The Sikkha Project

Invitation to Online Seminar - Leading Dharma Study and Discussion Groups Effectively Online

On Mon, 20 April, 2020 - 22:07
Vajrashura's picture
Vajrashura

An invitation from Ratnaguna:

Dear Friends,

I’m writing on behalf of the Sikkha Project to invite you to an online training seminar: Leading Dharma Study and Discussion Groups Effectively Online.

The seminar will take place on Saturday, April 25th 2020 at 9am UK and then again at 5pm UK, taking into account the needs of the different time zones. We hope people from around the world will be able to participate.

This seminar will follow on from last Saturday’s seminar, Communicating the Dharma Effectively Online. In that seminar Maitreyabandhu and Sanjay talked about how to actually grow the Sangha at this time and reach as many people as possible with the Dharma – giving much invaluable information about the technical aspects of online teaching, and outlined what the LBC teachers and others had learnt about teaching online so far. 

If you weren’t able to be there, try to watch the recording of that seminar before you attend this one. This seminar will have quite a different emphasis and format.

Of all the different teaching formats we in Triratna use, I think it’s true to say that leading a discussion amongst a few people is perhaps the most tricky to do online. When giving a talk, one can mute everyone else. Questions can be asked through the chat box. But how do we lead a free-flowing discussion of ideas amongst a number of people?

I will be leading next Saturday’s seminar with Danadasa, from San Francisco, who has been leading online men’s ordination groups for nearly six years, and has also led mitra study groups online on numerous occasions.

However, although Danadasa will give some very useful tips from his own experience, the emphasis of this seminar will not be on teaching you. Rather, I want to offer a forum in which we can look collectively at the challenges, and to give the opportunity to try things out in small groups; to get used to the format; to practice and receive feedback from our peers; to make mistakes so that we don’t have to make those mistakes in our classes; and to learn from how others lead discussion.

Although there are definite challenges to leading discussion and study groups online, I think there may also be some benefits, and we’ll also explore that possibility on Saturday too.

This seminar is for anyone who leads discussion groups, including Mitra study, other kinds of study, and informal discussion (for instance, after someone has just given a talk) in Triratna.

I hope you’ll be able to participate in the seminar on 25th April at either:

  1. 9am UK - 8pm Auckland - 10am Europe - 6pm Melbourne - 1.30pm Mumbai
  2. 5pm UK - 11am Mexico City - Europe 6pm - 12 noon Maine, EDT - 9am San Francisco, PDT


Please let us know if you’re going to come (so that we can have a sense of numbers) by filling this simple form and we’ll sent you the Zoom invitation for the meeting.

Below is a list of supports that we are aware of that are already available to help you teach online. I hope you’ll be able to participate in the seminar on Saturday at 9am or at 5pm UK.

Yours in the Dharma,
Ratnaguna
On behalf of the Sikkha Project

Other Resources:

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Responses

jvalamalini's picture

Hi - what’s the expected duration of the session?

Vajrashura's picture

Hi.

Just clarified that with Ratnaguna - it’ll be 1.5 hours long.

Metta,
Vajrashura

Atapini's picture

Hi Vajrashura

It would be really helpful to know the duration of the session  on Saturday evening.  Many thanks for making it available. Bw Atapini 

Vajrashura's picture

Hi Atapini.

Yes, I should have included it in the letter. I’ve just clarified that with Ratnaguna - it’ll be 1.5 hours long.

Metta,
Vajrashura

Amitasuri's picture

I really enjoyed being part of this seminar - learning by doing.

Thank you, Danadasa, Ratnaguna and Vajrashura, for modelling efficient and enjoyable online Dharma teaching practices.

I wonder if we can share this resource with other Order Member who facilitate online but we’re unable to be there.

Is there/would you be willing to share a recording of the session?

Thanks,

Amitaśūrī 

Vajrashura's picture

Hi Amitasuri.

Great, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, there is a recording which I thought I had sent out to all of you. It’s available at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkeqyr6nZQo

Feel free to send it to anyone else in Triratna who might benefit from it.

Metta,
Vajrashura.

Vajrashura's picture

The video of this seminar is now available on the Sikkha YouTube channel:

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkeqyr6nZQo

With metta,
Vajrashura.