We recently provided insights for a facilitator looking to bring a face-to-face workshop online. She’s a great facilitator, and her experience in a face-to-face setting shaped how she was designing the online learning. This meant many break-out-groups and trying to do exercises in the same way as a workshop. But what works in a classroom setting doesn’t translate as well in a remote setting.
Here are five things to consider before moving from face-to-face to online:
Rethink control. Facilitators rely on their ability to manage a room and keep the session moving forward. Going online means a loss of control because you can’t read non-verbal cues in the same way.
Rethink engagement. If “reading the room” is more complicated, you need to think about keeping participants engaged; for example, through polling and questions and chats. You could also pre-record some of your lectures so you can monitor participants and even occasionally “pause yourself” to emphasize a point or ask a question.
Refocus on outcomes. You know the outcome you want, so focus on how you can get there in more creative ways. Revamp your tactics for each activity; each lecture; each discussion. Will it work? How will they be engaged?
Keep it uncomplicated. Don’t make participants jump through complicated hoops to do an exercise or get information. It also eats up important time when some individuals inevitably need more instructions.
Learn and adapt. Don’t be afraid of failure. Learners are quite empathetic to the current reality. Learn from your experience and adapt. You’ll get better over time and a sense of what works and doesn’t work. And you can add more complex activities over time.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.