One of the more interesting aspects of lockdown for both staff and participants has been learning to use video systems such as zoom. Taking part in sessions run by other teams in the organisation, a useful webinar from Digital Communities Wales, and running our weekly team meetings on zoom, have all helped with the experience needed for us to start delivering project activities online
We have just finished delivering our first full month of online activities during July, five weeks of engaging sessions on issues relating to sustainable living. These included Reduce, re-use, recycle; Sustainable food; Greener travel; Cycling for beginners; and Lockdown and the environment. Each session used quizzes and video clips as well as slides and discussion, to make it interesting and to ensure we could monitor how well people were learning.
What did we learn? So much in one short month! Some of the key points that might help others are:
- Risk assess before starting. There are lots of issues relating to appropriate behaviour and dress that need to be considered
- Keep it short! We try to keep to an hour which has proved to be plenty long enough for a learning activity
- Be careful when using videos. We quickly realised that participants’ ability to see videos varies tremendously depending on their hardware and their connection.
- Use the mute button liberally. Discussing as a group is impossible on zoom unless people speak one at a time. We try to use hand gestures to get responses from people where possible, and have introduced a simple use of emojis to help get this across:
- Have a host to run the session and a co-host to monitor engagement and behaviours
- Your colleagues are your best critical friends! We have learned so much from peer reviewing each other’s sessions