Replicating the Benefits of Group Discussions in E-Learning

I'm transforming a workshop about workplace harassment to an asynchronous online module. We may end up moving towards a blending learning model. TBD. The instructor-led workshop has a series of videos that are typically followed by group discussions. I'm seeking creative ideas to engage the learners with the video content to have them critically examine what they are seeing. 

I'm already thinking of creating some branching scenarios and compare and contrast self-reflection exercises. 

What have you done to connect learners to your content when group discussions aren't an option?

Thanks for your help! 

2 Replies
Traci P

That's a tough one. You can't necessarily replicate the benefits of a discussion exactly. You can look at adding puzzles, scenarios, and timed activities to drive engagement around the learning objectives. (Here is a sample with a puzzle used

You could also work in a journaling activity, either within the course that comes out as a download, or as a separate learning journal. 

Could your blended model include the videos as prework and the a VILT with discussion based activities? Or could you create discussions in your LMS, yammer, slack, or any other platforms you're using? Or could you have manager or team based activities, were a group leader facilitates small group discussions as a part of team meetings?

Sarah Hodge

Hi Heather! Great question. Traci offered up some great insight.

I think your self-reflection exercise idea can be an impactful alternative. I love this template because you can customize it in so many ways. Perhaps you can replace Your Rewrite to Your Response and Our Rewrite to What Others Have Said which can include anonymous responses so learners can read other perspectives.

There‚Äôs also this article by Trina. It has some awesome suggestions for converting instructor-led training into E-Learning. You might also want to look at this article for some design inspiration on creating interactive videos. I hope that helps!