Group interaction in remote training? Yes, we can!

Most trainers will agree that group activity is invaluable for the learning experience. But doesn’t a remote setting make such interactive moments all but impossible? Our trainers at Gladwell Academy would disagree: not only is group activity possible…it’s everywhere!


Ad-hoc Scrum Masters

Careful preparation by the instructor in advance of the course is key to the success of these group activities. We carefully consider who will be attending our courses: what their needs are, and their expectations.

Using this information, we organize the participants into groups – with careful consideration to assign one of the students as the group’s ad-hoc ‘Scrum Master’. This person manages their own group as well as its place in the larger context. They are in charge of facilitating online work areas, herding participants to break-out areas, and managing the timebox.


Tools for successful remote group work

From MS Teams to Google Hangouts to Zoom; from Mural to Miro, or Iobeya; all these platforms allow for simultaneous editing of canvases by multiple authors in remote breakout discussions. Each of our trainers has mastered their own special sauce of tools to promote working and learning together. One advantage of these audio and video platforms is that each participant has a ‘front row seat’.


How to manage group interaction

While groups are working together it is important that our instructor maintains control and keeps the course focused.

When participants return from their group discussions, we find it useful that the they open and share the group results with the rest of the class, explaining their contributions as they go.

Another tool Gladwell Academy instructors find useful are online Kanban boards: via online platforms such as Trello or Favro – or MS Planner, which is embedded in MS Teams. These can be useful for organizing the course agenda, harvesting feedback and as a parking lot for questions. We’ve even prepared several courses to be carried out entirely in Trello…!

A chance to adapt

Gladwell Academy is rising to the occasion and we continue all regularly scheduled trainings using Remote Classrooms. The same training, the same expert instruction, and the same Agile learnings – only remotely. Reach to us for more information here!

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