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How to Make a Remote Workshop with an Online Whiteboard?

Digital workshop with the online whiteboard

 

In this article, we write about workshops for remote meetings. We highlight our most favourite workshop methods and explain to you how to perform them on an online whiteboard.

After reading, you will know how to run a workshop. 

Before we start, see three reasons why you should use an online whiteboard for your next remote workshop:

  • Everything is digital: No more taking pictures of sticky notes. Reduce the time you spent at the end of the workshop. Send the results digitally to all attendees.
  • Content stays dynamic: End and continue a workshop whenever you want. Edit and refine your workshop results any time.
  • Seamless Collaboration: Everything you do in Collaboard is available to others in milliseconds. No more waiting time to see the changes others are doing. 

 

 

What is a workshop? 

 

A workshop is an event in which a smaller group works intensively on a topic for a limited, compact period.

Workshops play an important role in projects. For example, if you are an IT entrepreneur or software producer, you regularly hold workshops with customers and other stakeholders. Sometimes these workshops are about onboarding employees in the customer company, sometimes about collecting requirements and sometimes about designing the user interface.

How does a workshop work?

A workshop is usually led by a leader or moderator. The aim is to manage communication within the working group and to encourage active and motivated participation of the participants.

What is a goal?

The goal of a workshop is to find solutions for problems, to work on different topics or to promote the development of new ideas and innovations. The entire team should be involved in the implementation in order to work together on the required issues.

 

Why does an online whiteboard replace your existing toolkit for workshops?

 

The digital transformation and the impact on the workplace will lead to the consequence of having more and more workshops virtually. The goal is not just to bring the elements of workshops to the digital world, it is more about how technology can help us to do virtual workshops and maintain the basic features of the workshop methods.

Many workshop moderators used to have a special toolkit suitcase for a non-digital workshop. They are very heavy and have many paper sticky notes, glue, scissors, card boxes, paper, several pens and other things in them. 

Collaboard is your complete toolkit for digital workshops: 

  1. Sticky Notes - Digitize handwritten cards! You can work with digital sticky notes and share them in real time with all workshop participants on your online whiteboard. 
  2. Different colourful pens - Run never out of colours! On Collaboard online whiteboard, you can draw using brushes, markers and pencil simply using one digital pen.
  3. Voting features - Use voting function for tasks and ideas in real-time with all participants to choose the best idea or make a decision. 

  4. Access rights - Decide yourself who can join in, edit or just watch! You can invite additional participants to your project by e-mail or generate a shared temporary link/QR code. 
  5. Upload image - Search for images you need for your workshop on web and simply drag and drop them. Less paper images and more trees. 

  6. Take your docs with you - Upload your documents such as .docx, .pptx, .xlsx and .pdf and easily browse them on the online whiteboard, extract singles pages and create separate elements. 
  7. Infinite Whiteboard - The last but not least: Your big digital whiteboard hat so limits! An infinite space where you can do so many workshops from wherever you want.

5 workshop methods using the online whiteboard

 

There are so many different workshop methods that you can adapt to the needs of the participants and to the questions of the workshop.

In general, it is always advisable to increase the creativity of the participants in a playful way. A relaxed atmosphere, such as encounter situations during coffee breaks or role-plays, increases the desire of the people involved to communicate.

Try to use icebreaker games before your (remote) workshop. They help the participants get to know each other better and to become more relaxed and creative. 

Here you can find some workshop methods, that you can conduct with an online whiteboard.

World Cafe

 

This workshop method is especially suitable for evaluation, further development and processing of central questions in groups of 12-500 persons.

Participants work on the questions in changing small groups during the online meeting using an online whiteboard. That produces usable results within a very short time.

World Cafe workshop with the online whiteboard

How to do this workshop?

  1. Participants work in changing small groups.
  2. They discuss 2 questions in 3 discussion groups of 20-25 minutes each.
  3. After each round, participants change the project boards and work on new boards in new boards on the online whiteboard
  4. "Host" remains at the table and briefly introduces the new group to the result of the previous group. This way the results of all small groups are further developed and linked.
  5. Participants write down all results, ideas and findings on the digital project boards.
  6. Viewing of all results in the "Results Gallery" and prioritization of the most important statements by the participants using the voting function

What are the results?

