Attending a Zoom workshop

We are glad you would like to attend an online workshop. This page will help you mentally and physically prepare.

Our workshops are interactive and hands-on, and you will get the most out of them if you can take part in all exercises, unlike a normal academic lecture where you mainly listen. Thus, please read this and come prepared!

General prerequisites, software installation, etc.

Check your workshop page for the general setup specific to that workshop.

  • Often, there is something to install. We usually ask you to install things so that your computer is set up to do work later.

  • There may be some basic skills, such as the command line shell, to review in advance.

Do the installation and configuration in advance, and double check it. In real workshops, problems here slow us down a lot, and if you don’t prepare, you will immediately fall behind. If there is a pre-workshop session for installation, go there if needed.

If all else fails, join the workshop well in advance and ask for help then. Usually, there will be enough time to get ready for the day.

Take the workshop seriously

It’s easy to think “it’s just online, it’s easy to passively watch”. However, for an interactive workshop you do need to take part to get the most of out it, and our workshops are targeted to that. If you read this page and the workshop prerequisites, you should be OK.

Don’t do multiple meetings, reserve the entire timeslots on your calendar, attend every session, do the preparation.

Social

Attend with someone! Register together and try to be in their same group. You could even reserve a room and work together. This will create a network of learning and practice that will last much longer.

If you can attend a group, that is even better. You can bring your own exercise leader to guide you (if the workshop works this way). Research shows that groups that have multiple adopters have much more uptake of new skills.

Workspace

Get a good, quiet workspace. Make sure it is comfortable enough to stay at for a while.

An extra monitor is useful but not required, since there is a lot of stuff to follow: the stream itself, the lesson webpage, and the window where you are doing the assignment. You could also use a second device to watch the stream (but if you do, see the Zoom page for info about screen sharing).

You’ll be expected to talk at some times and take part, not simply be quiet and listen all the time. Try to be in a place where you can speak without disturbing others. By the same token, you’ll be listening for a long time, and your ears may get tired of headphones. If you have good enough external speakers, be somewhere that you can use them (perhaps only sometimes - when it doesn’t interfere with your microphone.)

If you work in a large office, consider attending from home or in a meeting room so that you can speak and listen more freely. If you need and extra monitor or more comfortable seating space and don’t have that at home, consider working at your office. Yes, these are conflicting ideas, you need to find what works best for you.

Time management

Despite what most people think, attending things online can be harder than in-person.

Don’t schedule overlapping meetings, reserve the entire timeslots, minimze distractions. It’s easy to think you can do multiple things at once when doing it online, but really it’s a trap.

Join the workshop 10 minutes early to get ready.

There will be breaks, but even long ones go by very fast, and this gives you limited time to make coffee, eat, etc. We try to limit ourselves to half-days because of this, but consider preparing food, coffee, etc. in advance.

Make sure you take the breaks, walk around some, etc.

Live streaming

If the workshop is also streamed, see Live streaming for how to attend that way.

Final notes

Join the stream 10 minutes in advance. There is some advance icebreakers and discussion you can take part in, and you get to breath before we start.

There is usually discussion after the workshop. If you want, stick around and give us immediate feedback and ask more questions.

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