Inspirational activities for online workshops
Open Forum Exercise
An Open Forum is an interactive experience and consists of dialogue between different viewpoints in order to explore the diversity of experiences affecting groups and communities. The Open Forum is an opportunity to deepen participants understanding and awareness of all viewpoints and to relate from diverse perspectives.
Objectives of the exercise
1. The objective of this exercise is exploring thoughts, emotions, reflections and ideas that are present in the group with respect to a topic you want to explore among a group. The group does not have to reach decisions: the goal is to explore what is present in the "field", that is: creating a dialogue and a collective reflection. The final image will be a picture of the diversity of positions with regards process (both diversity internal to people and within different people in the group).
2. Based on what will emerge in the "field", you can plan further sessions around the topic.
How to play?
1. To adapt this activity to a digital session, you need to recreate the four corners of a real room in a canvas like this: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_lcoWEbs=/.
2. Each corner represents a position / stance:
- I have a suggestion!
- I have had / I have some concerns or issues with the process or with the contents
- I am particularly looking forward to some aspects of the process / the activities
- Free corner: I have something else to say, outside of these categories
3. Each participant (represented by a personalised emoji) can enter the field one at a time by moving their character close to the position they want to start speaking from.
4. After speaking they have to leave a post it, taking a note of what they have shared, where they have shared it.
5. Participants can move between positions and express diverse opinions / feelings about the topic (leaving different post it notes).
BePart Training: proposed topic
During the BePart training we used the open forum exercise to explore thoughts, emotions, reflections and ideas that were present in the group with respect to developing paticipatory processes with students during the period of Covid-19. Based on what emerged, we planned the following session around collectively identifying risks and mitigating strategies for the months to come.
Our question for this exercise was:
❓ How do you feel regarding the process of developing participatory processes with your students?