How to Make Online Learning and Training Interactive

Joe Kopyt
Joe Kopyt
Updated October 19 2021
Joe Kopyt
Joe Kopyt
Updated October 19 2021

Video has unlocked immense potential for teaching, training, and learning online. When it comes to online learning and training, video is the most effective and engaging medium you can leverage. After all, we live in a video-dominated world, so consuming video content is intuitive and easy. 


As an educator or trainer, you may be concerned, however, that video-based online instruction can create a passive learning experience. Our computers are full of distractions, and without an in-person presence, you may think it’s difficult to gauge learners’ active engagement with the material. 


But, by harnessing all the interactivity features available in online video tools and platforms, you can create a lean-forward learning environment that dynamically engages your learners and ensures that your material lands.  


Here are key digital video features that you can use to make online learning and training interactive. 


Breakout Rooms: Small-Group Engagement

In an in-person class or training session, you may want to split up your learners into smaller groups at various points to create targeted and collaborative learning experiences. This can also be accomplished with ease in a virtual classroom with breakout rooms. 


Breakout rooms are dedicated digital rooms connected to your main classroom or meeting space where a small group of learners can meet face-to-face with the click of a button. All the collaboration and engagement features available in your main virtual classroom space can be made available in your breakout rooms.  


In Kaltura Virtual Classroom, these include: 

  • Camera and microphone for face-to-face interaction 
  • Text-based chat 
  • Collaborative whiteboards 
  • Screen share 
  • Collaborative notetaking 
  • A “playlist” of multimedia content, including PDFs, videos, Powerpoint presentations, and more 

Engage Learners With Interactive Tools

Managing Breakout Rooms as a Moderator, Facilitator, or Teacher 

The best part about breakout rooms is how easy they are to manage in a digital learning environment. For in-person instruction, you might have to sacrifice precious class or meeting time to split everyone up into smaller groups—assigning groups, moving around a room, and locating collaboration spaces all takes time.  


In a virtual classroom, you can automatically split up your learners into breakout rooms quite literally with the click of a button. You can also customize the name of each room. There are several options for how to divide up your learners: 

  • Preassign students to rooms by dragging and dropping names into rooms 
  • Import a list ahead of time 
  • Randomize the breakout rooms by deciding how many people should be in each room or how many breakout rooms you want 
  • Automatically move groups of students from room to room. This “round robin” feature allows hosts to assign different topics and media to different rooms and make sure all subjects are covered by all participants 

As mentioned above, each room is equipped with a set of collaboration and engagement features—all of which you can moderate. In Kaltura Virtual Classroom, you can decide which features are available in each room. For example, perhaps you may decide you want to disable screen-share if you’re teaching a younger population of students. 


Once your learners are in their new rooms, you can easily broadcast messages to your breakout rooms simultaneously. You can also push media into each breakout room to launch images or videos for all participants simultaneously. 


As a moderator, you can visit each breakout room as you please. Participants can also call a teacher or facilitator by simply “raising a hand”as a moderator, you’ll get a notification that a certain group requires your assistance.  


When it’s time to wrap, you can either call everyone back to the main room by broadcasting an announcement or end all the breakout rooms simultaneously 


Any work completed in the breakout rooms will then be available in the main room, so learners can present their collaborative work to the larger group.  


Interactive Features for Online Learning and Training Beyond Chat

Video and text-based chat is a now a given in most online learning platforms. However, there are a number of additional features you can use to spur interactivity in both synchronous and asynchronous video environments.  


Polls and In-Video Quizzing

Get an in-the-moment gauge of how your learners are doing by utilizing polls during live sessions and in-video quizzing during either live or on-demand learning.  


Polls are a great, low-pressure way to engage your students or learners and prime them for interactivity. Using polls throughout your session can help foster an active learning environment. 


Quizzes are fantastic to gauge learning and track material retention. You can employ quizzes as a check on engagement or use them as an evaluation tool. For on-demand video, consider embedding several in-video quizzes throughout a single video or lesson to ensure learners are actively engaging with the material at hand. 


Sheffield in video quiz example


Interactive Viewing Paths

If you’re using an on-demand video hub to supplement live sessions, or if you have a broad audience with varying interests, consider using interactive viewing paths to create video content that is hyper-relevant to each individual learner. 


Videos with interactive viewing paths are like a “choose your own adventure” book. You film or curate content for multiple audiences and then organize the content along different paths. 


For example, if you’re using on-demand video to review a complicated topic in a class, you can introduce the topic at the top of the video and then have several branching video paths for learners to select from—each focusing on a subtopic or specific aspect of what you’re covering.  


The act of literally choosing a video journey turns what could be a passive viewing experience into one that’s enjoyable and instantly engaging. 

interactive video

Hot Spots

Sometimes you’re not able to include all the material you need in a single video. To encourage additional exploration, utilize hot spots in your on-demand video content. These are customizable pop-ups that point your learners to external resources. 


Hot spots can be links to sources you cite or even files that learners are prompted to download. They’re a great way to provide your learners with additional resources. 


How to Make Online Learning and Training Interactive: The Takeaway 

Video tools for online teaching or training have a plethora of features available to create an enriching learning experience for your students or employees. Whether you’re running a synchronous, asynchronous, or hybrid program, you can leverage these features to build lean-forward environments that ensure your material is effectively delivered. 

Prepare class in advance-

Kaltura Virtual Classroom provides an easy-to-use experience purposely built for online instruction.