Many of us learn best in silence and need time to reflect before saying or writing our thoughts. In synchronous online meetings (and in physical meetings) we often mistake visual and vocal activity for engagement and learning, while silence is interpreted as a lack of interest or even laziness.
Because synchronous meetings tend to be dominated by a vocal minority, contributions are mostly spontaneous with little time for reflection. There are many reasons people are silent in class or in a meeting. We must develop new methods to allow quiet attendees to present their ideas and engage in discussion instead of being drowned out by their more outspoken colleagues.
Breakout groups can be very rewarding but only if you already know the rest of the group or have a group of confident, talkative participants. Many students simply leave the meeting when breakout groups are announced. This is not typically due to a lack of interest but a fear of discussing complex issues with a group of strangers.
In this webinar, you’ll learn how online tools and methods can extend the discussion to engage all participants in the way that suits them best. Simple techniques to make online meetings more inclusive include using more silent reflection time, written discussion and greater emphasis on asynchronous activity before and after the synchronous session.
You’ll come away with a better understanding of how to:
- Identify and understand reasons for silence in online meetings
- Use periods of silence in online meetings to foster reflection and widen the discussion
- Create engaging and inclusive online activities that do not always depend on video and audio
- Promote the strengths of silent learners through more multimodal online activities
- Stretch the meeting through the use of collaborative online tools
- Create the right preconditions for fruitful breakout sessions