While COVID-19 brought our timeline forward, Writers Victoria has been exploring how best to incorporate online learning into our professional development and creative practice programming to continue to support all our members, including those who are unable to attend our in-person workshops or who prefer to learn remotely at their own pace. With self-isolation providing a perfect testing ground, we should all expect to see online workshops more fully incorporated into our programming going forward.
While online learning offers amazing opportunities, it also represents a challenge to both our members and our tutors, many of whom may never have worked in online education before. Luckily, online delivery of programming has moved forward in leaps and bounds in the last few years, and the isolation period has further advanced the platforms within this space.
Writers Victoria currently uses two different platforms: GoTo Webinar and Zoom Meeting Rooms. Each platform has its benefits and challenges, and we choose which platform to use for each workshop based on the individual needs of the tutor and the participants. Below you will find downloadable, step-by-step, and fully illustrated instructions on how to use each platform. If you do sign up for a webinar, these instructions will also be emailed to you before the workshop. Further, every workshop has a Writers Victoria staff member or volunteer in the workshop, to provide immediate support.
While online workshops will never replace our face-to-face program, they can definitely complement your professional development, providing directed, distraction-free, self-paced learning. It can be daunting adjusting to a new experience, but what better way to experiment than in a supportive environment surrounded by community?
You can find the downloadable instructions below, and reach out to our program team with any questions you might have. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we look forward to seeing you online!
Below are some testimonials from attendees of our online courses. If you have any feedback to pass along, please feel free to contact us – we welcome any feedback that will help us improve our online offerings for our members and workshop attendees.
"A huge congratulations to Writers Victoria for adapting their workshops to online learning so quickly and so well. It was easy and low-tech, yet so rich and rewarding! My work-in-progress is much the better for doing the online workshop, and I loved the chance to connect with my writing peers through these troubling times."
"Today’s seminar/webinar was absolutely fantastic. I just loved it. I feel 'writerly' reconnected again – amazing in this time of unique social distance. I am looking forward to the next one."
"I think I preferred this [online learning] method in a way. I think it would be have been a lot of information in a short period of time face to face and now we have recordings to refer back to which will be helpful."
"I only joined the webinar at the last minute as I confess that I was unsure about doing the class online. However [the tutor] was great, incredibly prepared and generous with her resources and tips. It was one of the most useful classes that I've done and there were no distractions of people coming in late, being off-topic etc – so it was very focussed."
"Thank you so much to Writers Vic and [tutor] for doing this [workshop] online. I live too far from Melbourne to have participated in this seminar if it had been operating as planned."
"...this format was fantastic. As a matter of fact, it worked better, at least for me, than a one day class would have because we had time to really think about how to approach our homework in between classes and do the additional work, such as a few hours of research, all of which would have been difficult if it had happened in one day. We also had time to go over our notes and ask questions that came up later. I found it easy to accommodate the hour-long sessions in my schedule. Special mention to [the Writers Victoria convenor] who kept everything running smoothly throughout and made sure everyone's comments and questions were addressed."
"I only joined the webinar at the last minute as I confess that I was unsure about doing the class online. However [the teacher] was great, incredibly prepared and generous with her resources and tips. It was one of the most useful classes that I've done and there were no distractions of people coming in late, being off-topic etc – so it was very focussed. Thanks so much for all of the hard work needed to allow this class to go ahead, the added bonus of submitting our writing is very much appreciated (and was the final incentive for me!)"