Virtual Judging Workshop

Download this tip sheet: Virtual Judging Workshop (PDF)

Virtual judging workshops have the same components as in-person workshops. Zoom, a virtual platform that offers tools for interactive learning, can be used to host and create an engaging and educational experience for youth.

Getting Started

  1. Set a date and time for your workshop, create a Zoom meeting, and send out the invitations.
  2. Determine if you as the 4-H leader will facilitate the judging workshop or if you will want to invite a guest speaker to help.
  3. Develop an agenda with time frames to help keep the group on schedule. The sample agenda includes two classes in the workshop, one that can be used for providing instruction and one to let the youth try judging on their own. Your agenda may differ based on the number of classes that you will be judging in the workshop. Keeping the workshop short and concise will help the youth stay focused.
  4. Determine if you will use a video or photos to present the class to be judged.
  5. Consider what materials youth will need (ex. Judging cards, worksheets, photo cards, etc.) and mail or email them to the participants prior to the workshop.

Tech Tip: If using pictures of animals, create a presentation of the images prior to the workshop. This will allow you to easily move through slides for judging. If you are going to be sharing videos of classes on your screen, find the videos beforehand and practice sharing your screen in Zoom.

Create a Zoom meeting.

Sample Agenda

5 mins. Introduction
30 mins. Class #1- judged as a group
20 mins. Class #2- judged individually
20 mins. Reasons
10 mins. Reflection

Sharing your screen in Zoom.


Begin with brief introductions or quick ice-breaker activity and review the basic functions of Zoom. Explain the structure of the workshop and review the agenda.

Tech Tip: Make sure that the participants understand how to use the mute button, chat box, and whiteboard feature before beginning the instruction. Remind participants of the importance of muting when not speaking.

Instructional Time

Discuss the score cards if they are available and what to look for while judging. With older and more experienced youth, this can be covered quickly. Beginners will need to spend more time learning how to evaluate animals before they try to do it on their own.

Tech Tip: Whiteboard feature — the instructor could ask the youth to identify certain parts of the animal or where a cut of meat comes from and have them use the whiteboard feature to mark their answer on the screen or have them type their answer into the chat box.

Whiteboard feature.

Into the chat box.

Judge the Classes

A class should have three or four animals. During this part of the workshop, show your slides or videos of the class. Allow enough time for youth to thoroughly evaluate and make notes about each animal. For a class with four animals, try displaying each animal for at least five minutes. To include more content, try holding a series of workshops rather than holding one long workshop.

Stating the Reasons

Depending on the number of participants in the workshop you may choose to have each participant give their reasons, or only a few. A time limit should be utilized. The reasons portion of the workshop is a great chance for the instructor and the other participants to give positive, constructive feedback to other youth after they give their reasons. As the instructor, explain your reasons to the youth and have them compare their placings to yours.


This important part of experiential learning helps youth process what they have learned.

Reflection questions might include:

  • What is one thing you learned about judging from this workshop?
  • What is one thing you will do differently with your animal after attending this workshop?
  • What is something that you would change about this workshop if you were going to do it again?

Tech Tip: Ask youth to type answers to reflection questions into the chat box.

Resource Bank

Dairy Classes:

Horse Classes:

Beef Classes:

Swine Classes:

Sheep Classes:

Goat Classes:

Working Steer classes:

Judging Scorecards:


Break the workshop into two sessions, one for the instruction and one for the practice. Holding two shorter workshops will allow you to cover more material in each session without losing the attention of the youth.

To cut down on screen time, try assigning youth some judging to do at home. After you hold the instructional session, you can assign youth classes to judge on their own and then schedule another zoom session where you can discuss placings and give reasons as a group.

This workshop provides a great opportunity to have a guest speaker join the session. Use them to provide an overview of how to judge a class, have them provide feedback to youth on how they present their reasons, or have them give reasons so 4-H members can compare their rankings.