with each other. These include:




  • Brainstorming solutions to case studies/problems
  • Summarizing what participants have learned using annotation tools
  • Having participants debrief on their individual activities or having teams debrief on team activities
  • Typing a question on the whiteboard and asking participants to type up their response to it


  • Asking participants to respond to questions by typing their response in public chat
  • Pairing up participants and asking them to move to a private chat to solve a problem, discuss an article or work through a case study

Breakout Rooms

  • Bringing participants together in small teams to work on a team activity or a group project

Discussions via “Raise Hand” button

  • Asking questions based on readings the participants were to complete
  • Checking in with participants during the session to ask them how it is going
  • Asking questions during a lecture to ensure understanding


  • Asking simple questions to participants that will be used to build discussions
  • Checking in with participants
  • Mini-quiz questions at the start of each session to ensure participants understood the content from the last session
  • Asking questions to confirm participants have done readings or other homework


Sharing Documents

  • Sharing articles, case studies and other documents with participants
  • Having participants mark-up or comment on documents using annotation tools
  • Having participants build documents together – such as ground rules – by using annotation tools

Video or Audio  

  • Video and/or audio clips to enhance the readings, lecture and other activities in the virtual training program

Use a variety of these interactive tools to engage participants and keep them focused on the training session. Simply talking to slides with limited interactivity will cause participants to focus in other areas (such as surfing the internet, emailing, etc.) and not on the training session.

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