Preparation for online crits

Preparation for online crits and peer mentoring is key to ensure they are time efficient and participants focus is maintained.

Moderators, administrators and (guest) facilitators should all meet before the session to ensure everyone is clear how it will run. Read more about these roles here.

The following should be communicated in a single email, for ease of use, with supporting images or PDFs as necessary.

Participant preparation instructions

Instruct participants what they should do to prepare for the session. This could include –

  • Test run their computers and internet connection on the platform before the session
  • Familiarise themselves with the functionality and features of the online platform being used.
  • Research participating artists by reading any information sent through in advance and familiarising themselves with artists websites.
  • Preparing what they are going to say about their work in advance. This will help the event keep to time. The main three questions they might be asked to consider are
    • My practice is X
    • I’m showing you Y
    • I’d like feedback on X Y Z
  • Asking for specific feedback. While it might be tempting not to limit interpretations, asking for feedback on specific elements of work actually help those commenting and inevitably other observations will come up.
  • Participants should be encouraged to take notes during their peers’ presentations. These notes should include questions they might have about the work. General observations and specific thoughts or response to requests for feedback.
  • Whether sessions are being recorded to give them the option to keep their camera off if they choose to.

Participating artists images and info

The crit administrator should collect images and biographical information from participating artists in advance and collate and share a PDF before-hand with images of the work that presenting artists want feedback on, and information about the all of the artists participating in the session with links to websites/further information. Alternatively, if you are working with an established group that know each other, presenting artists can circulate images of work and feedback questions in advance. Whatever the case, ensure material sent round is a reasonable size so it doesn’t clog up people’s inboxes.

Facilitators

Share short biogs of facilitators before the session

Code of conduct

Whilst most artists are likely to be respectful and sensitive in how they give feedback, if you are doing this with new people it’s good to be upfront about values and expectations. Be clear about codes of conduct and what will happen if participants don’t adhere to these.

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