Online facilitation skills training

Positive and productive online meetings

Online facilitation skills training

Positive and productive online meetings

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, online meetings have become the new norm for many Landcare networks and groups. This shift also brings the new challenge of delivering effective and engaging meetings online. Landcare coordinators and Local Land Services staff were eager to adapt and learn the new skills needed to facilitate effective online workshops.

The solution

Greater Sydney Local Land Services organised for eight members of the Landcare Community of Practice to participate in one of Les Robinson's Online Facilitation Skills courses. The course included an introduction to facilitation, designing an online session and plenty of practice using the technology to deliver a participatory session.

The impact

The course itself was fun and interactive. It effectively demonstrated how an online workshop can provide interaction and movement to rival a face-to-face experience. Les provided the valuable workshop design template for planning and structuring future workshops.


The Greater Sydney participants are keen to put their learnings into practice.

“Creating behaviour patterns at the start of a workshop such as asking questions that everyone can respond “Yes” to and which create a connection between the group was a big take away for me.”

Katherine Clare, Local Landcare Coordinator

“The timing of the course was perfect and so useful for our first webinar. As well as being a good reminder of facilitation and engagement strategies, the course helped me to build in meaningful moments of connection, and how to get people thinking creatively during online sessions.”

Angela Maier, Senior Land Services Officer

“As a result of better understanding the need for two-way engagement with an online audience, both Angela and I saw it as a priority to use ‘polls and chats’ in our recent webinar series.”

Maree Whelan, Senior Land Services Officer

“The course proved group facilitation and genuine engagement can happen electronically. The ability, electronically, to break into subgroups, use online type chat functions and maintain contact with every person is similar to face to face facilitation.”

Richard Stephens, Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator

Key facts

  • Effective face-to-face facilitation skills are equally relevant online
  • A clear workshop purpose and an enjoyable structure are a must
  • Plenty of physical movement and gestures can compensate for the lack of "3D interaction" online
  • Breakout rooms, the chat function, an interactive whiteboard and maps are tools for online participation methods

Project Partners