How can engaging learning sessions in a remote environment have outcomes that can be shared to internal and external clientele?
In Knowledge Exchange, our main objective was to identify issues within the practice, and come up with a solution to tackle this. Finding the issue was done through exploration, and interviews involving internal team members.
The main issues found within my workplace (and many others!) was the office culture was compromised due to COVID-19 restrictions. Office culture can be many things such as the work environment, the way they work, the way they draw, etc.
The key missing element was the passive learning made through being in the office. For example, a team member being talked through a technical detail, or overhearing interactions between internal team members and external team members, or just learning in general. Laborious and tedious Microsoft Teams meetings have created a disconnect with a once interactive team. Lost in the many recordings in a folder somewhere, with no summary and graphic representation.
When in practice, the need for constant learning and development is a must. Due to unforeseen circumstances (COVID-19) our working environment has changed from the once active office environment, to a quieter setting within our own bedrooms, kitchens or home offices. With current hour long presentations on Microsoft Teams, the engagement levels and social aspects aren’t currently there. It is essential we continue the learning sessions, but think about doing it in a more engaging way.
Aims and Objectives
- To revitalise office culture.
- To not take too much of people’s time.
- To create engaging learning sessions by the use of Microsoft Teams and Miro.
- To build relationships internally and externally.
- To create an output which summarises the session, and be able to put onto websites, social media and intranet systems.
While conducting interviews, I would make sure that the respondents involved were fully aware that their answers were to be quoted and paraphrased within my own portfolio. The responses were recorded and shown back to the respondents for confirmation.
Making sure that the respondents were aware of the outcomes of their answers, and how the data was collected from them had to be communicated with the upmost clarity to ensure they gave the most honest answers they could.
Meetings / interviews
Through the interviews, I was able to identify the issues within the business. Using respondents from higher levels than myself, I was able to gain an aspect that I had not previously had. It is in these interviews that we had identified that the main issue currently was the compromised office culture and the lack of passive learning within the architecture team.
Through the interviews it allowed for a quick brainstorm, and ways we can tackle this. Interactive sessions involving Microsoft Teams and Miro was the initial outcome.
To enable engaging sessions, first I had to explore what the current issues within the Microsoft Teams presentations there was. From personal experience, I found engagement within these extremely low, and the overall theme was that it was more of a chore than a learning experience. Due to the fact that people are at home, with cameras and microphones turned off, they can go to a learning session and just continue doing other work. We should be giving these sessions our full attention.
The use of different/additional platforms engages the audience further. In the company, we had done an example of a learning session by using Microsoft Teams and Miro at the same time. The engagement and fun had during the session was great to see, and gave the impression of a unified studio environment. This is something I would want to replicate in the sessions going forward.
As an output to these sessions, an article was the best fitting production. This will allow for a cohesive design and branding throughout the series. The series is called ‘in_GAGE‘.
The categories are put into the 5 colours of the company logo, which separate into: Environment & Sustainability, Health, Safety & Wellbeing, Policy, Construction & Technology, and Specialisms.
The creation of these articles, would demonstrate the information in a digestible way. The articles are a chance for team members to shine and showcase their knowledge, but also to allow other team members to understand the content that they maybe did not understand previously. The sessions could involve external participation and would be good chance to build professional relationships. It could also be a marketing tool, and an opportunity to upload to social media accounts, company websites and intranet systems.
The outcome was to devise a plan to fill the void of passive learning in the office. This enabled the creation of the ‘in_GAGE‘ series. This is a series of short learning sessions which would take place on Miro and MS Teams to ensure engagement. The sessions would include internal team members, and on occasion external guests such as structural engineers, planners and other people involved within a design project.
Once these sessions had taken place, a digestible article post will be produced within the associated category colour and put up on both the Baily Garner website and on our intranet system. This will be a great opportunity to showcase our knowledge and specialisms to internal members and external clients alike.
Lucas, R. Research Methods for Architecture. 2016. Laurence King Publishing. Chapter 14: Drawing, diagramming and maps.
Oliver, P. A Student’s Guide to Research Ethics. 2003. Open University Press.