How do I engage learners in a remote, online, or virtual environment? This is a question rolling around in the minds of many health professions educators who have over the last few months made significant pivots given the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom, among other web conferencing technologies, has become an essential tool for educators, learners, and peers to connect and facilitate synchronous learning experiences. However, integrating Zoom alone is not enough. To create significant learning experiences, consider the three tips offered below!

  • Tip #1: Remember technology alone will not facilitate learning. Your presence and how you facilitate is critical. Once you have pinpointed the content, determine your pedagogical approach, and then align the appropriate technology (or in this example appropriate Zoom feature) to achieve this goal. Reference the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Framework
  • Tip #3: Foster an environment which empowers and engages learners to socially construct learning experiences together. For example, use Zoom’s breakout rooms accompanied with other technologies, such as Google Docs, MindMeister, or Padlet, to facilitate application, synthesis, and/or creation. 


Interested in Learning More - Watch the Webinar!

On May 13, 2020, the Harvard Macy Institute held a webinar for our worldwide community, hosted by our Health Care Education 2.0 course faculty, Elissa Hall. More than 400 educators registered for the “Harnessing the Power of Zoom for Teaching and Learning” webinar, an immersive experience which allowed our community to engage with Zoom features, discuss effective facilitation strategies, and explore applications for teaching and learning

Here are ideas shared from fellow health profession educators during about how they use Zoom to engage learners. The chat transcript can be accessed here. We also offer links to multiple learning materials for self-directed learning, including:

  • Webinar handout featuring Zoom tools, features, references, and resources
  • Zoom resource for whiteboard sharing
  • Zoom resource for saving chats
  • Zoom resource for polling


Did you know that the Harvard Macy Institute Community Blog has had more than 215 posts? Previous blog posts have explored topics including the integration of learning theory and education technology, technology in education, and mastering adaptive teaching in the midst of COVID-19.

Elissa Hall, EdD, MA

Director, Learning and Technology Innovation Associate Director, Education Science Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science