Virtual Options

  • Summary & Activities
  • Resources & Downloads

Introduction To Virtual Options

This section provides a summary of virtual options for a variety of Work-Based Learning activities. It is not intended as an exhaustive list, but rather a guide for WBL coordinators, teachers and intermediary or program staff seeking to develop quality opportunities for their students while most school activities are being conducted online.


When offering  virtual options to students, it is important to pay attention to technology access and equity in the distribution of opportunities in addition to ensuring the necessary permissions, protections and guidance are in place to promote student safety.

Virtual Work-Based Learning

Virtual WBL Activities are defined as those that promote “live” student contact with adult professionals and front-line workers through the use of technology; as well as other virtual activities that are generally simulations and provide employer exposures through recordings, on-line research and related classroom activities.

Summary of Online Options By WBL Activity

The summary activities described below are detailed in each activity guide’s companion sheet, Virtual Options.  The options sheets are intended to be used in tandem with the complete guide, checklists and tip sheets for the activity.

  • Guest Speakers

    Through a guest speaker activity, a  group of students listen to a presentation to learn about the speaker’s organization, careers and industry and ask questions to help them consider whether they might like to pursue a career in the industry.

    Virtual Guest Speaker Options

    Virtual Classroom

    An industry or employer partner visits a virtual classroom as a guest speaker and provides a presentation on the speaker’s career, business or organization and industry. Students ask questions to help them consider whether they might like to pursue a career in the industry.

    Guest Speaker Foundational Activities

    An online recording of a guest speaker is used as a foundation for an activity and discussion in the classroom.

    Go Hybrid

    After recording a session arrange for the guest speaker to return to the virtual classroom for a short amount of time to answer specific questions from a new group of students. Play the recording prior to the speaker’s visit.

    Guest Speaker Virtual Options Sheet
    Guest Speaker Activity Guide
  • Career Days

    Through a career day, business partners from a variety of companies come together at a school to share information about their company, their job and the education and skills required for success in careers in the industry.

    Virtual Career Day Options

    Virtual Classroom With Breakouts

    Host an interactive, online career day where employers visit a classroom or classrooms virtually. After a panel presentation, students visit individual industry partners in breakout rooms. At the end of the session, the class comes back together to share what they’ve learned and reflect on the activity

    Virtual Classroom Sequenced

    Schedule a number of industry partners to visit the virtual classroom or set of classrooms throughout a school day.

    Combine a brief Guest Speaker activity followed by a group informational interview.

    Virtual Career Day Foundational Activities

    Have students conduct online research on a range of careers in an industry of interest, gather information, find compelling recorded presentations on careers in the industry and have them share their findings in the virtual classroom.


    Consider making it a team-based activity and have a small group of students work together and prepare a presentation for the rest of the class or pathway cluster.

    Go Hybrid

    Record a career day panel and use it as a basis for a virtual classroom activity.

    If possible, have one or more of the career day panelists visit the virtual classroom to share information and answer questions.

    Career Day Virtual Options Sheet
    Career Day Activity Guide
  • Career Mentoring

    Through career mentoring, a student is matched one-on-one or in small groups with an adult professional to explore potential careers and related educational issues.

    Virtual note

    Students who are currently paired with a Career Mentor may continue to receive support via telephone or some other technology if the necessary permissions, protections and guidance are in place to promote student safety.

    Career Mentoring Activity Guide
  • Workplace Tours

    Through a workplace tour, small groups of students visit a workplace, learn about the business, meet employees, ask questions and observe work in progress. Teachers also benefit from exposure to the workplace.

    Virtual Note

    Some employers may be in a position to conduct a virtual tour of their workplace, perhaps as part of a scheduled Guest Speaker activity.

    Workplace Tour Activity Guide
  • Informational Interviews

    Through an Informational interview, a student formally interviews an employer partner about his or her industry, educational and career path and chosen profession.

    Virtual Informational Interviews Options

    By Phone or Internet

    A student formally interviews an Industry Partner over the phone or internet about his or her industry, educational and career path, and chosen profession.

    Informational Interview Foundational Activities

    • Students review a prerecorded interview with an industry professional in the virtual classroom and engage in a guided discussion after the interview.
    • Consider having students conduct online research to locate prerecorded interview session with employers and use those on the classroom.

    Go Hybrid

    A model where small groups interview an industry partner via Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or some other technology; and record the session to then use to form the foundation for a classroom activity and discussion.

    Informational Interview Virtual Options Sheet
    Informational Interview Activity Guide
  • Job Shadowing

    Through a job shadow, a student is paired with an employee of a host company and follows that employee during much of a regular workday. A job shadow provides students the opportunity to experience the workplace, understand the various roles and duties of a particular occupation, learn about the business, connect with a working adult and observe work in progress.

