Preparing with your team

A big misconception is that online activity takes less planning and preparation that it's in-person equivalent. Maybe it's the 'protection' of being behind a screen, however in our experience, it will likely take you more time to prepare for a successful online meeting, training session or other activity.

Online activites are less conducive to spontaneity and can be less flexible for you as a facilitator so plenty of planning and preparation is needed

 

Outside of your tech, there are 3 main things to think about:

 

Participant Information

Providing clear and concise information on how to participate in your online activity is a key tenet of accessibility. This might include:

  • What to expect: Am I expected to have my camera switched on? Is there an agenda I can read in advance to prepare myself and any thoughts and questions?
  • All the links and info they need to join the sessionDo I have the Zoom meeting room number and password in case the link doesn't work?
  • How you are meeting their access requirements if they’ve flagged them: Do you have alternatives methods of participation e.g. providing written commens in advance or using the chat function instead of audio?
  • Details of any prep or pre-work they should doWill I be expected to contribute to group discussion or work during the session?

At this point you will also want to provide support materials for how to use the various features of the platform you are using. You can already find plenty of 'how to' videos and guides online, such as video training for Microsoft Teams.

The Team

When delivering online activities we would always recommend working together as a team, whether in front of the camera or behind the scenes. There are various roles you can take including:

  • Co-facilitator: to host some of the session so you can give each other a break. One of you could also be focussing on group dynamics while the other delivers content. It can also give you session more variety and therfore better engagement from participants.
  • Tech support: a person specifically appointed to resolve any tech issues that occur and/or support a participant one-on-one if they are having tech issues so that you can focus on the training. 
  • Producer: coordinating the 'backstage area' of your platform. This might include adding and remove people from your live stream and sending the 'host' comments from social media to use as part of the discussion.
  • Remote participant support: if someone doesn’t have a laptop, or can’t access the shared online document, this person can help them still access the content by being on a call with them and 'representing' them online.
  • Note/minute taker: someone seperate from the presenter, facilitator or host to capture key discussion points, decisions and any actions to be written up and circulated after the session.
  • Time keeper: this may not be a role in itself however someone should ensure the session keeps to time and doesn't run over.

Resources

Preparing your activity resources can take a little longer online, with additional considerations such as formatting files, access and file permissions and translating offline activities into something engaging and accessible.

Have a look at some further reading (below) from Campaign Bootcamp on how to overcome some of the challenges presented with moving your activities online.

Top Tips from Campaign Bootcamp

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