1. Trial Zoom sessions
Invite your usual in-person session coordinators for a training day to share ideas on how to run workshops and learn from each other to run effective sessions.
Use these learnings in a trial session where you invite members for a casual Zoom meeting.
Send emails to your users about how to get started with Zoom. In these sessions you can talk to your users about the simple functionalities that they need to know about, such as how to go on mute and how to turn the camera on and off.
Use workshop coordinators who are more confident and can then provide a model to other workshop coordinators on how to run a session.
2. Provide laptops
If members need laptops, search for funding to purchase them . You’ll need a team or member of staff to research, source, and deliver the laptops to users.
Not all users will need a laptop though. Some may be happy to join on their phones. Users can even use landlines to call into the Zoom meeting and interact with other people (without a visual component).
3. Send materials in the post
Send art materials in the post in good time before the Zoom session. For those who don’t want to take part in the Zoom session and would prefer to have manual instructions, provide clear and concise manuals so they don’t feel excluded.
Collaborate with artists to make sure that projects are adaptable both to Zoom sessions and for those following hard copy instructions.
4. Hold Zoom sessions
Every week, send an email without a password. In fact, strip back the instructions to get onto the call as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of drop-off in attendance.
Just before the session, have your volunteers call the users to check in and see how they’re doing. This can be helpful for their general wellbeing, as well as ensuring that their equipment is working fine.
Instruct users on how to use the material and then re-group in a session the following week so that users can share how they have progressed.
Don’t have too many distractions – have a white background and good sound quality to reduce frustration.
Many thanks to Arts Together for contributing this recipe.
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