#RemoteTogether – Week 2: Remote Workshops

In these uncertain times, we want to contribute by sharing our digital learning knowledge and experience – and encouraging everyone to do the same. We’re creating a video series under the hashtag #RemoteTogether to bring us all together, brainstorm, discuss and share how we as learning professionals can respond to the challenges we’re facing. 

Every week we’re going to pick a relevant theme. At 5pm (UK time) every day we’re sharing a 1-minute video with a tip related to the theme. And asking you for your own ideas, tips and questions. At the end of each week, we’re hosting a short webinar to bring everything together and to respond to questions that have come up over the week.

Week 2 – Remote Workshops

We’ve been facilitating more and more remote workshops for our clients as the COVID-19 situation unfolds and teams are no longer able to work together. We share a few of our tips for making sure the set up and delivery of your remote workshops runs smoothly.

Monday 30th March: Tip 1 –  Get everyone set up ahead of the workshop

A couple of days before your workshop, send your delegates a short video that talks them through the structure and objectives of the workshop. Also take the opportunity to give them an overview of the tools that they will be using and how you want them to use them, and share any relevant information about the tech setup. For example, we use these short videos to tell our clients how they can get access to our Google Hangouts, and how to make sure that their video and audio settings are just right so there are no glitches on the day. To do this we use Loom – a free and really easy to use video and desktop capture tool that allows you to share the video through links rather than downloading and sharing really big files.



Tuesday 31st March: Tip 2 – Take time to create human connections

Before you get into the business of the workshop, make sure you take some time for activities that energize people and allow them to bring their whole self to the workshop rather than just their work self. We use ‘MURAL’ for our workshops, which is a really great visual collaboration tool that we give everyone access to. It’s what we use for moving post its around and collecting ideas. Mural comes preloaded with some really great icebreaker activities, for example:

Ask the delegates to think about a moment of joy, something that made them smile recently, a ripple moment, something that they saw, that inspired them to do something positive for somebody else. And also something that they’re grateful for a moment of appreciation, whether it be an individual in their team, in their family, or whatever. 

It really helps to get everybody energized and bring the whole selves to the workshop and it also gave them a chance to use ‘MURAL’ for the first time, which was a tool that we went on to use in the workshop to capture ideas



Wednesday 1st April: Tip 3 – Design for positive and productive energy levels  positive and productive energy levels 

Attending a remote online workshop where you will be reading, listening, watching, talking or waiting to talk at any given moment exerts a significant cognitive load and can be really tiring. We try to keep our online workshops to around two hours, and we make sure we take breaks.

We also try to mix up our activities, going from group activities to pair or even just solo activities. Don’t be afraid to ask somebody to leave the online workshop to work in their own physical space and come back a few minutes later to share their output with the group. It’s nice to mix up those modalities so they’re not just staring at a screen for the full two hours.

Thursday 2nd April: Tip 4 – Be super clear on your purpose

To get the most out of your time together, be clear on what it is you want to create, make or do in your workshop and what you want people to bring to the party in terms of their unique perspectives and skills.

Check out other posts in the series:

#RemoteTogether – Week 1: Adapting for online learning

#RemoteTogether – Week 3: Online Teaching

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