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ACRL-CLS Best Practices for Virtual Meetings

There are many actions the facilitator and participants can take prior to the meeting to optimize participation and efficiency during the meeting.    

Facilitator Actions

  • Accessibility
    • The University of Minnesota's Disability Resource Center provides suggestions for ensuring that your virtual meeting is accessible in this guide.
  • Technology
    • If possible, select a platform that allows for video conferencing.  Video helps people feel more engaged in the meeting and helps to prevent multitasking.

    • Plan on recording the meeting for those who are not able to attend or to refer to at a later date.  Let participants know that you will be recording the meeting and begin the recording as soon as the official business begins.

  • Planning the agenda

    • Create a detailed agenda with a point person, time allotments, and indication of action and discussion items.  Limit agenda items that primarily consist of reporting out.

    • Establish roles to help with engagement during the meeting, for example, facilitator, minutes taker, timekeeper, technical support, etc.

    • Know who your participants are.  What are their goals and how can they best contribute to the meeting?  Try to incorporate a variety of ways for people to provide feedback during the meeting.

    • Establish group norms and meeting expectations.  Include these expectations on the agenda and/or on other shared platforms.

    • Send out materials in advance with clear communications about expectations for participant preparation prior to the meeting.

  • Troubleshooting

    • Test your technology before the meeting and ensure that you have access to the required software and hardware.  Make sure that you feel comfortable with the technology prior to the meeting.

    • Avoid time zone confusion.

    • Test your headset or phone line for audio clarity and stability.

    • Create a PDF of the slides that you can distribute in case the screen sharing technology does not work.

    • Try and set up various access points to the audio.

Participant Actions

  • Preparing for the meeting

    • Review all relevant materials- understand the goals of the meeting and your role in contributing to those goals.

  • Troubleshooting

    • Avoid time zone confusion

    • Test your technology before the meeting and ensure that you have access to the required software and hardware, including a camera if the meeting can support video conferencing.

    • Test your headset or phone line for audio clarity and stability.

    • Make sure you have a quiet space in which to participate

References

Axtell, P. (2016, April 14). What everyone should know about running virtual meetings. Retrieved October 5, 2018, from https://hbr.org/2016/04/what-everyone-should-know-about-running-virtual-meetings
Ferrazzi, K. (2015, March 27). How to run a great virtual meeting. Retrieved October 5, 2018, from https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-run-a-great-virtual-meeting
Kanter, B. (2017, October 10). 9 best practices for engagement in virtual meetings – NTEN. Retrieved October 5, 2018, from https://www.nten.org/article/9-best-practices-engagement-virtual-meetings/
Luminosity Global Consulting Group. (2014, July 16). Virtual meeting best practice checklist. Retrieved from https://www2.usgs.gov/humancapital/od/documents/ODVirtualMeetingBestPracticeChecklist.pdf
University of Minnesota Disability Resource Center. (2018). Accessibility U: Online Meetings and Events. Retrieved from https://accessibility.umn.edu/tutorials/online-meetings-events