The Importance of Virtual Facilitation

It takes a lot of time to design and facilitate an online workshop that is effective and considers the issues that might arise when working remotely. But the process needs to be flexible, and the ability to adjust quickly in the moment is just as important for virtual facilitation (the person who ensures that the workshop runs smoothly and engages participants) as it is for in-person facilitation.

A successful online workshop or meeting needs a balance of information sharing discussion, group discussions and other engagement activities. It is also necessary to deal with logistical issues like inadequate technology, time management, and note-taking. Virtual facilitators are often accountable for these duties, which can be stressful and challenging – especially if the sessions are not well-run.

Virtual facilitation is becoming more popular as organizations have to meet the demands for flexible meeting times and for groups to operate address remotely. It’s a skill that can only be learned through practice, and it’s not much different from the facilitators in person apart from the added task of motivating and involving remote participants throughout the meeting.

Numerous studies have noted the importance of tailoring VF to the particular organizational structure and the cultural characteristics of each site. Fox et al. emphasized this, by providing facilitators with guidelines for the minimum number of virtual facilitation sessions for each center. Other studies, including those of Malone et. and. and Hartmann included a section of training for facilitators within the organization, which focused on building competences, skills, and knowledge specifically related to virtual facilitation.

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