After more than a year and a half of online encounters in different formats, we do still notice that some key principles of online moderation very often are hardly reflected. So here find a few key things to consider that we deem very important:
Online meetings differ from face-to-face meetings. Keep them short and plan sufficient breaks
It is a challenge to maintain concentration in online settings. Plan sessions as concise as possible, with a clear agenda and envisioned outcomes. Keep the meeting lively and interactive and avoid long presentations
Although people are already familiar with the tool, still technical issues can occur. Plan in sufficient time for technical testing before the meeting starts, so that technical settings work for all participants and you can start in time
A conversation over a cup of coffee is not possible in online rooms. Do not forget the social aspect when designing your meetings. Depending on how well participants already know each other, offer room for personal exchange, by applying methods to combine introduction rounds with informal exchange between participants (e.g. find commonalities, describe the place where you are, what you see outside, etc.) or offer specific sessions for team building.
Visualisation is important! There are a list of digital whiteboard tools, like Miro, MURAL, or google jamboard. Use them! They also provide one of the advantages of online meetings: you can harvest directly the results of working on a shared board and you do not have to spend time afterwards trying to decipher the handwriting of participants ;)