Virtual Engagement: When it Works and How to Get More Out of Remote Sessions with Stakeholders

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

1 LU

Over a year ago, we were forced to switch from traveling to our clients and working together in-person to living in a world of digital platforms engaging remotely with stakeholders to solve problems. Challenges such as how to engage participants who are not comfortable with technology have had to be met to ensure equity and inclusivity in the community engagement process. The fact that educational community stakeholders have had “Zoom-fatigue” and have been struggling to keep up with the ever-changing demands of life during COVID-19 is another factor we have had to consider in planning visioning sessions. What has been learned? Are there efficiencies and strategies that can be applied to future in-person sessions? Are there benefits in collaborating remotely? How can we ensure that all voices are heard, and creativity is not lost? What can we learn from the ideation processes various types of international companies such as startups, web design agencies and large enterprises have been using for high-speed prototyping long before COVID-19 to apply to an ideation process for the visioning and pre-design planning tasks needed for educational facilities? This session facilitated by an educator who made a cultural shift at her district, a designer and educational planner will explore methods to engage early and ways to extend the conversation beyond a remote learn-by-doing workshop and will expose participants to a variety of tools, techniques and strategies for working with students and adults, small and large groups, facilitating break out group and whole group discussions and more!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how stakeholder interest leads to stakeholder influence by participating in a sample workshop.
  2. Learn strategies for engaging diverse voices by participating in a sample workshop by exploring different techniques.
  3. Learn the benefits and constraints of virtual engagement by comparing and contrasting the different techniques experienced in this workshop.
  4. Learn how to articulate the value of pre-work and post-engagement with stakeholders by participating in mock workshops.

Kate Mraw, Principal | ALEP, RID, LPA Design Studios
Kate serves as a Design Director in LPA’s Educational Practice. Integrating exploration into the process of programming and experiential design, Kate leads envisioning sessions through a research-based lens. Her ability to cross pollinate ideas from a variety of past experiences informs discussions using an understanding of human behavior to influence design solutions. Kate’s leadership on complex educational design projects has resulted in numerous feature articles and design awards.

Marilyn Denison, Teaching and Learning Designer, DLR Group, Ed.D., DLR Group
Marilyn brings a unique perspective, having served as an educator and district administrator for over two decades. Her experience includes leading campus planning, professional learning, and developing curriculum for districts for a holistic planning approach. She has opened campuses with innovative learning environments, and as a result she understands the value of building a team, creating a unique culture, and forming teacher mindsets to inspire new pedagogy to achieve desired results in newly constructed facilities.

Mariana Lavezzo, Educational Planner, ALEP, LEED AP, DLR Group
Mariana leads the pre-design phase of K-12 schools at DLR Group in California, integrating evidence-based research into design. Her mission is to improve learning environments that empower children by shaping educational spaces to feel as comfortable as home, returning the joy of learning to students. She works closely with stakeholders to establish consensus for schools' new visions. Mariana remains involved through design development to ensure the innovative groundwork established at the beginning is successfully executed. 

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

LearningSCAPES 2021

October 14-17
Hyatt Regency | Denver, CO