Tanja de Bie☮️ Profile picture
Sep 18, 2020 19 tweets 7 min read Read on X
@UniLeiden @CarelStolker @C4Innovation On request I am doing a thread on online conferencing, with references. I might put that in a blog later. We are getting a ton of consultancy requests, especially by support staff, on this specific topic. #onlineconference 1/n
First, my expertise is limited to Edtech. In February of this year we did a hybrid event on Edtech for Sustainability @PLNT_Leiden , w keynotespeaker @flyingless, which gave us a ton of leads to explore (and prepared our university for the upcoming crisis as a bonus benefit). 2/n
I wrote about this early in the crisis, and so did others that visited the event. I want to highlight a couple of important articles. First there is the Lorentz Centre, which innovates scientific workshops formats and is housed at Leiden University lorentzcenter.nl/virtual-worksh… 3/n
This is the blog of CWTS, called Leiden Madtrics, on virtual workshops leidenmadtrics.nl/articles/pre-c… 4/n
And last but certainly not least there is this article by @LeoBurtscher and others on the Astronomy conference they had to redesign with sustainability in mind, revealing some interesting results. nature.com/articles/s4155… 5/n
Finally, let me share what I wrote as a first observation in the spring of this year (which seems like 10 years ago) centre4innovation.org/stories/top-ti… 6/n
So, what have we learned since then? Many conferences went online, and amidst success there was also the occassional fail (that means you are innovating so that is a good sign!). I will deal with the net positives first, then how you can redesign for the negatives. 7/n
Yes, obviously, the CO2 footprint went down (spectacularly so), and diversity of participants grew (not only were there more people, they were from different areas, class and gender than normally showed up). This was already estimated and it held up. 8/n
It was not perfect. There needs to be redesign especially around the social aspects of conferencing. The networking, the cultural exchange. I encourage everybody reading this to share best practices. I'll list a few that I have encountered. ht @MartenvdMeulen @BryanAlexander 9/n
You can add a forum or chatroom to the community to prepare for the event, and make it easier to share contacts, introduce yourself, hang out a bit. Some conferences create a virtual coffee room where people can just hang out when they feel like it. Have a host there. 10/n
This is tech, so check everything twice before the event. Have tech support at the ready. It can help to have an inspiration meeting with all your speakers one or two weeks before the event to get all the hurdles out of the way instead of being a last moment panic. 11/n
Personalize what you can to the theme of the event & the target audience (names, colours etc.). Have a little bit of fun and go visual. You could add a pro go walk or other pre-taped introduction. This might lift interaction, as we know personalisation increased engagement 12/n
Yes, Zoom Fatique is a thing. Make sure you have frequent breaks in the programme, and alternate working forms. You can use online polls like mentimeter to create interaction with the audience. nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/0… 13/n
It is advisable to keep your programme to max 3 hours at a time, spread it out over more days if necessary. This will also increase possible participation as people can fit it into their day. Plus the reflection time might lead to extra conversation in any chat or forum 14/n
Make sure your conference is digital accessible for a wide targetaudience. That means also providing live subtitling (in more than one language if possible). Keep powerpoints clean and to the point and use the right fonts. Provide downloads later. 15/n
I cannot emphasize this enough: have a moderator available for the chat. The speaker nor the host will want to check chat all the time, but it may provide extra insights. A moderator will keep it clean and also filter to the host any questions for speakers. 16/n
Any Leiden support staff reading this thread: read the Teacher Support website. It is there for you too and contains a ton of information that is revelant for workshops and conferences. We are working on improving navigation.teachingsupport.universiteitleiden.nl 17/n
Finally, if you want to think about engagement and building a #community around your online conference/workshop, I have a self study training just for you. Its free for everybody. Build Your Own Online Community rise.articulate.com/share/ZHgJ89iN… 18/n
the lesson endeth here. 19/19

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More from @BieTanjade

Nov 1, 2020
@UniLeiden In November I will attempt to share one tip a day about online learning, hybrid learning and blended learning as provided by the teams of @ICLONLeiden and @C4Innovation and others. Contact your Faculty Teaching Support Desks for assistance!
The tip of November 1st 2020: check out what is already there, starting with this roadmap for flexible education. teachingsupport.universiteitleiden.nl/articles/roadm…
The tip of November 2nd: manage expectations of your students and yourself. Not everything needs to be perfect, nor will it be. Some occassional technical hiccups are inevitable for instance. What is important is to be as clear as possible. teachingsupport.universiteitleiden.nl/articles/conne…
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