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Hi Jo,

I'm planning on using a whiteboard in Adobe Connect to crowdsource ideas from participants.

I'm expecting lots of responses and wondered if you had any hints or tips to prevent the whiteboard from becoming a jumbled mess of text/ideas as in my experience most people tend to type on top of one another!!!



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  • Hi Craig,

    Great question and it's good problem to have, but still something to manage. 

    A few thoughts:

    1) A jumbled mess could be creative, organic, colourful fun. 

    2) Teach people the move tool in Connect (in WebEx only the presenter can do it) so that they can keep it tidy.

    3) Put an animation on the slide so that the second part of the activity is to move the suggestions into lists/boxes/categories - much like you might move post-it notes on a wall.

    4) Don't do a whiteboard! You could do a poll where people type in their answers. You could do a poll with suggestions you imagine will come up, and then get people to select the answers and it's a different way to see the amount of times people think the same thing. Depending on the activity and the point, it might be a quicker way to do this and then get into more of the depth of the conversation - the why, the how etc.

    Others might have some more suggestions!

    Let us know what you end up doing and how well it goes. 

    • Cheers Jo,

      Much appreciated.

      If I remember, I'll take a screenshot of what I end up doing and will post it back here.


      • Please let us see the screenshot! Can't wait and good luck!

  • Point 3 of what Jo said can be a great learning opportunity! 

    "3) Put an animation on the slide so that the second part of the activity is to move the suggestions into lists/boxes/categories - much like you might move post-it notes on a wall."

    I think you can really maximise on what Jo has said by doing the following:

    • A fun and silly teaching the tech whiteboard, focus on text tool with colour and moving text

    • Fun and silly whiteboard could be favourite movie quotes, or things such as everyone puts a random word and then everyone starts moving them to make a story. This gets the fun part of it in place and removes some of tech fears or fear of contributing

    • Move into the actual whiteboard you want to use, attendees know how the tech works, are in a mind-set to contribute, hopefully it will be colourful with lots of ideas jam packed on the whiteboard

    Learning Opportunity

    With going through the above steps attendees will have felt free to put loads of ideas on the whiteboard, it might be a mess and some of the ideas could be great and others not so much, this is where what Jo said can really come into play.

    Bringing up some categories onto the whiteboard (Headings at the top) and then engaging with the attendees to really think about how to categorise them, discuss why something is on there either in the chat window or start opening microphones up.

    As I said, with a good fun and silly whiteboard to start, you will get to open up people’s minds to put more on the whiteboard.

    Talking through all the good and bad on the whiteboard and getting them in some order can provide excellent learning and a screen grab to boot for them to take away.

  • Hi Craig.

    Adding to Jo's point about not using a whiteboard, one option is to create a layout with various chat pods customised to ask slightly different questions around the brainstorming topic. They needn't respond to all, of course.

    Or have you considered using breakout rooms with whiteboards, to spread the load a bit?

    One word of warning - I once ran a virtual "end of term summer party" for a group of sixth formers. (Yeah, I know, what on earth possesed me :-).  They added so much content that Adobe Connect couldn't cope.  It just froze.  They were drawing lots as well as adding text, and it was a couple of years ago now.




    • Breakout rooms can be really good, I often think of only using them when attendees have something tangible to work on. 

      I really like your idea of Paul of getting the mini brainstorm sessions and then potentially collating them into one whiteboard with the most relevant information.

      On the Adobe freezing comment, we once had four breakout rooms and I had the great idea of bringing mini windows of all four breakout whiteboards onto the same window for all to see........

      7 Minutes later when Adobe caught up the session continued.......... Cross fingers for the Adobe update coming soon! 

  • Depending on the responses, Connect also has a Word Cloud app that could work for single word answers or you can use Up Vote where you can use a short answer poll then have everyone vote on the ideas they like the best. 

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