The COVID pandemic has affected every facet of life; from work to going to the grocery store; the way we interact with others and move throughout the world has changed. Now more than ever, the Ice House training modules are needed to help budding entrepreneurs figure out how to take their ideas to the next level.

This page is designed to support trained Ice House facilitators in facilitating virtual training sessions that are engaging, purposeful and utilize technology in a seamless and easy way. We wanted to provide some tools, videos and ideas for how to make your upcoming Ice House sessions a great virtual experience.

7 Tips for Engaging Online Facilitation


1 – Communicate what tech you’ll be using to participants.

Share the plan for the sessions, the technology you’ll be using, and offer space for participants to reach out if they’re confused about how they can participate.

Resources to help:
Sample email template

2 – Reimagine your material for a virtual space.

Is there content that can be done as homework so you can use your virtual time together debriefing and having a discussion? Could you record a lecture and send it out in advance to give participants ample time to review the materials before the course meetings? Having a mix of asynchronous and synchronous teaching can help keep participants engaged and not feel like they’re on a 10-hour Zoom call.

Resources to help:
“What We Learned (in 48 Hours) about Putting Together Online Project Presentations that Don’t Suck” by sam seidel
“3 ways to make remote learning more engaging” by Jorge Valenzuela

3 – Find a dedicated “tech support” for your first session.

Buy a friend a coffee and see if they’d be willing to be on hand as tech support if any participants are having trouble with audio, connecting to the call or any other minor concerns. This can help alleviate the stress of facilitation using technology.

4 – Co-create protocols and processes for participation.

Setting up protocols with your group helps ensure everyone is on the same page and knows how they can participate in the sessions. This can include things like:

  • When to have your video on vs. off
  • Muting yourself if you’re not talking
  • Using the Chat function to ask questions
  • Raising your hand if you want to share something with the group

Resources to help:
EL Education Protocols for Virtual Discussion

5 – Build in ample time for collaboration and connections.

Think about kicking off each session with an ice breaker, utilizing breakout rooms for small group discussions, and even adapting some homework to be partner-based so participants can learn from each other as much as they learn from you.

Resources to help:
Virtual ice breakers
Utilizing Zoom breakout rooms
Utilizing Google Hangout breakout rooms

6 – Build in breaks!

Just like an in-person training session, you want to ensure participants have time to breathe. Make sure you build in a 5-minute break for every 45 minutes of straight facilitation.

7 – Make virtual learning fun.

Snap a picture at the end of each session. Consider introducing themes to make these photos fun to participate in, like “wear your favorite hat!”, or have individual “high-five” each other in the photos. Try to replicate the fun spontaneity that can come naturally with in-person sessions.

Resources to help:
“22 Tips to Level-Up Your Virtual Learning Game” by Shannon Tipton



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