6 Ways To Engage With GBV Prevention Education Online + Resources

Written by: CJ Rowe, Anoodth Naushan, Kelly Prevett and Paola Quiros

As gender justice advocates, many if not all of you are in the midst of moving all or most of your programming and initiatives into the online world. This transition won’t be easy or seamless and we know that you are adaptable, creative, and innovative and, ultimately, you know what’s best for your campus’s unique population of students, staff, and faculty. To help support you in this work, we are sharing some of the great tips and tools we’ve been drawing upon in our work.

Here are 6 ways to engage with GBV education online:

 1. Be yourself: This is one of the best tips we’ve taken away from the resources we’ve read. Given the work that you do, you are already a good teacher and facilitator. These skills and your personal style will transfer to the online environment, lean into what you already know and build from there. You’ve got this!

 2. Consider safety: Since you are not meeting face-to-face you may not be able to offer in the moment support if someone experiences a trauma response during a session. Review your content with an eye to mitigating any possible factors that could incite a participant’s trauma response. Develop a care plan at the onset of the session with participants (what to do if you are triggered, provide a list of resources, etc). In this light, take a moment to consider if any of your content could impact the safety of the learners who are survivors of GBV. Share information with participants about how to keep their technology safe (i.e. clearing browser history, etc.). You can learn more here:]

 3. Engage frequently and in different ways: One of the key ways to keep people engaged in a session is to invite them to become more deeply involved in the conversation. Ask questions, use different activities, use breakout rooms, use the chatbox, try journaling, use reflection questions/activities, use the polling feature and draw on various engagement tools. Remember, participants with different learning and communication styles are participating in your session. Using different engagement methods throughout your time together will help keep the energy up and people’s engagement ongoing.

 4. Pace each session: Don’t expect to run a session for more than 90-minutes and, if you facilitate a 90-minute session plan a break about halfway through so people can get up, stretch and move around. If your session is typically a 1-day training, consider offering it in chunks over a longer time period (5 to 7 days or over a number of weeks). A general rule offered by one resource is to not have anyone talk for more than 3 to 5 minutes at a time without a pause and an opportunity to engage participants.

 5. Embed well-being: We are living through a pandemic and everyone is being impacted by it in different ways. People may be tired, angry, impatient, unable to focus, have inconsistent internet and be surrounded by those they live with while engaged in any learning opportunity. Look for ways to embed well-being into your work – show empathy and kindness, foster connection and understanding, role model patience and understanding, check-in with one and other, and find ways to incorporate fun (use music, dance, lead people through stretches, do a check-in and check-out the activity, etc.).

6. Humility: All of us are adapting to facilitating online, and creating content that continues to be dynamic, interactive, and meaningful. We encourage you to be gentle with yourself in this process, especially as you navigate multiple technologies. There is so much pressure to continue performing without acknowledging the learning curve and new context we find ourselves in. Sometimes technology just won’t allow you to share the video you prepared, or the poll you crafted, and this is completely okay. We are all learning together.

To support our collective learning, we have curated a list of resources and promising practices on online GBV prevention education.





  • Leading Groups Online is a resource developed by Jeanne Rewa and Daniel Hunter to support people moving their in-person practices (meetings, workshops, courses, group engagement, etc) online. Drawing on their decades of online facilitation they offer concrete ideas, activities and 10 principles for leading online groups. This resource is available online in a number of different languages, and the Leading Groups Online booklet can be downloaded in PDF format.

  • Translating your In-Person Education Online: Tips for Piecing it All Together includes a process for taking all or part of in-person training to a distance learning environment.

  • 10 Ways to Embed Well-being into Remote Learning was developed by SFU’s Health Promotion Team to support faculty and instructors in fostering health and well-being in remote or online learning environments. Find practical tips, strategies and resources to enhance your remote instruction and student learning.

  • Co-creating community agreements in meetings were developed by Drawing Change in 2019 and offer ways to build commitments that can help to create a safer space, be referred to if conflicts arise, and help set the tone and focus for your time together.

  • Training for Change offers a toolbox of “tool topics” and ongoing webinars on online facilitation, leading groups online, using Zoom and more.

  • How to Choose Online Platforms for Literary Events – This article can help you decide which online streaming platforms work best, and for what type of events.

  • The Institute for Leadership in Education Development (I-LED) and Futures Without Violence hosted a 90-minute webinar titled, “Q & A: Creating Virtual Education That Sticks”, with special guest and expert virtual educator, Dr. Karen Richardson. The recordings of the webinar, slides, transcript, and resources are all available on their website.


Suggested Citation: Rowe, CJ., Naushan, Anoodth., Prevett, Kelly., & Quiros, Paola. (2020, June). 6 Ways to Engage With GBV Prevention Education Online + Resources. Courage to Act.

Related news