How we developed - Delivering Online Enagements in the GLAM sector - PD for producers
This PD has been developed by State Library of Queensland to offer the combined experience and learnings from the Applied Creativity and Digital Inclusion teams over the last six months of online delivery. Starting with general technical requirments, design and development, and delivery considerations, then moving to case studies that model practice by State Library's teams in online delivery.
The delivery of this PD is split across teams, this has been a very collaborative effort so to contact us for more information or feedback you can log-in to the SLQ Wiki to track changes, or alternatively contact the Digital Inclusion and Applied Creativity teams' email.
With Libraries ( and great chunks of the world) shutting down for the COVID 19 Pandemic many library services including the State Library have moved to doing things differently.
One of the things that the stats from the last couple of months have shown is that there has been demand amongst library communities for online versions of the workshop programming we'd normally do face-to-face.
You could posit an observation that, at first, people were keen to do something… anything cause they were cooped up in their houses, bored and lonely. As time has gone on though and people have acclimated to the new norm, discerning patrons have sort out opportunities to engage with new skills and experiences in this new mode. But just as they would appreciate quailty face-to-face experiences in the preCOVID world, postCOVID patrons simply won't bother if they wiff sub par online workshop.
When you add this to the fact that an online activity can take more resources to organise and deliver and that budgets will be tight in the resulting downturn…. its pretty important that we are nailing it when we run these online activities. So we though why not share the hard-won lessons we've learnt over the last 6 months thru some PD workshops.
On reviewing our brain dump, and after some office chats, its become clear that we'd benefit from some kind of structure in moving the collaborative process forward. So I'm suggesting using the Buzzfeed listicle methodology of training development… I've used this before when developing training collaboratively and it worked well.
“What are the ten most important things you would want to tell someone who is approaching running an online workshop for the first time?”
A first observation from our brain dump, is that a lot of the information covered are opinions. Opinions born out of our individual contexts, experiences and interests. They are all relevant. Its a strength of our collaborative approach to developing this workshop that attendees will able to hear a range of opinions on common concerns of setting up online engagement activities… Participants will be able to pick one thats ideal for their own context or even use our thought processes to think one out for themselves.
Another observation (this was from Peter) was how this workshop could be seen as a meta experience ( people learning about online workshops in an online workshop) - and that the value of this could be amplified if we make the session more interactive ( i'd argue that practical/ hands on is always more engaging)…. you know like workshop More about this in a second.
So yeah a Buzzfeed Listicles remember them. I don't think Buzzfeed even do them anymore but a variation of this is what we might use to corral all our experience / opinions into a manageable structure so we can pass this on to people starting out. With a methodology like this in place we can
- get everyone to re contribute their most important considerations for each of the below subject headings. Keep these shortish (post it note sized ideas), put you name on them and a reference a possible example/ case study you can connect it with. (I'll drop some examples in that might make it clearer.) If you want to give some context or expand on the ideas add this to to the brain dump.
- We'll then render these down to the most important ones to cover in the time we have.
- from there we can work out some practical activities for people to do people to do in the workshop to relate these considerations back to their own context.
So after the talkie talkie part of the workshop we'll some activities for participants to interrogate these considerations in their own real life contexts. When we first talked about running these workshops I thought that we could use them as a PD opportunity to engage Public Libraries in Fun Palace. like in other years, treat Fun Palace as a mentoring experience for Public Librarians while at the same time supporting some region Fun Palace goodness. Fun Palace isn't happening this year cause of COVID19 but we could use it as an example scenario onto which we could scaffold practical workshop activities. it could seed some ideas that could launch FP for next ??? Again this might be clearer if i give an example.
The over all Scenario - your boss comes to you and says they'd like you to explore running some online activities for Fun Palace. What are you going to consider and what recommendations will you make for your making it happen in community? - Remember if its good you might have to do it.
Resource (Technology) Considerations Activity - Resource Audit/ Map
Instructions - on a big piece of paper make a map of
- all the resources you would need and or could access to in your local community to run a online Fun Palace activity.
- Who has them, and
- what you'd need to do to get access to them.
