Earlier this week, Mike Morrison and I ran the second of the #cipdlrn summer ‘play’ schools (read about the first one here). This session was quite different from last week’s session in that we had a lot more participants – ten this week compared with three last week.

That meant there was some more, and different, learning from this session.

As there were ten participants in total the event was more ‘push’ than the previous week. It had to be as we wanted to make sure everyone got what they wanted from it. This meant Mike talked through some of the functionality whilst I focussed on the text chat and tweeting.

It is important to be realistic about how interactive you can make an online event. As the numbers get bigger, the ‘interactivity’ changes. Under five participants and you can keep microphones on; more than that and text chat comes into its own.

This seemed to work and well and I’d recommend it as an approach for bigger groups. Enable the session host to run the event, bring people in on the microphone, screen share etc and have a colleague looking after the text chat, where participants can ‘talk’, ask questions etc. Mike also picked up on topics raised in chat to steer what he was saying and doing.

So, we started by asking, via chat, what participants wanted to get out of the session. Here are some of the responses:

We then went on to look at how to use polls and tests, how the chat function worked and how ‘hands-up’ worked too. Mike enabled everyone to become an organiser so we could take turns at screen sharing.

Prior to the session, Mike asked participants to create a slide to help introduce themselves, which was a good way of using the technology to provide a more visual introduction.

Here are some more learning points that came out of the session:

Before we all signed off, one participant suggested it would be useful to run dummy 10-minute sessions with peers to test out the technology and to gather some peer feedback. That’s something we will aim to do in there future.

In the meantime we are aiming to run some more of these drop-in sessions. If you are interested in joining a future session then look out for updates on Twitter – on the #cipdlrn hashtag – or in the Linkedin CIPD members group.