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5 tips for boosting engagement using Zoom for online training

5 tips for boosting engagement using Zoom for online training

In an age of blended education and hybrid work environments, conference tools like Zoom have gone from novelties to non-negotiables. Whether you're an educator, corporate trainer, or learning and development (L&D) professional, it’s critical to create virtual training sessions that engage and connect with learners on a deeper level.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic skyrocketed Zoom’s popularity and market value, the platform continually generates billions of dollars in revenue and serves millions of customers daily. Corporate teams and trainers are understandably drawn to Zoom’s ability to bridge the gaps in online training, while delivering unique virtual experiences.

But as collective symptoms like “Zoom fatigue” become more common, it’s time to rethink the way we conduct Zoom training sessions. To make Zoom training more effective, we'll inspire you to bring back the level of engagement that matters most for your work culture.

Read more: Top 5 ways L&D professionals can avoid Zoom fatigue


How CYPHER integrates with Zoom

CYPHER is a game-changing learning platform that seamlessly integrates with a variety of enterprise tools, including Zoom. CYPHER’s interactive training features equip instructors with more relevant content and help boost learner engagement across any online training session. CYPHER helps employees unlock new skills faster, making training more enjoyable and valuable.

While we’ve shared tips for live Zoom training sessions before, we recognize the importance of continual evaluation—particularly in a remote world that faces numerous training challenges. As the expectations and needs of audiences change over time, CYPHER continually evolves to meet those demands.

It’s no secret that there are concerns and risks when training a remote workforce. Let’s explore a few tips for making Zoom training more engaging.

1. Distinguish learning and training sessions from typical meetings

Yes, Zoom is a flexible tool that works for both routine meetings and training sessions. Unfortunately, you can’t approach them the same way. 

To become more proficient in Zoom for employee training, you’ll need to start by recognizing that learning is a cyclical process of absorbing, processing, applying, and reviewing skills-based information. (In other words, you’re delivering more learning value than simply ticking agenda items off a list).

Even if you use Zoom for both sessions, distinguish learning opportunities for what they are. Bring back a few traditional classroom training protocols, adapting them in a way that gives digital learners a sense of stability and expectation. To start:

  • Arrive at the Zoom room early, and greet and chat with those who sign in before the official training time begins.
  • Play upbeat music to generate a good atmosphere, and open up the Zoom chat space for feedback and questions throughout the learning time.
  • Use icebreakers to kick things off, and engage all learners as much as possible. Set the foundation by answering why a particular video training is essential or required for the career journey.

You might also incorporate breaks or timed pauses to give learners a chance to be more focused while the leader actively teaches. Help attendees manage their own attention and effort by knowing what to expect throughout the training session.

Read more: 4 Tips for holding live training sessions via Zoom


2. Be on-screen more than you are off-screen

For an online training environment, your visible presence matters. That’s because visibility fosters better communication and approachability, which are both vital for online engagement and transfer of learning.

Ask participants to have their cameras on throughout the session (for as long as they’re comfortable doing so). Instructors should lead by example, using a conversational, expressive, and physical approach instead of relying only on slide decks and presentation materials. 

Trainers must be fully present, willing to share stories and engage in casual on-topic conversations that drive home the main points of training materials. By using CYPHER’s industry-leading features, including a unique Zoom integration, it’s easier to create on-screen activities and exercises that keep participants immersed in material.

Read more: Connectivity is not connection: How to boost engagement in virtual training classrooms


3. Make the virtual learning process interactive

One-way instruction is no longer the best way to collaborate with learners. Engaging participants requires a two-way exchange of information. Unfortunately, when learners are not involved, they lose interest quickly and fail to retain essential information for job performance. 

There are many ways to combine video conferencing with course engagement strategies to create a truly memorable experience. For instance, you might try the following tactics:

  • Quizzes and audience polls: Use audience polling features within Zoom or by leveraging CYPHER's interactive tools for real-time assessment.
  • Topical breakout rooms: Using smaller teams or random groups, facilitate group work and discussions to drive deeper engagement among peers.
  • Role-play and realistic simulations: Since Zoom provides a live platform, you can easily use it to create realistic simulations that apply the learning material in relevant ways. (This can be incredibly valuable when bringing individuals together who don’t normally collaborate or partner on projects).
  • Interactive whiteboards: Use digital whiteboard or brainstorming features to further collaborate with participants visually and in real-time. Even if participants aren’t in the same room, combining ideas allows for progress as a group.

