There are many elements of the research and impact process that can benefit from an online discussion e.g. collecting ideas or input, sharing progress, planning dissemination activity, sharing findings. Pretty much any point that could be helped by a discussion, could benefit from an online discussion. The added advantage of holding that discussion or conversation online relates to accessibility.
- Online discussions require IT access, but save on travel time and enable geographically dispersed people to come together
- Choose the platform that works best for your intended audience e.g. hold a webinar, join a regular twitter chat, participate in a facebook gathering, or organise a Google hangout
- Depending on the platform you choose to use, discussions could be moderated or open – try to keep conversations as open and accessible as possible (while ensuring participants feel comfortable to share)
- Having a loose agenda, or set of questions that will be discussed, can help people to frame their thoughts in advance. Consider gathering contributions from your network in advance
- Nominate someone to facilitate and ensure you don’t get stuck on one question for too long
- Consider how you will record the discussion and share outputs