Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, clubs and societies are encouraged to explore new ways of engaging with students online. This page has been developed to provide tools, tips and insights into how you can continue to engage with members online.
There are a number of tools that your club can use to run meetings and events online. Some of these are free and others are paid, they offer different features and advantages so you may need to do some research to determine what will work best for your meeting or event.
All UC staff and students have access to Microsoft Teams through their UC account. Teams is a useful online platform for work teams to collaborate, communicate and plan. It is a professional tool that includes chat, file sharing, task allocation and video calls/conferencing.
Clubs can use this to host meetings or events online. A teams meeting can include video, screen sharing, voice and can even be recorded.
UC Life can help set up a virtual room for your club events. You are likely already using this for live tutorials and lectures within Canvas so why not use it for club events.
The Virtual Room features a variety of tools that you can use including, presenting, screen sharing, polls and breakout rooms. These will have to be set up on a case by case basis by UC Life so please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get one set up for your club event.
The UC Virtual Room uses Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, below is a brief demo video.
Facebook messenger can be a quick and easy way to meet with members. Although not as high quality and professional as Teams or other tools, many members already know how to use this and it can be effective for smaller meetings.
UC Life now has a premium Zoom account that can be used to host larger and longer meetings. Please contact email@example.com for access to the account.
Online event ideas
Netflix Watch Party
Can't get together and have a movie night... no problem. Organise for members to all watch a movie at the same time!
Netflix Party Chrome Plugin
Set up a centrally controlled Netflix session so everyone is completely in sync! This simple plugin for Google Chrome browser allows you to set up a movie or tv show and send the link to anyone. If they have the plugin, they can join your watch party. It also adds a chat bar to the screen so you can all message each other during the screening. Maybe you need a snack break in the middle of the movie, well you can pause the movie for everyone and resume when everyone has fresh popcorn ready to go.
If the Chrome Plugin won't work for your club, you can always try another way of watching in sync. Start a call in Teams, Zoom, Messenger, Discord etc. and get everyone to press play at the same time. You can keep the call going to interact with each other or shift to messaging to keep up the communication.
Trivia or Bingo
Hold a trivia or bingo night over an online call. Make it competitive by adding an exciting prize (UC LIfe can help with this). Use online tools to assist like google forms for answer sheets (can even make some marking automated)
Kahoot is an interactive Online Quiz platform that you can use to make your own trivia type event. There is a free version which limits how many people can attend to 10 but may work for some of your smaller events. UC Life use purchased a Kahoot account which clubs can use for online activities. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to use Kahoot for an event.
UC Life is also running a weekly trivia on Tuesday nights. We would love for clubs to get involved in this and write the questions and run the night. For this, clubs will create the questions in the UC Life Kahoot account. UC Life will double check the questions for you and help you to set a 'Challenge' for students to play in. At the time of the event (7pm Tuesday) your club would post the trivia link and UC Life will share that. Your club can also brand and promote the night to get some exposure during it and UC Life will sort out the prizes. Send us an email if your club is interested.
Online Board Games
Get members together (virtually) for a board games night. Board Games Arena has 100's of games that you can play together. One person starts an arena and sends everyone else the link. When everyone is in the same arena you can choose games and play with each other.
You could also collaborate on a jigsaw puzzle! UC Life has found a website called https://jigsawpuzzles.io/ where you can set up a private puzzle for members to work on or join in a public puzzle.
Online catchup with coffee or lunch
Get members to make their favourite beverage or snack and then all jump on a call together to chat. Have some topics of interest on hand to keep the conversation flowing but otherwise try to make it relaxed and casual. You can use any of the tools above but we think it would be best to include video in the call. This is great for engaging members that might be working from home!
Networking or Mentoring
Many clubs would have had networking events to be held throughout this semester or winter. Instead of cancelling, try and think of ways to make it work online. For example, set up multiple meeting links on Teams and assign a small group of members and a business or organisation to each. Many businesses will be moving to online working and will welcome the opportunity to engage with your students still.
If you are interested in engaging with Alumni in this way we can help to find UC Alumnus that would be interested.
Video Tutorials or Lessons
Make short videos for your members to learn how to do something or engage in a fun activity. This might be an exercise that everyone can do, it might be some mindfulness or covering a tricky subject in a common unit for members. Use the skills and talents of your members to create resources that benefit everyone.
Funding and Resources from UC Life
UC Life will continue to support clubs and societies even if we are not able to work on campus.
If your club requires funding for anything you would like to do, UC Life will be able to provide this using the normal funding procedures. Please let us know if you find any creative ways to engage with members that might require funding.