When relying on an interactive tip like this, consider how well the training participants know the conferencing tool. If an instructor has to spend extra time troubleshooting or helping one-on-one, engagement for everyone else might suffer.

4. Keep the written content to a minimum

Information overload is a real barrier to effective online training. Zoom-based instructors must be mindful of this challenge when connecting with virtual learners on web conferencing platforms. “Zoom fatigue,” or the temptation to tune out after tedious meetings, is also a real issue. That’s why shorter content can generate higher learning transfer.

Additionally, by introducing the right resources, instructors can empower learners to dive deeper into any learning topic that they find interesting or want to explore further. The following tips are helpful when guiding learners through learning milestones.

  • “Chunk” content – Divide the larger training session into smaller, digestible sections that hold the attention of the audience. This is especially helpful if you are working through many heavy modules at a time.
  • Prioritize relevant topics – Focus on the most critical information that your participants need to know or should remember for on-the-job success.
  • Manage resources effectively – Most learners benefit from reinforcement! Provide additional documentation, guides, and materials for self-paced learning after the live session concludes.
  • Make infographics and engaging images – Always incorporate visuals or graphics that can convey data and complex concepts clearly and memorably.

If your training involves any kind of compliance or regulatory training topic that learners need to understand completely, make sure to reiterate the non-negotiable learning outcomes.

Read more: How to handle information overload in instructional design


5. Have fun with games and entertaining elements

Gamification is a powerful way to increase motivation and learner engagement. It also sets apart the best virtual learning experiences from those that seem distant, outdated, or irrelevant. 

Here are a few ways to weave games and gamified elements into your Zoom training experiences:

  • Trivia and team scavenger hunts, including light-hearted trivia or virtual exploration activities throughout your session
  • Virtual escape rooms that present narrative-based challenges and mysteries into the learning material
  • Leaderboards, points, and badges to track progress and highlight top performers
  • Periodic leveling that frequently resets to encourage continual user participation

After any kind of entertainment element, provide a debrief or clear takeaway. This generates discussions that contextualize the gameplay into tangible learning objectives—bringing learners back to the reason why they’re participating and what they should remember. 

Debriefing moments are often unifying for the learners in a particular training, giving them a positive experience to refer back to when they need to use a learned skill in the real-world application.

Read more: 10 Gamification pitfalls to avoid when designing online training


Closing thoughts

Although content delivery is undoubtedly a top goal for any L&D program, ensuring that virtual sessions are enjoyable and engaging will create better knowledge retention. 

As you try out a few of the tips we’ve mentioned here, we hope you’ll be able to successfully transform any Zoom training session from a passive video exchange into a dynamic, rewarding learning experience. By pairing Zoom with a powerful platform like CYPHER, you’ll also equip your training team with high-impact features that instill confidence and produce better outcomes.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using Zoom in conjunction with an LMS for online training?

By integrating with a modern Learning Management System (LMS), Zoom extends what you can do, measure, and see apart from your curriculum delivery process. When using both platforms at one time, instructors can better track attendance, personalize courses and content, provide immediate feedback, and ensure learners have access to content.

What online tools help trainers ensure engagement in Zoom training sessions?

CYPHER offers a range of features, like gamification elements, quizzes, and group challenges. While these elements all enhance the interactivity of Zoom-based training, they’re also a way to measure impact. Although the goal is not to spy or micromanage learners, instructors may want to visually see or gather responses from attendees to ensure they’re actively participating.

Can Zoom integrate with Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

Yes, Zoom integrates with many various LMS platforms, including CYPHER. This integration creates an easy-to-use connection between the virtual conferencing tool and the broader training environment.

How can trainers measure the effectiveness of their Zoom training sessions?

By combining Zoom’s session reports (including usage, poll responses, and other metrics) and CYPHER’s engagement analytics, trainers can assess participation levels, understand learning patterns, and fine-tune their training for future sessions. For example, polls or chat questions with high response rates can be recycled into future training sessions.