by Annette Randhahn, VDI/VDE-IT
If you work with a personal computer, lately you have probably heard someone cry out: “Yay, another online workshop!”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many live events planned interactive workshops that had to be transferred to an online format. Not only INDIMO project was affected. This brings along many challenges, both from the technical side and from the personal side of the organizers and participants. Not only are the technical requirements of the several online meeting platforms heterogeneous and not always compatible with one’s own devices and operating systems. Participants of online events also have to deal with new platforms and interfaces again and again, which are also often not really intuitive to use.
We had to face these challenges during our first interactive online workshop. Especially the transfer of important interactive sessions, which actually get livened up by face to face discussions. Move disruptedly into the virtual space was a challenge both in planning and implementation. Trying to overcome some of the barriers we chose a platform that allowed to form groups and switch directly between several breakout rooms, to communicate quickly via signs and emojis (e.g., voting, hand signals for requests to speak), and to put stickers and comment cards on charts, as is familiar from real-life workshops.
To get a better impression on how the interactive elements in our 1st co-creation WS worked and what we could do better next time, we asked the participants afterwards for their feedback in a short online poll:
Firstly – to our pleasure – the overall impression was very good to good. Also the duration of four hours including coffee and lunch break was mostly perceived as just right. The interaction between the participants was also experienced as well. Especially the option to give hand raising signals to get the ability to talk and to ask questions was mentioned as a good solution. Even if the icebreaker elements were rated as less relevant, which they are in terms of content, they are still perceived by us as an extremely important element to keep or get back the attention of the participants. In addition, they can provide a good personalized introduction to the topic or additional input for the work in the workshop, provided they are related to the subject matter. And all this in just a few minutes.
Either way, we gained a lot out of the event. Not only in terms of results for the project, but also in terms of personal experience in the implementation and moderation of interactive online events. Thanks again to all participants!
Use the button below to visualise the impression of the content of the workshop:
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