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Online Design Thinking Facilitation

Become an effective online facilitator in 5 fast-paced sessions


Course information

Build your online facilitation skills through our interactive, live online course. Over the course of 5 half day online sessions, you will learn valuable online facilitation techniques and put them into practice with the tailored guidance from our expert coaches. This practical course is designed to accelerate your development from whatever facilitation experience level you have, into a proficient online Design Thinking facilitator.

This course is suitable to both absolute beginners in facilitation and experienced facilitators wanting effective and structured feedback and coaching to master online delivery.

What you’ll learn

  • Key facilitation skills.
  • Facilitating key design thinking methods online.
  • How to identify and manage common online disruptive behaviours from participants. Core techniques for design thinking facilitation, and tips specific to the online environment.
  • How to manage participant energy and engagement in an online environment. Explore and understand your own facilitation style, its strengths and potential pitfalls.
  • How to bridge online facilitation skills to your work context and use them to further your career.

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From £1,150.00 incl. UK VAT
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Who’s it for?

This course is suitable for people who are new to facilitation, as well as to those with some experience wanting to refine their facilitation skills for online delivery. It is for anyone involved in the planning and delivery of online design thinking sessions to get user input through research or prototyping, to engage stakeholders to co-create solutions, or to inspire others in their design thinking journey. 

As hybrid working environments have become increasingly common, the ability to motivate and get the most out of teams online has become an essential skill. The skills learned in this course can help you increase your flexibility at work, reduce the cost of projects and enable teams to work effectively when geographically dispersed.  

Day-by-day summary

Day 1:

Introducing online facilitation 
Laying the foundations 

On the first session you’ll meet our expert coaches & your fellow delegates who you will be learning alongside (and facilitating to) throughout the 5 sessions. The session is focussed on giving all participants a strong grounding in the fundamentals of online design thinking facilitation & how it differs from facilitating in-person. There is also a briefing for upcoming facilitation practice rounds and allocation of facilitation opportunities (each participant has 2 rounds of facilitation practice throughout the course, one in each week). 

Topics covered 

  • Introduction to Design Thinking facilitation and its key principles.
  • Key differences and considerations when facilitating online vs in-person.
  • Briefing for facilitation rounds throughout the course.
  • Considerations when planning an agenda for online delivery.

Day 2:

Developing a personal style 
Exploring what works for you 

Everyone has a different style when it comes to facilitating, and the second session of the course allows each delegate to explore what works for them. This involves getting to know your comfort zone & when you may need to stretch out of it to achieve your goals. The coaches will then introduce you to how to use energisers to keep a group focussed, and there will be the first 2 rounds of online facilitation & feedback as organised in the first session. 

Topics covered 

  • Your personal style of online facilitation. 
  • How to step outside your comfort zone when necessary. 
  • Energisers – what they are & how to use them. 
  • Online facilitation practice & feedback, rounds 1 & 2. 

Day 3:

Key skills when facilitating online 
What to do & what not to do 

In the third session our coaches take you through some essential things to know & understand when facilitating online. From projecting the right presence online when facilitating, to questioning techniques & how to identify and handle online disturbances using an intervention escalation ladder. The session also includes another round of online facilitation & feedback. 

Topics covered 

  • Key questioning techniques when facilitating. 
  • Using a facilitation intervention escalation ladder to handle online disturbances & difficult participants. 
  • Online presence: being intentional about how you project yourself and how others see/hear you. 
  • Online facilitation practice & feedback, round 3. 

Day 4:

Facilitation practice & feedback 
Developing your understanding of facilitation  

This session is devoted to getting precise feedback to help develop your skills further & allowing you to put what you’ve learned so far into practice. In the session there will be two more facilitation rounds, and these will be used as a springboard to start thinking about how you can use online facilitation skills beyond the course to improve the way you work. 

Topics covered 

  • Specific feedback to hone your facilitation skills further. 
  • Online facilitation practice & feedback, rounds 4 & 5. 
  • Planning for your next workshop after the end of the course. 

Day 5:

Reflect & solidify knowledge 
Using these skills where you work 

The final session is focused on solidifying everything you’ve learned throughout the course, reflecting & debriefing so you can best take these skills with you beyond these sessions. There will be a final round of facilitation practice before the coaches lead a conversation about how online facilitation techniques can be implemented in all work environments. There will then be a wrap up, graduation. Post-course you’ll received the certificates & links to all the tools and resources used throughout the course. 

Topics covered 

  • Online facilitation practice & feedback, round 6. 
  • Implementation reflections & debrief on personal plans for your next facilitated workshop. 
  • Next actions & wrap-up. 

