For many facilitators, trainers, coaches, and teachers, transitioning existing content from live workshops to a remote setting has become a massive and necessary undertaking.
As the facilitation landscape has shifted to online formats, asynchronous learning, or blended learning environments, those leading courses and workshops have needed to adapt.
While redesigning for online learning is a challenge, it’s also an opportunity. With the right approach, design, and process you can make your remote workshops as vital, engaging, and productive as their live equivalents.
This might mean switching to a blended learning approach where students or participants work primarily in an online teaching environment with some control over the pace or direction of their learning. It might also mean restructuring your process and agenda to allow for a greater mix of team and individual tasks, some of which might be conducted asynchronously. Online learning is different from the
We’re going to do a deep dive into a case where Anja Svetina Nabergoj and 比尔·帕切科 – both coaches at Stanford d.school – adapted a 3-day executive MBA course on User-Centered Innovation at the University of Ljubljana into an online format during the pandemic lockdown of spring 2020.
Anja and Bill shared their experience of redesigning a live course for an online environment and gave a heap of insight into effective remote facilitation and how to engage participants with a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous online work.
We’re delighted to share the key points of this conversation and explore how to use asynchronous learning to and make online courses and workshops more engaging when transitioning from live to virtual environments. Let’s dive in!
- Restructure your agenda design for virtual environments
- Use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous tasks
- Design (and redesign) for your audience
- Make a personal connection with every participant
- Create a team dashboard
- Create engagement by working with the technology…
- Carefully plan your time as a facilitator
- Get a co-facilitator, technical assistant or both!
- Remember it’s a learning process
“When we faced this transition to move it online and make it remote, the first very obvious thing was you can’t do it in three full days. You can’t get people in front of Zoom and keep them on Zoom for 12 hours a day.”
教学团队改变的第一件事是 课程结构. 安雅指出，在学生中， “工作时的应力水平和负荷为&ndash；对于大多数人来说；比平时高很多，很多人在家里也有孩子。”
这可能意味着创建 更短的会话 &恩达斯；Anja和Bill从每天10-12小时的工作时间改为4小时的工作时间，并补充了1-1小时的可预订时间。对于参与者来说，减少潜在疲劳的效果是巨大的，但请记住 参与者的工作日更短；不一定意味着主持人的工作日更短.
“The output was really good. The project results were much more polished, and not just that they looked better because they were digital prototypes. They were actually more well thought through.”
One of the takeaways for this remote version of the course was that not only were results generated more quickly and efficiently than in a live workshop, but that they were generally higher quality.
What Anja and Bill found was that a mix of synchronous and asynchronous tasks meant that teams and individuals felt empowered to work within timeframes, let ideas sit in their brains and go back to them if they felt the need.
To give an example: for a brainstorming session in a live setting, you might brainstorm as a team and create a wall of post-its. That’s a synchronous task – everyone working together at the same time. In a packed schedule, you might move on from the brainstorming wall and never have the chance to go back to it. How many of us take a photograph of a brainstorming wall of post-its and never look at it again?
In a remote setting, where these brainstorms or prototyping sessions live as Mural boards or shared documents, something different can happen:
“What happens in the digital world is people actually come back to the brainstorming board later either to look at ideas, or select, cluster and play with them. The same thing happened with prototypes. So it was not a rushed process. Some teams had participants who would spend a little bit of time, maybe 20 minutes on Mural or another tool and bring the design to the next level.”
To facilitate this, create space in your agenda for asynchronous work, either for teams or individuals. Alternatively, set tasks as homework. We all know that sometimes, your best work or ideas don’t arrive immediately, and by creating space for people to asynchronously work or let ideas percolate can improve the results, as was the case in this session.
Anja还指出 “头脑风暴在两端同步和异步进行。” 这意味着人们通常会带着想法来到会议现场，他们在会议内部作为团队工作时也会产生一些想法，最后会产生更多的想法。
One method the teaching team used to facilitate this was by having a mixture of team tasks and more reflective individual tasks combined with personal 1-1 coaching. This reflective time was used for people to connect with ideas around their own businesses and personal development.
