Best Practices for Cohorts attending Online Events
This is a collection of best practices for attending an online conference as a group provided by attendees from the Lansing Public Library, IL; St. Joseph County Public Library, South Bend, IN; and library staff, or "Web Conference Groupies" from throughout Kansas as collected by Cindi Hickey.
- Set up a meeting room at the library for the day of the event.
- Make it easy for staff so they can come and go as able.
- No set up time for staff at separate workstations.
- Encourage staff to attend main branch cohort event or login at branch locations.
- Support first timers attending webinar, by providing tech set up.
- Facilitate localized discussions during sessions.
- Target staff that would benefit most.
- Schedule off-desk discussion opportunities after conference so ideas and insights can be shared right away.
- Encourage printing slides for notes.
- Make the conference more integrated into ongoing work.
- Group can be as small as 2 to be effective.
- Share learning with other staff or customers.
- Report at staff or board meeting, via email or listserv.
- Encourage repurposing or repackaging of info (bookmarks, pamphlets, etc.).
- Consider augmenting with locally relevant break-out sessions.
- Take advantage of the safe venue to “test” interactivity e.g. entering comments into web conferencing chat with organization's login.
- Consider pairing a course or set of courses with conference attendance or to help lay the groundwork to a conference session.
- Include conference attendance in staff learning plan or performance review.
- Provide a learning plan or checklist for your staff or organization to align with current goals or opportunities or to "get the most out of this conference":
- With what I've learned, what are my next steps?
- What are the barriers to my actions?
- With these barriers in mind, what one thing can you do?
- What will success look like? (fantasy outcome...dare to dream!)
- Make it fun! Consider a "watch party guide" for staff in your organization.
- Invite board members or library friends.
- If conference provides CE or CEU credits, consider "extra credit" for followup activities, e.g. sharing at staff meeting.
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