As virtual education becomes increasingly popular, finding ways to keep students connected and working together as a team is important. While studying online, many students often feel isolated from their classmates, and networking becomes challenging. After all, they can’t just pop over to their friend’s desk for a chat! Teachers are tasked with finding ways to keep the team spirit alive in a virtual context. Luckily the human mind has no limits, and with a bit of creativity, virtual team building activities for students are easy to organize!
Without further ado, let’s get to the most ingenious group activities that can be easily transferred to the virtual learning environment and liven up your classes!
10 Virtual Team Building Activities for Students
#1 Host a Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Students love scavenger hunts! They’re an excellent way to get everyone involved and working together. To host a virtual scavenger hunt, teachers create a list of items or tasks for students to find or complete. These can be anything from finding an item in their house that starts with the letter ‘T’ to watching a TED talk and writing a summary. Once everyone has completed the tasks, they can share the results with the group via video call or chat.
Not only is this activity a lot of fun, it’s also a great way for students to learn more about each other and build connections. Virtual scavenger hunts can also help students explore their surroundings and learn more about each other’s cultures!
#2 Explore Virtual Icebreakers
An icebreaker is an activity or game designed to help people get to know each other better. Virtual classroom icebreakers for students are a great way to start the school year or a new semester. Not only do they help students get to know each other, they also help them feel more comfortable in the virtual learning environment.
There are many different virtual icebreakers teachers can use with their students. Some of the most popular include virtual scavenger hunts (see activity #1), virtual Charades, and virtual Pictionary.
For example, Charades is a classic icebreaker that can be easily adapted for the virtual classroom. To play, students are grouped into pairs or small groups. One group member will think of a word or phrase, and the others will have to guess what it is by acting it out. There are many platforms for playing online charades. If they want to create custom-made Charades, however, teachers can use a virtual whiteboard with in-built tools.
#3 Create Virtual Personality Tests
Personality tests can be suitable for the beginning of the semester when students still don’t know each other well. They will learn more about themselves and their classmates by taking a virtual personality test. However, not every group will be ready to pass a test. Before starting this activity, teachers should ensure students are comfortable with each other. Pre-activity small talk with terminology explanation will also be beneficial.
There are various personality tests that teachers can use with their students. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test that can help students understand their strengths and weaknesses. Exploring the extraversion-introversion dichotomy will also be beneficial for virtual teams. It can also help students understand how they work best with others.
#4 Pin the Map
As the name suggests, this virtual team building activity is similar to the classic children’s game ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey.’ The only difference is that students will be pinning flags on a map instead of a donkey. If your students come from different countries and cultures, incorporating the map activity in your lesson will help them learn about their classmates’ countries of origin, culture and traditions.
To play this game, a teacher should prepare a map of the world and flags of all the students’ countries. They should then send it to students via email or open access in a virtual classroom. The students will need to pin their country’s flag and say a few words about their traditions, culture or any other information they think their classmates would like to know.
Such activities are fun and educational, as they help students broaden their horizons and become more open-minded.
#5 Spare Time for Problem Solving
Riddles, interactive puzzles and quizzes, math equations and anagrams are great virtual team building activities that can help students learn new information while also spending time together.
Teachers using LiveBoard to teach online can create engaging, interactive quizzes to monitor student learning in real time. The virtual whiteboard also has a wide range of STEM-specific tools that enable teachers to create brain teasers, subject-specific formulas, and more.
Puzzles and riddles are a great way to get students thinking critically and working together. They can also be used to review material that covered in class.
#6 Virtual Museum Tours Are a Thing!
Field trips are an essential and exciting part of the school year for many students. Unfortunately, virtual education has put them on hold. However, virtual museum tours are a great way to bring some excitement back into the classroom.
Many museums have adapted their websites to be virtual-friendly and have created virtual tours students can take from the comfort of their homes. The Louvre, The British Museum, The Van Gogh Museum and many more institutions are already receiving virtual visitors every day!
Google Arts and Culture is a great place to start when looking for virtual museum tours. The website has a wide range of virtual tours and exhibitions worldwide. Students can explore the collections, learn about the artists and see some of the most famous art pieces without leaving their homes.
#7 Try Sixty-Second Sketching
While looking for virtual team building activities for students, don’t forget about drawing! It’s a great way for students to express their creativity and have fun. The sixty-second sketch activity is perfect for virtual teams as it helps students visualize new concepts and perform better under pressure.
This activity is similar to the classic game of Charades. The only difference is that instead of acting out a scene from a movie or a book, students will be drawing it.
To play the sixty-second sketching game, ask your students to draw anything they want related to the new concept they learned. The rule is to draw it for sixty seconds. Once the time is up, they pass their drawing to the person next to them and describe what they’ve drawn.
Pro Tip: Use LiveBoard’s Infinite board to create an online gallery of all the students’ sketches. Students can draw on the virtual whiteboard and comment on each other’s work. The platform is ideal for online collaboration, as you will never run out of space while brainstorming or working on a project.
From ancient times to now, stories have been used to teach new generations about their culture and values. Storytelling is a great virtual team building activity for students, as it helps them bond with classmates and learn more about their culture and traditions.
Practice storytelling with groups looking to improve their communication and creativity skills. The game’s objective is to create a story as a group using limited resources. Options may vary depending on your students’ age, background knowledge and creativity.
#9 Truth and a Fib
Getting to know one’s classmates can be challenging, especially for introverts and shy students. The “Truth and a Fib” virtual team building activity is the perfect icebreaker for students getting to know each other for the first time.
Teachers should prepare in advance for this assignment. Ask your students to write two facts and one fib, or lie, about themselves. This will be their homework assignment for the next online lesson.
Once everyone has submitted their three statements, put all the students in break-out rooms and let them introduce themselves to each other. The objective of the game is to guess which statement is the fib.
This game will help children feel more comfortable with each other and build trust within the virtual team.
#10 Joke of the Week
A good laugh is the best medicine, they say. And we couldn’t agree more! Laughter has the power to relieve stress, boost immunity and even improve cognitive function. That’s why we think the “Joke of the Week” virtual team building activity is an excellent way for students to bond with classmates and have fun breaks between online classes.
Teachers provide new topics for jokes every week. Students then prepare their jokes at home and share them with the class during the next online lesson.
Laughter therapy is a great way to improve communication and boost morale. So don’t hesitate to give it a try!
The Importance of Virtual Team Building Activities for Students
With so many educational institutions, schools and companies switching to virtual learning and working, finding ways to keep people engaged and motivated to connect to online sessions are more important than ever.
Virtual team building activities are a great way to do just that! By bringing people together in a fun and interactive collaboration, virtual team building activities help students feel more connected to classmates and build a sense of community.
If you’re looking for ways to add sparkle and cheerful vibes to your virtual meetings, don’t hesitate to try some of these activities! Your students will definitely thank you for it!