“I gave them time to book me on calendly, for consultation. My intention was to offer teams opportunity to connect and ask for feedback about a project. However, it turned out they were all coming into these calls with individual questions, focusing on their own development as innovators. For example: How do I apply this methodology to a project I am working on? How do I convince my leaders to use more human centered approach? How do I get my teammates excited about exploration work?”
In facilitating our own workshops at SessionLab, we’ve also found that much of the most effective work is done in individual work that is then shared and discussed with a team.
In our remote problem solving workshop agenda template, for example, the lightning demo and experimental solution activities have an individual work step before group feedback. These are both quick and effective methods that help the group move forward and use mental energy effectively.
These kinds of activities can also have the effect of combating online fatigue – you no longer have to be listening to others on Zoom and can refocus your energy. Depending on the task, you can get up from the computer or work with a pen and paper too.
Mixing up your methods and tasks so that people work in a variety of ways can help keep things fresh and also lead to better outcomes!
Successful remote work is often about companies being flexible around working hours and being sensitive to the needs of their employees.
Encouraging parents that it’s okay to pick up their kids, giving employees flexibility in working hours or rearranging meetings for employee-friendly time zones are just a few examples of how companies can work with their employees.
Online courses and virtual workshops should carefully consider who is coming, what their needs are, and be designed to accommodate and help those people succeed.
In this case, the first redesign was to accommodate for the busy period of quarantine. People were generally more stressed and had a greater workload, so Anya and Bill redesigned some elements of the course accordingly.
Another result of the lockdown was that participants were often at home with their families; children would be present, partners may also be sharing a space for coworking.
Rather than ask participants to ensure there were no interruptions, the team created an environment where participants felt comfortable with having their kids around and even asked families to get involved with certain activities.
“We knew that there would be people who might feel it’s not okay to have your son or daughter sit on your lap or people who will think might feel uncomfortable when kids start screaming in the other room or their partner is on another conference call next to them, so we wanted to make it very normal for family members, first of all to be around, and then we wanted to include them.”
Anja and Bill ran a team building activity to not only demonstrate the benefits of iteration and prototyping but also to include family members. Participants were tasked with making a boat capable of carrying coins across water with just a salad bowl, a towel and a sheet of aluminum foil. Over progressive rounds, participants got to add more sheets of foil and improve their designs. People worked with their partners, children and even pets!
这种挑战不仅有趣、包容，而且 经验的 并在议程中加入了可喜的步伐变化。
使用多个工具、生成资源以及同步和异步地在共享文档中协作意味着可以跟踪大量的资料。 Make it easy for people to find what they need in one place with a single master document – it’s more efficient for everyone and can remove potential friction from the process too!
Remember than any blended learning approach is about empowering your participants or students to learn – providing useful documentation and a simple to grasp framework is integral to enabling that process.
For Anja and Bill’s session, they created a “What you need to know guide” which included:
- contact details
- link to Zmrl – a landing page for a recurring Zoom meeting on one page
- a link to the shared team dashboard
- Links to shared class files – documents and slides
- Timeline and agenda
- Office hours – with a Calendly link for people to grab a slot
- Daily progress report
- Team formation – a table of who is on what team
- Logistical notes – class format, what tools will be used, and when, and where to find what you need
- Technology tips for both Zoom and Mural
- Daily assignments and homework.
Your own master document may include different items but be sure to consider what your participants will need and make it available as simply as possible. Remember to double check permissions and ensure everyone has access too.
If possible, make this document available prior to the online course so people can upskill and prepare, and update it when new resources are created. If you’re using an online learning platform, you might include all this information in the dashboard.
Get this right and you can spend more time teaching online courses, rather than conducting admin!
“Having a connection to the person who is speaking dramatically increases how much attention you pay. Scheduling individual time with every single student outside of the class session proved to be crucial.”