    Virtual Note

    Job shadowing does not lend itself to virtual activities.

    Job Shadowing Activity Guide
  • Mock Interviews

    Through a  mock interview, students are paired one-on-one with a business partner who interviews each student as if he/she were being interviewed by an employer for a paid internship or job.

    Virtual Mock Interview Options

    By Phone or Internet

    A student is formally interviewed via phone, FaceTime, SKYPE, Microsoft Teams or Zoom by an Industry Partner as if they were applying for a job with the company the partner represents.

    Virtual Classroom

    Multiple employers are invited to a virtual classroom and are assigned to breakout rooms and interview a number of students individually.

    Go Hybrid

    View a recorded mock interview and have students critique it in the classroom.

    Mock Interview Virtual Options Sheet
    Mock Interview Activity Guide
  • Workplace Challenges

    Through a workplace challenge, small groups of students (four to six per team) are engaged in a problem-solving exercise issued by an employer in consultation with a teacher or counselor.

    Virtual Workplace Challenge Options

    Virtual Workplace Challenge

    Teams of students are paired with employers to complete a workplace challenge.  They connect via technology and work together over time to address an identified issue. Students then provide a presentation of their solution online to the employer partner(s) at the conclusion of the challenge.

    Workplace Challenge Activity Guide
  • Internships

    Through an internship, a student has the opportunity to learn by doing real work and being productively engaged in the workplace. Students may work individually, in teams, work on a project, or rotate through a number of departments and job functions.

    Virtual Internship Options

    Virtual Internships
    Created by Sue Gubing and WBL Coordinators with the support of Perkins funding

    Each Virtual Internship involves selecting one of more than 70 occupations, conducting guided research on the occupation and its educational or training pathway followed by the completion of three simulated task associated with the job.

    Xtreme Intern
    An educational and career assessment tool that is designed to assist High School and College bound students in recognizing their interests, natural talents and abilities, while applying them to virtual real-world career experiences.

    Internship Activity Guide
  • Work Experiences

    Through a work experience, a student has the opportunity to develop and demonstrate professional and occupational skills by addressing a core business function and doing productive work with an employer.

    Virtual Work Experience Options

    Digital Summer Youth Employment Toolkit 2.0
    The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, December 16, 2020

    This resource builds on the initial toolkit from June 2020, and is informed by implementation lessons from 2020’s “summer like no other” from communities across the Opportunity Youth Forum (OYF) network and national partners.

    Work Experience Activity Guide

Virtual Resources & Downloads

Virtual Work-Based Learning Activity Options

Virtual Program Fact Sheets

Virtual Tools

Additional Links and Resources

Postsecondary Planning Milestones Toolkit
Activity Type: College and Career Development
Utility: This document is a comprehensive planning tool. The document explains step-by-step activities and provides hyperlinked resources for educators to help students explore postsecondary pathways throughout their high school journey.



ISP 2020 Best Practices PPT
Activity Type: Career Development
Utility: This Powerpoint presentation shares learnings from ISP Summer 2020. Presentation shares best practices related to implementing virtual internships and virtual workplace challenges.



Experiential Learning Directory
Activity Type: Career Development/ Internship
Utility: This online resource provides time sensitive information related to a range of work based learning opportunities for students including internships, mentorship opportunities .



Level Up!
Activity Type: Career Development
Utility- This curriculum provides the tools to help students rapidly develop tools and skills essential to career success including: resume development, interview preparation.



DRAFT – Employer Cheat Sheet
Activity Type: Internship (support document)
Utility: This document is designed to be a one-page reference tool for employers who are sponsoring virtual internships including pay schedule, student work schedule, key web links and contact information. This document can also be used for in-person internships.



DRAFT- Worklog/ Check In
Activity Type: Internship (support document)
Utility: This document is designed to support clear communication between workplace supervisor and intern. This optional tool is designed for employers to create a running work log, to clearly state weekly work objectives, and allow space for student feedback.



NASDAQ Lunch and Learn
Activity Type: Mentorship/ Career Development
Utility: These recorded sessions provide students with video interviews of representatives from within the financial services industry. Students are introduced to key financial ideas, as well as guidance around the range of careers that compose the financial sector:



NASDAQ – LatinX Event
Activity Type: Mentorship/ Career Development
Utility: This recorded session provides students with video interviews of representatives from within the financial services industry. Students are introduced to key financial ideas, as well as guidance around the range of careers that compose the financial sector:


Quantum Leap Voyages
At Quantum Leap Voyages, we offer various pathways as unique opportunities to virtually explore an inner calling or passion.