Practical Suggestions for Online Small Groups
Posted on September 07, 2020
NOTE: These suggestions are specifically related to online small groups and do not apply to online large group or presentation-style meetings.
How can we make our online small groups as close to the effectiveness of our in-person small groups as possible?
- Encourage each person to find a quiet place (with as few distractions as possible) before they join your online small group.
- Acknowledge the medium at the beginning of the group time so that each participant has permission to speak up when they are having technical issues.
- As often as possible, encourage each person to appear live on video to see their nonverbal communication.
- Discourage muting of the participant's audio to increase how present each person will be during the meeting.
- Encourage each participant to use "Gallery" mode or multi-view on their screen.
- Encourage each participant to use full screen mode for the online video feed in order to avoid the temptation of multitasking.
- Discourage private chat and/or texting while engaged in the online small group to maintain trust and focus.
- Allocate enough time for the small group conversation as the online environment typically requires more time than an in-person small group does.
- Remember to be patient with each other throughout the entire online small group experience.