在现场研讨会中，可以通过有机互动和精心设计的方法建立个人联系。 在在线环境中创建这种相同的连接感比较困难，但值得付出额外的时间和努力。 远程会议的参与者经常报告说，他们觉得自己与材料以及彼此之间缺乏个人联系。
为Anja的每个学生创造一对一的时间和空间。 使用15分钟的街区和Calendally上的开放预订计划，她的参与者可以提出问题，感受到联系，并更多地参与课程。 此外，使用允许参与者分享个人经验和分享家中或工作场所物品的练习有助于建立联系。
“When you are doing things in a live workshop, you walk around in the space and physically remember which face sits in which corner or where each whiteboard is and have a sense of who’s doing well who’s not doing well. With remote teams, it’s hard, because a lot of work happens in breakout rooms or asynchronously and you have less of an idea how each participant is doing and how well the team is progressing.”
Measuring progress and keeping appraised of where a team is and how they’re feeling over the course of a multi-day session or workshop is vital in ensuring it’s a success for every participant.
A team dashboard is a great way of delineating tasks, creating space for asynchronous check-ins, and to get a sense of how each team is performing quickly. In a remote environment, having an efficient way to overview each team, just as you would in a live workshop is important.
Anja and Bill created a Google Sheet for every team to fill in and update every day. At the end of each session, each team would have a short question to answer: “A little question like, ‘What is the most surprising thing you learned during empathy interviews?’ helps a lot. By reading the answers as an experienced coach you know exactly whether they’re doing well or not.”
The teaching team also invited each team to summarise their progress – for example, summarising their top three breakthrough ideas – so that she could effectively monitor progress at a glance before diving deeper if necessary. A team dashboard is also a great tool for helping teams see their own progress and keep up to date with everything they’ve achieved.
使用团队仪表板或在线学习平台时， 记住要保持简单。 少量的管理工作或进度总结是很好的，但如果你的承诺太重，那么你就有可能让参与者感到沮丧或看到质量不高的条目。
当使用在线学习时，这种反思时间可能会像Anja和Bill那样，将三天的强化课程分为几天。一个在下午举行会议的多日结构允许 有机反射 这是转向同步和异步工作的混合以及采用混合学习模式的好处之一。
包括反思活动和鼓励退房以回应提示性问题也可以有效。为了创造更多无组织的反思时间，让breaks成为一流的公民 鼓励参与者远离电脑、散散步或找到其他方法拔掉电源插头。 Learning online doesn’t mean spending all the time on the computer.
Remember that this is still new to many of us, and finding the right balance will likely require experimentation. Anja notes that this is still something she’s working on: “I was actually wondering if I can get the team or duos to put their headphones on and take a walk outside. Go for a walk for fifteen minutes, talk about whatever they want to talk about. Maybe the best idea emerges or a breakthrough happens while you’re walking or making yourself a cup of coffee.”
The best approach is likely to include a mix of unstructured reflection time, one on one coaching and reflective activities too. While this is an iterative and sometimes organic process, be sure to consider how your agenda design can support participant reflection and create space for it where you can.
Technology does not need to be a barrier to engagement. While it’s important that facilitators spend time recreating the connection and camaraderie of the live experience, try leaning into what makes technology great, engaging and exciting.
Simply running a workshop on Zoom without thinking of what tools and processes you could bring in to improve the remote workshop experience is setting yourself up for an unengaging session.
Utilize the opportunities and unique features of the technology you’re working with to engage your participants. Using online whiteboards with infinite space, or design tools such as Figma or Marvel allows opportunities for fast, fun prototyping that is hard to achieve in a live workshop. Similarly, the right online learning platform can help your course be a success, though ensure it’s fit for purpose. Using an online course platform does require some extra learning from your participants and this additional load may not be necessary.
Working asynchronously or remotely also allows participants to bring things to the workshop sessions they wouldn’t otherwise. For one icebreaker, Anja asked her group to share their most creative quarantine-hacks and post photographs and tips in a shared document.
Creating space for participants to share music and listen together during quiet time and create shared playlists also proved to be conducive to an engaging remote working atmosphere. Think of how sharing memes, Gifs, music, links and family photos is difficult or clumsy in a live workshop, but is an organic part of remote working or communicating online.