  • Immediately usable, high-quality work results in the shortest time.
  • Integration of all participants as valuable knowledge and experience resources by working in small groups.
  • The quality of the results depends on the quality of the questions, which should be precisely formulated and developed in advance.

The 6 Hats

 

The method of the 6 hats you can use for groups of 15-20 participants with a fixed set of questions. It is a role play with group discussion, which takes place in at least one round.

The method is suitable for any type of question. Especially with a sensitive topic it is possible to save face and transfer one's own argumentation into the hat-role.

All participants have a fixed role, which is represented by the hats or an assigned color/image on the online whiteboard. This forces them to adopt a certain way of thinking, sometimes even to put themselves into a perspective that is foreign to them.

It is possible to divide the group into smaller groups if the number of participants is too high.

6 hats workshop with the online whiteboard

 

How to do this workshop?

  1. An open discussion takes place in which the participants are in their assigned roles.

  2. The roles are: White (analytical thinking), red (emotional thinking), black (critical thinking), yellow (optimism), green (creativity), blue: (bird's eye view of the group).

  3. The roles can be changed during the discussion. All roles except the blue one can be assigned twice.

  4. The blue hat can take the role of the moderator and can moderate the course of the conversation.

  5. All ideas and notes are written by the participants on the online whiteboard, for example on sticky notes.

What are the results?

  • The distribution of roles allows to show aspects of the question from different perspectives.

  • The exchange of roles within the team also allows participants to better put themselves in the shoes of others and understand opposing positions.

The wearer documents the results on the board.

Open Space 

 

The Open Space method is suitable for 50-2,000 participants and a single, trend-setting question. It provides creative suggestions for solutions in a short time.

How to do this workshop?

  1. A roughly pre-formulated guiding question determines the discussion.
  2. Depending on the number of participants there are working groups of different sizes.
  3. Each working group focuses on the topic from a different angle and documents it on the board of the online whiteboard.
  4. Each group then presents the results in the discussion.

What are the results?

The documented creative solution proposals from all groups are also available to all participants after the presentation. All the results you can find on your online whiteboard.

Marketplace 

 

The marketplace is suitable for additional knowledge transfer in addition to lectures and presentations and for the personal exchange of information between participants, including online conferences.

The marketplace is an exhibition of the various questions for larger groups. The conference discussions are visualized on large posters or pictures on the online whiteboard, which the participants prepare and exhibit in advance.

Marketplace workshop with the online whiteboard

 

How to do this workshop?

  1. Prepare the topics presentation on the boards of the digital whiteboard.
  2. Each speaker presents his topic using the online whiteboard and provides the participants with information about their questions.
  3. The other participants may ask their questions and comment on them.

What are the results?

  • An overview of conference topics is provided.
  • The participants find it easier to exchange information across topics and between people and to build a network.

Station Discussions

 

In the workshop Method Station Discussions, the participants discuss individual questions in small groups at different stations (digital project boards).

This method is suitable for actively reintegrating workshop participants into the topic after a break. It is also very well suited for the evaluation of lectures and presentations.

How to do this workshop?

  1. Several digital boards on the online whiteboard must be prepared in advance.
  2. On each board there are impulse-giving questions.
  3. The participants go to a station (project board) and note their results on the digital screen (for example with sticky notes).
  4. The discussion per station (project board) lasts five minutes, after which the participants move on to the next station (project board).
  5. With each rotation, the participants add new results, and the discussion is expanded.

What are the results?

  • The participants work on many questions simultaneously.
  • Ideas and approaches can be transferred or linked (also with voting function).
  • By constantly changing, the participants stay mentally alert.

Great minds of workshop

 

Edward Charles Francis Publius de Bono was born in Malta on 19 May 1933. Educated at St. Edward's College, Malta he then gained a medical degree from the University of Malta.

He is a physician, psychologist, author, inventor, philosopher and consultant. He originated the term lateral thinking, wrote the book “Six Thinking Hats” and is a proponent of the teaching of thinking as a subject in schools.

This creativity technique is a tool for group discussions and individual thinking.

 

If you want to learn more about workshops check out also our blog post to 5 Tips for a More Effective Collaboration Workshop.

 

Source

Juanita Brown, David Isaacs: The World Café. Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2005, ISBN 978-1-57675-258-6

https://www.zielbar.de/magazin/workshop-durchfuehren-tipps-12636/

https://www.debono.com/

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denkh%C3%BCte_von_De_Bono