People do learn best by doing, but having everyone online attempting to so the same thing at the same is extremely frustrating as a teacher and also, often, as a student. The problem I have run into with it is that you end up teaching to the slowest student, and your quicker students jump ahead and then miss instruction because they were in the wrong place. My suggestion (based on years of teaching in a variety of situations):
- Start with a presentation that previews what they will do, complete with handouts they will use at the computer. It may include a demonstration rather than slides.
- Next, send them to the computers with a list of applicable tasks and have them work in pairs. People are amazing at helping each other - one of them will have heard one step and another a different step, and between them they will figure it out. The instructor moves from station to station to help when pairs are stuck or to answer questions that grow from the exercises.
- Finally, let people explore on their own, using the software for their own purpose. The instructor can move student to student, but as students work on their own, if you are busy they will tend to ask others around them since they have practice in this.
I have used this successfully with 6-year-olds learning to program with Logo all the way up to architects learning to use CAD software. It does make for a long teaching session. If you are teaching something simple or small in scope, you may be able to skip the second or third step, but I would avoid trying to orchestrate having everyone do the same thing at the same time.