We all have ways of connecting with friends and family online or over text message: consider how we might use those engagement methods in a workshop environment and work with the technology and the remote environment, rather than against it.
It’s also worth noting that the remote environment allows for possibilities that live workshops do not. As Anja notes: “We had guest speakers, which I think it’s a total benefit of remote. I could bring in amazing speakers that you cannot always fly in for the whole day, when they would just be speaking for 30 minutes. So, this proved to be a huge benefit of the remote workshop, getting in experts for short inspiring session took learning to the next level.”
Lean into the possibilities that an online space creates to deliver something special! It isn’t enough to put your materials online and leave your students to it – consider how tools can build on your process and take advantage of what a blended learning environment has to offer!
We’d also recommend mixing up your activities to involve some tasks where participants can step away from the computer or engage in physical activity. You might include some drawing or paper based activities where people do solo-work and upload their results into a shared whiteboard. This kind of variety can help make online learning a success.
As lockdown eases and hybrid courses or live courses with some online elements become possible, consider how using blended learning concepts like having physical meetings between students and their teacher between self-directed online learning might help you build an engaging process.
“I think this is something that can have a really deep impact on the participants: I think an educator or facilitator needs to be available. If you’re meeting in the afternoons on Zoom, you need to book your mornings for one-to-ones.”
All facilitators know that their workload is not contained to the time spent directly leading a workshop or meeting session. Factoring in time for planning, cleanup and administration has always been a consideration, though in an online environment, there is an even greater pressure on the time of the facilitator.
In a multi-day course for example, you will likely spend time leading sessions, coaching 1-1, setting up Mural boards, reviewing team work, setting future tasks, communicating with co-facilitators and more.
As Anja and Bill noted, being available and present as a facilitator outside of scheduled meeting time is important in ensuring that the participants have the best possible experience. That said, without careful planning and allocation of time, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed.
The teaching team not only put in place some measures to plan their time, but also some measures and rules to help ensure the workload was manageable:
- Have office hours and a Calendly link for participants to book one-to-one sessions if they need them. Structured time for these means requests are funnelled correctly.
- Create resources such as the team dashboard and survival guide so that both you and participants can find what they need easily.
- Establishing a WhatsApp group for each team and the group as a whole can help with ongoing communication during and between class sessions.
- Create processes that improve efficiencies. For example, when organising breakout sessions and mixing teams, Anja “asked each person at the beginning of a session each morning to rename themselves. So they had the number of the team, the name of the team, and then their first name. So it was very easy to put them into rooms accordingly by the number of their team.”
Remember that your time will be stretched as a facilitator, and it’s worth considering how you can improve the efficiency and ease of every task that falls to you so that it is less time consuming and easier to perform. Blended or hybrid learning is great, but can create additional pressure on course leaders or facilitators. Careful planning, structuring and pre-creation of resources will all help you spend your time effectively.
Creating personal connections, facilitating and doing all the work of a remote workshop is hard: getting help and dividing the workload where possible is an effective way of quickly improving the situation.
Co-facilitators are a great idea in any setting, and in online environments with breakout groups and lots of participants having a second person on hand helps ensure that every participant gets meaningful one on one interaction and the attention they need. Remember that online learning should never just be about materials and content.
在某些环境中，联合主持人可能无法成立，尽管有人在场帮助解决技术问题并回答有关软件和工具的问题确实可以帮助本次会议 平稳运行，无压力. 任何远程学习环境；如果出现技术问题，在线课程或虚拟研讨会可能会很快变得困难&ndash；尽可能寻求帮助！
在举办网络研讨会或研讨会时，让一个人在文本聊天频道上进行监控和响应，他可以向演示者提供讨论项目。 请记住，虽然所有这些辅助任务都需要完成，但它们可能会使人们的注意力从促进转移开。 如果有额外的人员帮助，您可以确保车间流程最有效。
It部门；这不一定是为了简化结果或内容，而是为了；s关于 消除潜在摩擦 并使您能够简单方便地运行课程，以及简化参与者参与在线学习的方式。
Anja和Bill创建了简单有效的资源，如团队仪表板和生存指南，以帮助参与者轻松地保持一致。 Simplifying the admin that everyone had by having teams give short, simple reports and summaries of their progress while also having all resources in one place meant everyone could focus on the session.
