The subsequent lockdowns we have to go through because of the coronavirus pandemic have very quickly transformed how we work, study and do business. Applications like Zoom and Google Meet are replacing (at least for now) face-to-face meetings, classes and workshops. For adult education and soft skills training, the transformation into online workshops is oftentimes a challenge. However, even for the non-digital natives among us, this transformation can offer advantages and be surprisingly easy. With this article and the video below, we present the essence of how to do an online workshop and provide an online workshop manual to get you started.
Creating an interactive workshop
A common challenge educators and facilitators face when transferring learning activities online is learner interaction and collaboration. Simply using video-conferencing software and sharing PDF files or PowerPoint Presentations tend to turn lessons into webinars with very little interaction and collaboration between participants. Luckily, there are many free online workshop tools that help us solve this challenge. One such platform, which we regularly use in metaFox, is Conceptboard, a digital whiteboard tool similar to Miro or Mural.
How to do an online workshop
Here’s our step-by-step 5-minute video on how to conduct an online workshop using Conceptboard.
We’ve summarised these steps below.
Create a digital whiteboard. Think of this as a digital space where people get together and collaborate. You can share the link to this whiteboard with your workshop participants so they can join.
Drag and drop your pre-made PDF or PowerPoint Presentation into your whiteboard. You can move each of your slides in different columns and rows or you can rearrange them depending on your workshop structure and goals.
Click the “Start moderation” button on the upper right side of the board to make everyone see what you see on the whiteboard – without actually sharing your screen on your video call tool. Stop the moderation function when you want everyone to freely go around the whiteboard.
Create a collaborative and interactive group work exercise using breakout rooms. Prepare “playgrounds” for your participants by adding canvases on your whiteboard. In these “playgrounds”, participants can work closely together and come up with ideas, action plans, and so on – similar to a white flipchart paper you would give to participants in the classroom. To get creative, participants can use various tools such as post-its, markers, etc.
As the facilitator, you can move around the whiteboard and check out how your participants are doing during the exercise. Of course, you can also join your participants in a Zoom breakout room if they need help.
After the exercise, you can once again start moderating so that everyone in the workshop can discuss the outcomes and learnings of the activity.
We hope you found these online workshop ideas helpful and use them in your next online workshop!
You can sign up for a Conceptboard account and use it for free as long as your boards have less than 100 canvases and post-its. Other online workshop collaboration tools you can also use are Mural and Miro.