- What are the pros and cons of each of these elements
Resource reliable end user Internet -
Source Schools have internet
How do you get at it would need to get them all involved by targeting FP activities to their needs
Pros getting the schools involve automatically drives an audience.
Cons School Firewalls suck. It has been past practice for EdQld to control website accessibility from a central point of control - if your website is not on the list, the school server might block it. Engaging with school System Admin well before hand might be required to get your web address onto the permitted list.
Resource 2x Decent Webcams -
Sourcethe IT shop has them -
How do you get at it maybe get them to sponsor the activity plus
Pros - Demonstrating the tech might mean council will buy me some of this gear in the future
Cons council's sponsorship process is brainbreaking
SourceCommunity Choir -
How do you get at ittalk to the director offer them their 1st opportunity to get together since covid shut things down plus
Pros they'll organise themselves
Cons Old people in the choir are an at risk category with the plague
Get Participants to draw these on paper ( busy hands ) as a map ( activate some of the spatially minded people in the Zoom/Room)
Thats activities probs only need 3 or 4 of these and as Phil Suggested some of these could the Zoom version of things we do in face to face workshop. like using tech for a straw poll or an eWhiteboard. The simplest straw poll is to get participants to raise their hands, and this still works when they are in front of a webcam (if it is turned on!). The facilitator gets a very quick idea of what proportion of the audience is on track, understands what is happening, etc.
So as far as workshop structure goes if we have 3 Types of considerations
- Tech Requirements
- Design & development
and we talk to each of these for 10- 15 mins… Run an activity for 10 and then share & discuss for 10. that 30 min for each one. Then we add 15 min brackets for an intro and conclusion you have a 2hour workshop MB> <MB
Design and Development… Whats the diff? For the purposes of this workshop i'd say Design refers to the higher concepts… ie Experience design consider what are your objectives are with the activity and how these connect with the strategic priorities. This might mean the work of coming up with an engaging idea to get people to connect with their library service in a new way, even though they might not be able/motivated to come in person.
Development refers to the practical things you are going to assemble to achieve these objectives. Development is the work of putting together and testing a kit, coming up with activities (and the resources required for them) to inspire participants' creativity, and laying it all out in an achievable session plan. MB>
You can see what we delivered here in the Delivering online engagements in the Glam Sector - Session Plan
Reflections on First Set of Deliveries
Of the three workshops planned, the first was cancelled (the workshop was only promoted a day or two before our drop dead date) without any bookings, but 2nd and 3rd sessions booked all 15 of the tickets out in a couple of days.
A total of 6 out of 15 people attended the second workshop and 7 or 8 attended the third which is disappointing but unfortunately the standard no-show rate for a free workshop.
The second (first workshop run with participants) ran rather well, the only issue is that we ran approximately 15 min over time (including a reasonable Q&A / discussion at the end)
The success of this first time out with participants can mostly be put down to the focused rehearsal time we took - with a dry run before the first scheduled workshop and then a dress rehearsal during the bracket of time assigned for the cancelled workshop. I believe this was particularly important when three of us were delivering a very integrated in 3 parts. This allowed us to fit a lot of content in a 2 hour workshop.
Phils first section ran really smoothly and i think we had good buy in on the first (internet speeds) and second (mapping ) activities.
Even before the first delivery, I was aware that my Design and Development section contained a lot of content that could be considered not necessarily specific to online activities. On reflection developing for zoom workshops, especially when compared with the tech concerns and delivery concerns, mostly uses the same thought processes and considerations you use in developing F2F activities.
When developing the development section though, we considered that some participants may never have developed any kind of workshop, so thought it important to cover these bases. Part of the problem there is that, design and development of hands on workshops could be a week-long workshop in itself. I know because i ran many week long development and facilitation professional development courses for emerging facilitators in a previous life.
The other solution is to cut anything that is not strictly in the scope of “online workshops” and to refer people wanting more generic information about development and design to another workshop, a blogpost, a resource on the wiki. After our first delivery i stripped down and simplified this section a little and we reduced removed the google form aspect of the Internet speed activity. I also clarified that we did not expect people to complete the 3rd activity. rather we asked particitant to read over the types of questions and may consider one that caught their eye. Even though all our participant seemed to be experienced activity