Orla Cronin Research

Social science research and strategic consultancy

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01
Nov

Wikimedia Foundation

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18
Sep

Group facilitation methods training

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24
Jul

Virtual facilitation training

Internationally, across the public, private and voluntary sector, we spend up to 17 hours a week in meetings.

32% of all meetings are virtual (38% for employees under 35 years old)

67% of employees report that more than half the meetings they attend are not of value!

Yet what proportion of our training and facilitation budgets do we invest in making virtual meetings more engaging and productive?

Why not start with training virtual facilitators? 

ICA:UK’s virtual facilitation training starts on 28th September 2017 and runs for 8 weeks. You will learn virtual facilitation skills that apply across platforms e.g. Zoom, Gotomeeting, Skype

  • Learn to lead engaging online meetings that elicit innovative thinking and creative problem-solving.
  • Gain competency leading virtual meetings with Adobe Connect, and ToP Focused Conversation.
  • Build your confidence as a virtual facilitator.
  • Learn tools and techniques for eliciting participation, virtual meeting design, and five best practices.

Learning Objectives

To develop basic skills essential to virtual facilitation, including how to use tested and proven collaboration tools:

  • Adobe Connect — a flexible virtual collaboration platform where participants can build engaging meetings through the use of electronic sticky walls, virtual breakout rooms, and a variety of pods that elicit participation.
  • Basecamp — a lightweight, web-based collaboration and productivity platform. Members can post messages, share links, share any kind of file, add events to a calendar, and assign tasks.

Who should attend this course?

This course is intended for anyone who is leading virtual meetings, virtual training, or webinars in the private, public or voluntary sector including Project Managers, Team Leaders, Facilitators, Trainers, Coaches, and Community Activists

Training approach

Participants experience practical, hands-on learning:

PRACTICE. Integrate learning by designing a virtual Focused Conversation with a partner, and by practising as facilitators and producers, with the rest of the class acting as participants.

COACHING. Receive one hour of one-on-one coaching from a trainer. Use the hour any way you like — to cover a topic you missed, polish a skill, or to go deeper.

FEEDBACK. Receive peer and trainer feedback during practice sessions.

CLASSROOM. Eight virtual sessions using Adobe Connect.

ASSIGNMENTS. One to two hours of assignments between sessions deepens the learning, and includes practice with a partner.

RESOURCES. Collaborate with classmates in Basecamp (no subscription needed).

Book here or contact orla@orlacronin.com for more information

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12
Jun

Online training

I am embroiled in preparing for 2 online courses at the moment. One is the Intrac Online M&E course – we have 17 participants spanning 4 continents.  We’re using Moodle as the asynchronous course platform, for discussions, homework and resources, and Blackboard Collaborate as the synchronous workshop/seminar platform.

I’m also starting to train today on an in-house Virtual Facilitation Online course with the Center for Disease control in the US, alongside with my ICA:USA colleagues Ester Mae Cox, Nileen Verbeten, Brenda Schmidt and Sheila Cooke.  For this, we’re using Wiggio for the asynchronous component, and Adobe Connect for the workshops.

This is giving me a great opportunity to compare and contrast different platforms.  Part of course design, in addition to creating content, is designing for learning and fostering peer interaction: this is often sacrificed in online training, but in fact, it becomes even more important to design, as it doesn’t necessarily happen naturally when people aren’t milling around drinking coffee together and chatting when they sit beside each other.

Within our training, we’re pushing ourselves to continuously model best practice in online facilitation…. to avoid webinar-induced comas!

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12
Jun

Macmillan

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12
Jun

Center for Disease Control USA

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09
May

Action for Blind People

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09
May

Southern Hemisphere Consulting

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08
May

Intrac Online M&E course

Orla is delighted to have become an INTRAC associate. She is lead trainer on the forthcoming online M&E course.  This marries her skills in monitoring and evaluation, and online facilitation, beautifully, and she’s really looking forward to the next course, which starts on June 12th.

This 4 week (part time) course is aimed at participants who are relatively new to M&E.  It aims to develop an understanding of the principles and practice of effective M&E, share examples of M&E approaches and tools appropriate to different types of interventions and contexts, and will help participants to tackle their own M&E challenges.  Click here for a more detailed description.

The ‘synchronous’ (real time) meetings will run on Blackboard Ultra, and the asynchronous learning forum takes place on Moodle.

Click here to register for this course

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24
Apr

Manchester Metropolitan University

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