Love it or loathe it Zoom has become a large part of our lives. From virtual pub quizzes to virtual learning Zoom is here to stay.
As a facilitator, have you thought about how Zoom can support your facilitation processes? What has really piqued my interest is the use of Zoom Whiteboards to support the collaboration and co-creation of ideas.
Here are three ways you can use Zoom whiteboards for facilitation:
Establishing a Group Contract/Working Agreement
As a facilitator you may, at the beginning of a session, invite a group to share the norms and behaviours they feel need to be in place in order for everyone to get the most of the session. Using a Zoom whiteboard for this exercise makes it particularly collaborative. Instead of the facilitator noting what each person says, individuals themselves use the ‘Annotate’ tool on Zoom to draw or type in their responses, thus co-creating the group contract.
Dot voting is a great way to garner opinion on a topic or decision. In a real-life setting ideas are shared using post-it notes on a flipchart or wall, then each person is given a certain number of dot stickers which they then go and place next to their preferred idea(s).
With a Zoom whiteboard a facilitator can note down ideas in text on the Whiteboard and participants can vote on their ideas using the Stamp function within the Annotate menu. Stamp gives us the ability to add a green tick (or heart for example) beside our preferred idea. An added bonus is that the voting process is anonymous (unless you use the arrow for stamping; as a facilitator exclude that from the options), thus reducing (in part) group think bias.
Checking in for understanding
This can be used in many ways, one way for example is to check to ensure everyone has a shared understanding of a problem. Using the Breakout function break people into groups and invite them to draw out the problem. The whiteboard function in Zoom allows people to draw on the whiteboard at the same time. Smaller groups can work together scribbling on the board, drawing out their shared understanding.
I hope this has given you some food for thought for your next facilitation session. Do make sure that you regularly familiarise yourselves with the latest Zoom security updates.
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Icebreakers for virtual training – what’s the verdict?
In my opinion, it’s even more important to have an icebreaker for a virtual training session than it is for an in person one.
When we partake in virtual learning sessions we miss out on the in person chit chat we have in real life, whilst grabbing a coffee or getting settled in a room before the training session kicks off. It is this interaction that helps us to build rapport and get to know one another.
Icebreakers are not just for online training by the way; a well-placed icebreaker at an online meeting can similarly help to boost engagement and start the meeting off on a collaborative note.
Today I thought I’d share with you a fun one I used recently with participants from Secrets of Simple Graphics. Here’s how to run it, step by step.
Get a picture of a banana (from a free stock images site or simply draw one).
Open up a blank PowerPoint presentation and copy and paste the bananas as many times as there are participants at your session (you want one banana per participant). Save as a .jpg.
Share the .jpg during your meeting and simply invite participants to personalise a banana each using the Annotation tool.
Admire everyone’s creations!
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Simple drawings are a powerful tool to shift us from a feeling of inertia to one of clarity and control.
If you’re grappling with a problem and haven’t been able to settle on a solution try drawing it out.
By simply drawing out the who, what, when and where of your problem you will soon start to see aspects you hadn’t considered till now. This act of putting pen to paper, of thinking visually allows for new ideas to form and solutions to emerge.
Want to take it further? Here’s your step by step guide (with thanks to David Sibbet):
1. Focus the issue – who, what, when, where
2. Start brainstorming solutions – one idea per post-it
3. Group the notes and label the headings
4. Discuss each proposal
5. Vote on the most promising
6. Discuss top three – pros/cons of each option.
7. Make decision
This becomes particularly powerful when we start working as a group to solve problems and several ideas emerge.
Solving problems as a group and not sure everyone has bought into the decision? Tune in next week for a quick technique that tests this and ensures everyone is on the same page.
To tap into your creative problem solving skills don’t forget to book onto next week’s Secrets of Simple Graphics course on April 26th 2019 Book now >>
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