It is time again for me to answer a few questions from Sarah Stewart for the Online Facilitating Course. This week the questions are:
How do I make my event as inclusive as possible?
I think I will prioritise the same things if I was facilitating a course for students than if I was for anybody else. I think that one of the most important thing is not to assume that everybody knows about technology. I would need to take time prior the first event to go through the technology with the participants, or even provide them with videos on how to use the technology. I should keep in mind at nobody knows all aspects of technology and I should never use sarcasm while interacting with participants. I myself have already experienced when participants within a community were very condescending when I asked questions, and it made me feel very bad. When I am in front of my class I try not to make my students feel awkward and I try to create a relaxed environment in which kids can ask any questions. I should create the same environment online.
There is also the idea that some participants do not come from the same background; same economical, geographical and cultural background. I will need to think at what time the event should take place in order to allow more people to participate. It seems to me it would be wiser to use sound only and no video as a lot of people still have dial up.
How will I market my event?
As I said in a previous post I would advertise in every community I am already a member of. e.g. twitter, blogs, facebook, nings
How will I engage "lurkers"?
The question is why some people are lurking?
Some people do not feel confident enough to participate either because of the technology itself or because of the content.
I should then provide a lot of technical support and I should direct the participants towards great readings.
How do I serve people with minimal Internet coverage or lack of hardware?
support and use of voice only as discussed above.
How do I manage financial costs?
I have never thought about that. It would depend who I work for I suppose...