6 Top Hands-On Online Training Activities That Provide Discreet Performance Feedback

Provide Training Feedback With These 6 Activities
Summary: Everyone in your organization should know their strengths and weaknesses but never in a public forum. How do you provide discreet performance feedback in online training and impart practical wisdom?

6 Online Training Tools For Discreet Performance Feedback

You want employees to get their hands dirty and learn from mistakes; test out new approaches and not be afraid of failure because every attempt builds real-world experience. But how do they know which areas to work on based on their training task performance, especially if they work remotely and don’t have 24/7 access to instructors or peer support networks? The only way to point out weak spots and undisclosed strengths is discreet feedback. Give them the hands-on online training tools they need to take those calculated risks and then follow them up with targeted improvement plans.

1. Task Simulations

Employees often wish they could take back a crucial error they made on the job and erase their past indiscretions. A task simulation gives them this opportunity, minus the time machine or genie in a bottle. It mimics real-world situations and challenges to see how they react and how they handle common stressors, such as if they’re able to complete a task without missing any steps, or if they need to work on their mastery. They even have the chance to spot skill gaps that hold them back. Follow every simulation with online training feedback and recommendations for improvement. For instance, they mishandled a situation with a customer and didn’t address their needs. So, they should consider this certification course or section of the JIT training library.

2. Decision-Making Scenarios

The day is made of multiple decisions, each one having a direct impact on the next. In fact, one misstep might cost you a client or lead to on-the-job accidents. Decision-making scenarios are one of the most powerful hands-on online training activities because they highlight outcomes. Employees better understand how their behaviors and actions lead to negative or positive repercussions in the workplace. They must choose the best option based on their knowledge and experience. Hopefully, this leads them to the most favorable outcome. Besides, they immediately know what they did wrong and the domino effect it had on their performance.

3. Risk-Taking Serious Games

Trainees should never be afraid to take risks as long as they are calculated, and employees have evaluated all their options. Serious games offer timely online training feedback that’s subtler and (dare I say) more entertaining. They interact with in-game characters and challenges to see if they have what it takes to overcome them. Every risk teaches them a lesson and something new about themselves or their performance behaviors, which makes it an ideal addition to your performance management strategy. End each game with a summary of their pain points and support tools they can access autonomously.

4. Remote Peer-Coaching

Employees perform a task or discuss a topic, then their peers offer feedback. This can be done in live events, social media groups, or even recorded videos. Co-workers leave comments below to provide online training feedback that’s constructive and respectful. Employees shouldn’t feel as though they’re being ridiculed by their peers. So, be sure to set some guidelines for peer-coaching interactions. Try to keep group sizes small, preferably one-on-one to ensure open dialogue. Employees shouldn’t have to mince their words because they’re in a public setting and don’t want to make co-workers feel uncomfortable. One-on-one sessions allow them to share honest feedback that benefits peers and they may even learn something in the process. For example, build interpersonal skills that come in handy during their next client meeting.

5. Demo Videos With WWYD Question Prompts

Demo videos do provide a visual example, but they’re primarily passive. Employees watch a clip and mimic what they see in the workplace. However, it is an opportunity for trainees to also identify weak points in performance management and build on their existing knowledge if you bookend it with a pre-assessment and post-question prompts. Start off with a brief pop quiz to see how much they know. Then, end with a few targeted questions to gauge their performance. The pre-assessment records their assumptions and current knowledge base, which they can reflect on after the fact, while prompts evaluate what they would do in similar situations and disclose hidden gaps. For example, a demo video shows them how to handle a customer issue over the phone. The questions center on phone etiquette, company policy, and interpersonal skills. Is their performance on point, or has the demo shone a light on skills they lack?

6. Group Live Events

Host live events with small groups and ask one of the employees to be the guest speaker. They must develop an outline based on the assigned topic or task. The point is for them to gather feedback from attendees while sharing knowledge within an organization. For instance, their topic is COI breaches and how they impact the remote sales team. They think they know all the rules and regulations before they host the event. But a peer corrects them during the session (politely) and makes resource recommendations. The key is to encourage constructive feedback instead of stressing reluctant hosts. They must know that peer input is part of the process and not done out of spite. Competition has no place in this hands-on online training activity.


Hands-on experience isn’t impossible in online training environments. Employees may not be able to try out new skills in the real world just yet. However, simulations, scenarios, and peer-coaching can help them practice and prep for the workplace, not to mention offer discreet performance management feedback that doesn’t compromise their status within an organization. Nobody loses face because it all takes place behind closed doors (in an LMS). Staffers identify pressing issues that may hinder productivity and retain their dignity.

Do you have the tools and in-house expertise to create hands-on activities for performance feedback? If not, consider outsourcing to an eLearning content provider that specializes in AR and VR. Our directory features the top companies in your industry and price range.