A 30 minute webcast interview with Diana Aldaz, Events & Sustainability Out Reach Coordinator, Master of Science in Sustainability Management, University of Toronto, Mississauga.
Diana explains the design elements and how she managed the school’s virtual Sustainability Week event, launched in early March 2021.
This webcast recording helps to show how to design and structure a student led virtual themed campus event that is educational, connects a broad array of student groups and is highly engaging. This virtual event generated 2X the level of engagement over the previous year.
Goals of the event:
- Highlight activities on campus
- Try to replicate the on-campus experience virtually
- Because of the nature of sustainability subject matter, they needed a platform that could best demonstrate visually:
- Showcase demonstrations
- Display art pieces
- Connect the United Nations Initiative and the SDG (Sustainability Development Goal) numbering system
- Walk through the daily themes and event activities
- Explaining the design, balancing between “live” and “pre-recorded” content to minimize “zoom fatigue”
- Explaining the balancing between centrally controlling the event and working with many different contributing groups of students, including international students
- Presentation of highly dynamic content ie Trashion Show, demonstrating student talent and creativity
- Use points system tied to the UN’s SDG system with a reward system and prizes
- Coordinated participation tracking and reward system including tying participation with donations to local food banks in coordination with on-campus food services donations
- Also integrated the “Co-Curricular Record” system to formally reward and recognize student engagement
- Focus on skill development and recognition, with particular focus on “decision-making and action”
Findings and Results
- Achieved 2X greater engagement with the virtual event
- Well received by the student’s and the wider “Sustainability” campus community
- Provided wider exposure for different participants and sponsors
- More students and more student groups were able to participate
- Was able to drive learning outcomes focused on skills demonstrations related to “decision-making and action” and captured through student reflections, which were reviewed and recognized in student’s co-curricular record
- Saw the future in all on-campus events becoming “Hybrid”, because they deliver many benefits over in-person events:
- Involve more students, especially from different distant campuses
- Create greater inclusivity of different groups
- Better access for international students
- Better access of parents to observe student’s work and campus life
- Extended the event from one week to the entire month and beyond to take advantage of the 90 day event window standard for all Acadiate events.
Learn more about Online Academic Events at: https://www.acadiate.com/e.php/virtualevents