Activities for Digital Learning

Now that we understand the methodological foundation and learning approaches as well as the desired outcomes, we may consider learning activities. Some of the digital learning activities include the following:

Group discussions are common in the digital sphere. They certainly promote diversity, create more space for debate, and reach a wider audience. However, group discussions in the digital realm must be properly facilitated because they differ significantly from those in person. This is especially crucial for the HRE because you may be discussing sensitive topics with (passionate) participants. There is also a need for good time management, but more importantly, for paying close attention to all elements that are visible on the screen. Feeling the group and ensuring that all participants are actively involved can be more difficult than you think.

When done appropriately, small group work can be quite effective. In an ideal situation, everyone has the opportunity to engage and express themselves, there is more time, and organizing is easier. However, if you’re working on a sensitive topic or with challenging participants, it may not be perfect—because in the online world, you can’t observe all groups at once. You can only be in one group at a time while using breakout rooms or bubbles. We would strongly recommend such scenarios if you have people on your team who can assist with facilitation. Alternatively, you can invite certain participants to take the lead in facilitation, entrusting them with the responsibility of protecting learning principles and reaching out to you if they encounter challenges.

Polling and trivia allow trainers to map out participants’ experiences and knowledge on a specific topic. These activities can be used at the start or end of a training session, for example. In the latter case, they can assist you in reviewing participants’ learning experience or orienting their thinking on a specific topic. Polling can be very easily combined with group discussions, and trivia can be especially exciting for participants if some sort of incentive is provided. When preparing questions, make sure to include some humorous answers that will definitely lift the spirits of the group.

Online puzzles and games can be really entertaining. Participants frequently love playing various games, especially if they are anonymous. Such puzzles and games can also be used to assess knowledge, experience, or something else, or as icebreakers. However, keep in mind that you must test how these tools work in advance, or you might encounter unexpected challenges during the training.

Aside from puzzles and games, gaming can also be used for educational purposes. Depending on the level of your and the participants’ digital skills, one of these examples could be using existing games (available online) or creating new ones. Connect International and its partners have recently been working on building the capacity of educators and trainers to use Minecraft in non-formal education. Check out to learn more about it.

Ample networking space is essential! You can use breakout rooms or other networking tools. But don’t forget to leave enough room for this. Networking can also be structured, and you can ask participants guided questions about HRE or a certain topic, and it can also be used as part of the learning process.

Simulations are excellent forms of experiential learning. However, as mentioned in the previous chapter, this can be one of the most difficult learning activities because there aren’t as many examples made and available as there are for in-person activities. As a result, you must consider ones that are both original and intriguing. Simulations, like real life, provide an excellent starting point for any debriefing and learning process, but they may be extremely tough when dealing with a sensitive topic in a sensitive cultural environment.

Exploring various online information sources can be quite beneficial because everyone is already on the internet and you can search for various sources at once. Participants can quickly search for and share information and answers, as well as use them as learning or working tools. It is critical to ensure that participants use trusted information sources, or even allow them to use untrustworthy sources-but make it a learning experience: such as learning how to recognize and deal with disinformation, misinformation, or fake news.

Using presentations (such as PowerPoint, Prezi, and others) can be quite engaging, if they are well developed. They are typically more visually catchy, and participants recall more of the contents than if you simply deliver your presentation orally without any visual aids. Remember that colors should be aligned, bullet points should be simple and brief, and images/visuals should be included. With the development of online learning programs, the bar has increased to the point that all educators seem to be expected to know how to develop engaging and visually appealing presentations. As a result, it is critical that you allow adequate time to create an interactive and engaging presentation.