A Guide to Developing Live Virtual Group Patient Education: Nine Steps to Success


Developing and delivering virtual (online) education requires a unique set of skills. As we increasingly move towards this model of delivery, there will be exciting new opportunities and challenges to face. While many people are familiar with the basics of technology, both educators and participants will have varying levels of comfort using, teaching and learning within virtual platforms. This guide was created to provide the knowledge, tools and skills needed to ensure everyone has a positive learning experience.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is intended to help anyone who would like to plan for, create and deliver live interactive virtual group education to patients, families and community members at large. It will walk you through the process as it relates to small or large groups and a variety of audiences.

Why should I use it?

This guide was created in consultation with a wide range of experts including patients, clinicians, telemedicine experts and educators. It will help ensure your virtual group education reflect the needs of your audience, is well delivered, engaging and easy to access.

How do I use it?

This guide is divided into 9 steps. Apply these steps in an iterative process. It’s important to revisit and reflect on the steps regularly to ensure you continue to meet the needs of your participants.

Each step has information and tips to help you:

  1. Identify your audience
  2. Meet your participants' needs
  3. Choose a virtual platform
  4. Create your content and structure
  5. Schedule your virtual group education
  6. Promote your virtual group education
  7. Deliver your virtual group education
  8. Follow-up with your participants
  9. Evaluate your virtual group education

You will see a blue Action Items box at the end of each step. The tasks and tools in this box will help you complete each step. For a complete checklist of all the Action Items, see Appendix IV in the Guide.

Note: If you are new to offering virtual group education, we recommend you read the full guide before implementing any of the steps involved.

Interested in adapting this guide?

If you wish to adapt this guide, contact We will provide you with the appropriate acknowledgement statements. We would also like to hear how you plan to adapt it. This will help us to improve the content as we continue to learn more about virtual patient education practices.

Share your feedback with us!

To help us continue to improve this work, fill out this short survey and share your comments and suggestions. Your feedback will help us ensure the content is relevant, easy to use and aligns with current patient education and virtual care best practices.

Based on your feedback, we will continue to revise the guide to reflect up-to-date best practices. We recommend checking it regularly for new updates.

Who do I contact for more information?

Unity Health Toronto

University Health Network

  • Contact the Patient Education & Engagement Program by email at or call 416 603 6290

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