After a year of lockdown-induced life in cyberspace, web-based workshops have become a routine in planning, monitoring and evaluation (PME). Workshops are about exchange, about developing something together. But often, I have witnessed online workshops that were so virtual you hardly noticed the participants. Seemingly endless pages of screen-shared text being read out, word by word, in a soothing voice. No breaks. Confusion about technical refinements, links posted to inaccessible clouds. The loneliness of the person who finds herself alone in the main channel, without any pre-assigned breakout group...
But there are also online workshops that actually work, that engage us in an exhilarating process, and that produce results. They can be more efficient than real-life workshops. And they surely save enormous amounts of CO2 and travel costs. Even though many miss the informal encounters at the coffee machine, over lunch, in the bathroom line (we're in 2021 and people identified as male still enjoy better acess to toilets than the rest of us) - I suspect that online workshops are here to stay.
It takes deliberate planning, adaptive pacing and plenty of participation to make an online workshop work. After more than a year of developing, facilitating and documenting a range of workshops on different platforms, I am distilling key insights into a short workshop for German speakers - online, of course! Not the technical stuff - the providers' video tutorials take care of that - but key principles and ways to apply them. I'd be delighted to meet you. More details in German) are available here.
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