For the end of course presentation and feedback session, Anja had teams submit their presentation in the same Mural board and pre-populate their key information. Then, teams were invited to present for three minutes while participants would fill in a green post-it-note for something they liked and an orange post-it note for something that should be reconsidered.
The simplification and streamlining of this process not only provided quality results but also saved a lot of time. Remember that the success of any distance learning course or virtual workshop will be evaluated on the outcomes – think always of how to simply and clearly lead a group towards achieving those outcomes.
In our experience, limiting your toolset to those you really need and not overloading participants with too many tools helps ensure the success of a given workshop or online course. Though this will differ from session to session, removing extraneous tools or extra things to learn where possible is a good idea!
When using team-building activities or icebreakers, opt for activities that can be simply and effectively explained and run. Complex activities might have their place in your session, but think about how simple games can be used to break these up and help reduce digital fatigue.
“When this transition happened, I realized that the most meaningful part of my job, which is running in-person workshops and learning experiences – the entire physical context – is taken away. I definitely ended up in a panic mode. I was lucky to have a very tight group of facilitators who helped each other get through the first few remote iterations”
所有培训师都知道，要尝试一些事情，看看哪些有用，哪些没有用；t、 改进流程是 良好的促进实践. 混合学习对许多实践者来说都是新鲜事，要找到一种适合您的在线课程和您作为引导者的方法或形式可能需要一些尝试和错误。
比尔热衷于传播设计思维方法，坚信一切都是有创意的。他致力于帮助个人和团队发挥创新能力。他是Open until 8，LLC的创始人；一家专注于帮助公司更具创造性和适应性的咨询公司。
他还是三一学院（Trinity College）的创新和设计思维高级研究员、斯坦福大学商学院（Stanford d.school）的高管教育教练，以及波士顿大学（Boston University）奎斯特罗姆商学院（Questrom school of Business）的兼职教授。
此外，Bill在该行业有30年左右的从业经验，有将创新推向市场的记录。他曾领导Cybex、Life Fitness&Keurig Dr.Pepper的工程和设计组织。
Anja Svetina Nabergoj（博士）是斯坦福大学哈索·普拉特纳设计学院的讲师，她在那里教授高管教育课程，并共同教授研究生课程。在过去的10年中，她一直在发展教育学，以教授创新过程和培养创造性思维。
她一直与来自欧洲、亚洲和美国各组织的高层管理团队合作，包括微软、比尔和梅琳达·盖茨基金会、捷蓝航空、优步、通用汽车、基因泰克、Arla Foods、利奥制药、诺和诺德工程、Symbio、可口可乐、Telenor、Kellog；s、 微软和Visa。Anja为设计思维研讨会提供便利，教授人种学研究技术，并领导关于以用户为中心的创新的高级领导会议。
Anja是斯坦福大学协作解决方案催化剂（Stanford Catalyst for Collaborative Solutions）的顾问委员会成员，这是一项新举措，其大胆使命是创造一个开放空间，探索世界上罕见的跨学科解决方案；这是最紧迫的挑战。斯坦福大学旨在建立一个国际公认的有目的、高影响力和跨学科研究生态系统模型。
她为爱德华·埃尔加（EdwardElgar）和劳特莱格（Routlege）出版的书籍以及包括《欧洲管理杂志》（European management Journal）在内的科学管理杂志撰写了章节。她和她的团队在斯坦福大学成立了一个研究设计项目，向科学家们介绍创造性的问题解决技术。他们最近出版了一本书 Creativity in Research: Cultivate Clarity, Be Innovative, and Make Progress in your Research Journey that was published with Cambridge University Press.
She splits her time between Palo alto, California and Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Ljubljana.