Our live teaching approach

Expert coaching Reveal more
Learning from experienced design thinkers & interactive workshops.
Collaborative innovation Reveal more
Co-creating with others & exploring how to drive innovation within a team.
Networking opportunities Reveal more
Connecting with people from around the world & expanding personal networks.

The coaching team

Simon Gough

Associate Service Design Director


Can I get a refund on UK VAT?

Customers outside of the UK may be able to claim a refund for UK VAT charged on our online courses, if the customer is resident overseas and attends the course from an overseas location.

If you feel that you should be refunded UK VAT on your purchase and haven’t heard from us, please get in touch.  

Please note, VAT is not refundable on in-person courses held in the UK as per HMRC UK legislation.

What is design thinking facilitation?

The process of bringing a group together to co-create solutions, bringing together all ideas & perspectives to create a unified direction. A Design Thinking Facilitator helps, supports & enables teams in collaborating while applying design thinking to solve a challenge. They guide the group through a user-centred process and in applying the methods & tools of design thinking to achieve the intended outcomes.  

At the same time, the facilitator needs to manage the group and their dynamics, keeping everyone inspired & engaged, and ensuring that everyone understands the people they’re designing for. 

Design thinking facilitation requires not only knowledge and understanding of Design Thinking, but also the development of a set of soft skills. These soft skills are key to effectively manage the group and its individual participants in a way that enhances collaboration and co-creation towards successful project outcome.  

We accelerate the development of your soft skills through the sharing of practical tips & best practices, immediately putting these into action through rounds of facilitation practice and feedback. 

How will the online sessions be taught? 

All our online courses are taught live, meaning you will be directly taught in real time by our coaches. This is not a self-paced, online tutorial course, but is a high intensity live course, delivered by leading coaches in the field and will be individual to each delegate taking part. We firmly believe this is the best way to learn online and are proud to facilitate all our online courses in this way. 

What equipment do I need?

  • Equipment: The only equipment you’ll need is a computer with a fast and reliable connection to the internet, microphone, webcam & speakers or headphones.  
  • Tools: Access is easy and universal, using industry standard web-based tools. Zoom is our primary tool for voice call, with exercises taking place within Mural & Google Docs. Note: both these tools are available and accessible through Chrome browser; we recommend using Chrome for the best experience. 

Is this a practical online facilitation course?

Yes. After an introduction to the core skills and principles of facilitation, you’ll be briefed by our expert coaches to get you ready to put these into practice right away.  

Through facilitation practice rounds, you'll get the invaluable chance to receive direct feedback from your peers and coaches, we’ll reflect together on how it went, and you’ll receive a follow-up detailed written feedback report from our coaches with concrete actions and advice for improvement. You’ll also have a second facilitation practice round, so you can address the feedback received while applying your coaches’ tips and your new learnt facilitation techniques to facilitating different key Design Thinking methods.  

Through these fast-paced practice rounds, feedback, and reflection, you’ll get a better understanding of your own facilitation style, and what kind of co-facilitators might you be best paired with. By observing and participating in your peers rounds of practice, you’ll get to experience, feedback and reflect on diverse facilitation styles and approaches within a short amount of time. This will ensure you’ll be exposed to a variety of ways of facilitation delivery, and we’ll be reflecting together on what may deliver a better experience to your participants and feel more natural to your own style.  

You’ll leave the course with increased confidence to facilitate challenging online Design Thinking sessions, knowledge of the best practice to deliver key Design Thinking methods, a toolkit with templates and instructions. More importantly, you’ll also leave with a clear idea of where you would like to stretch your own facilitation style, what key facilitation skills would you like to improve, and co-create feedback and recommendations to help you keep improving and developing your facilitation skills. 

Is this course the same as the in-person Design Thinking Facilitation course? 

This course is similar to our in-person Design Thinking Facilitation course, but it has been modified to have a specific focus on facilitating in an online environment. This means the course allows you to experience how these key tools can be adapted to work in a virtual setting, experiencing first-hand its possibilities and constraints. We will cover most content and tools from the in-person training with a few exceptions or adaptations.  

What's the next course I should take on facilitation? 

If you’d like to continue your facilitation journey, you can then progress on to our Advanced Facilitation course, which is also taught online, or our in-person Facilitation Mastery course.  

Our Advanced Facilitation course takes place over the course of 4 days, taking the knowledge from our Online Design Thinking Facilitation course and expanding on these foundations to turn you into an expert facilitator.  

The Facilitation Mastery course is taught in-person at our studio in London. Across 2 days you will work directly on your own personal workshops and sessions, getting targeted feedback & support from our expert coaches in your planning, while also learning from each other’s experiences. 

For more information about either of these courses, follow the links above or get in touch

English isn’t my first language. Does that matter? 

As the course is taught in English, it is important to have a good level of basic English to get the most out of it. 

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Speak to one of our team now through our chatbot or get in touch.

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