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Hello everyone,

Hope you can help?

I have to deliver a wokshop online, which was originally designed as face-to-face workshop. So I have to change the method of delivery. In the face-to-face format I started with a counting exercise. This exercise goes in the following way:

Have folks break into pairs, one partner facing the other. Their task is to count to three again and again, as fast as they can, alternating numbers. Partner A says “One,” Partner B says “Two,” and A finishes the triplet by saying “Three.” As soon as they’ve finished, they start again, this time B leading with “One” so the counting loops around in continuous fashion. After a minute or so, check in with players to see how that went. You’ll likely find folks surprised by how difficult the task proved.

After that first round, offer directions for the second: with the same partners as before, count back and forth again, but instead of saying “One,” participants should clap. Now, the sequence goes Clap-“Two”-“Three.” Invite players to register their reactions if they “fail” or make a mistake. What happens, specifically, in their bodies, faces, or thoughts? After this round, you’ll often find that your pairs struggled even more—the toggling between verbal and kinesthetic processing takes a bit more brain time for most.

The next round ups the ante even further: instead of saying “Two,” players now snap their fingers so the rhythm goes Clap-Snap-“Three.” Same partners, same task: alternate back and forth, going as quickly as possible.

One of the take-aways from this exercise is that change isn't easy, but once you have started with a small change it is easier to continue with adding small changes. For my online version I am looking for a exercise where I can deliver the same take-away. Does anyone have an idea I could do in the online environment?

Thanks in advance!

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  • Hi Joost, that is a great exercise and question to ask.

    Thinking about like for like tools when going from face-to-face to virtual, my immediate thought is that this could be replicated most accurately with breakout rooms.

    Assign breakout rooms of two people, they run the first part of the activity, you bring them back and debrief the outcomes. Either through microphone with some or all the groups getting the chance to speak. Or for speed, perhaps just a whiteboard brainstorm for top level thoughts. “Hard!” “We could not do it” etc. Then call on one or two to share thoughts on what they typed.

    Rather than try and replicate we can think about designing for the live online modality. If you wanted to do something different within the tools but with the same learning point then you could potentially design something using the whiteboard and stamp tools maybe, as a whole group activity and could save you time potentially.

    This is top level thinking straight off the top of my head:

    The memory games where you have face down cards or tiles, you reveal them and then they need to remember where they are.

    You have a slide with the cards face down. Then a slide with the cards revealed, then a slide with different images to confuse them, then back to face down cards. They now use the stamp tools to see if they can remember where the cards were. You now move to the reveal slide and we can see which stamps are correct. Or you perhaps you just only give them 5 seconds to look at the revealed cards etc.

    Starting with perhaps 25 cards and 20 are blank and 5 are trees or smiley faces or something that they need to remember and then stamp. Then 25 cards but 5 are Oak trees or smiley faces and you have 10 blank and 10 slightly different trees or different smiley emojis to distract. And so on.

    Or potentially increasing the confusion slide or including multiples of them or perhaps putting audio or telling a story to distract them whilst those slides are up. Or mix up the memory part with different images or words they need to remember making it harder as they go through each level.

    This could still work with your change theme and is an activity that could get everyone working together on and be potentially quicker than splitting into pairs. Could also help introduce some tool concepts such as the whiteboard and stamp tools and act as an ice breaker.

    As I said this was literally off the top of my head so it might not be what you are looking for but might help spark a lightbulb moment of you own! :D

  • Hi Joost,

    Great question and really highlights that design challenges when you convert from f2f to LOL. 

    Mike's respons is great, and the breakouts was my first thought too if you want to replicate this as closely as possible and I think could work just fine. 

    I like that you are also thinking about doing a different activity for the same take-away. Could you do something like the old tummy rub/pat head activity. You'd start with everyone rubbing their tummy, then add patting their head, then add singing a nursery rhyme or whatever the actions might be, adapting for what's right for your audience. This would perhaps be more close to your original activity, but everyone together in the main room, preferably with webcams on and perhaps open mics for laughs and groans and feedback. 

    I'd be interested to know ideas from others and your thoughts on our suggestions. Of course, do let us know what you end up doing and how it goes!

    • Thanks for your responses Michael and Jo!

      Moving everyone in and out of meetingrooms and time delays made me decide to do this exercise with one person, where I asked the other people to do the counting in their minds, but clapping and snapping doing it togther with the person I was doing the exercise with. Still not as in a face-to-face environment, but close enough.

      • Hi Joost, thanks so much for letting us know what you did. Often the simplist solution is best. The time spent on breakout rooms for this activity, as you rightly point out, isn't the best investment for this learning outcome. I love that you did this with one person as a demonstration, but also got people involved with the clapping etc too. A very elegant solution!

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