find out

It takes a lot of time to design and conduct an online workshop that is effective and addresses the challenges that may arise when working remotely. But the process needs to be flexible and able to adjust quickly in the moment is just as crucial for virtual facilitation (the person who ensures the session runs smoothly and actively engages participants) as it is in-person.

A successful online workshop or meeting needs a balance between information sharing and group discussions, as well as engagement activities. Also, it must deal with logistical issues like inadequate technology, time management, and note-taking. Often, it falls to the facilitator who is virtual to be responsible for each of these elements, which can be difficult and stressful, especially when the session is poorly managed or are not effective.

Virtual facilitation is becoming more frequent as groups work remotely and organizations struggle to keep up with the demands for flexible meetings. It’s a skill that can be best learned through experience, and it’s no different from facilitation in person, but with the additional issue of keeping participants from remote locations active and engaged throughout the course of the meeting.

Multiple studies highlighted the necessity of tailoring VF to each site’s particular organizational structure and culture. This was particularly emphasized by Fox et al., who gave facilitators guidelines for a certain number of virtual facilitation sessions per center. Other studies, such as those of Malone and. al. and Hartmann included a section of training for facilitators within the organization, which focused on building capabilities, competencies and knowledge that is specifically relevant to virtual facilitation.