Elluminate – transcript of user feedback

This is a transcript of the audio recording first published here.

Jess. This is about your feedback on the Elluminate sessions, what do you think you’ve learned from them, what was your favourite part of them, and particularly lessons for the pilots

Annie. I’ve enjoyed both my sessions. It’s been interesting to discuss in this arena with other specialists comign from both the vol sector and the business sector. I’d  like to see more of this type of thing. It’s useful for busy people who are not always office-based but may be working from home or other locations. We can all find time to log in.

Rebecca. Sorry, I was clicking away thinking it was, but the microphone wasn’t turning on then. I’ve particularly enjoyed getting to grips with using the Balanced Scorecard and then Dragon’s Den exercise was great. It would be useful to see all four Dragon’s Den presentations and then choose one or be given one to feed back on. Platform was really accessible once we got used to it. Really good to be able to sit here miles away from everyone else and be able to discuss things. Need more of this. I’m coming from the voluntary sector learning more about business thinking. Teaching us to pitch ideas in a business environment would be incredibly useful.

Stefanie. I didn’t pick up the microsphone I was just speaking away! This method of learning, online, I think it’s brilliant. It feel it’s the way I’d like in future to participate in learning instead of going to training courses! The main thing I’ve got out of it is to shift from focus on social return (that grant funding emphasises). It’s really helped me  balance and look at the other side. But I’m nowhere near there yet, I’d like to see a model pitch, develop more business skills, use Balanced Scorecard properly. But it’s been a very good experience.

Joe. It’s been really interesting, especially this session today with the DVD to go with it. The amount of preparation previously was a lot of work. I was very busy and to get through that was really hard. My other favourite part is the Balanced Scorecard – very useful, I’ve never done that before.

Christine. I found the sessions really interesting. I feel that I’ve learnt an awful lot. Would like to develop my knowledge with regards to businesses. It was interesting to hear other people’s point of view. I’d like more sessions. Would love to have seen all the Dragon’s Den presentations. Done online before but it was just typing in the chat space – rather tiring. This has been very good to sit and speak and develop a flow. It would be good if this information could be cascaded to groups so they could see how to develop business ideas. It’s great and I’ve really enjoyed it and I hope it continues.

Paul. Sincere apologies for not being involved in last week’s session. I was travelling in Israel and the hotel I was staying in had a terrible wireless connection so the technology didn’t work. Also, only got back at the weekend so didn’t have time to do the homework, so I’ve been mainly listening this week. I found overall process very useful. I wish there was something like the DTA in Northern Ireland because many organisations need to be going through this process at the moment. We’ve had a period of relatively large amounts of funding and that has definitely come to an end so all organisations need to be looking at their sustainability. So I’ve learnt a lot from the process and I’m looking forward to the residential.

Heidi. I’ve found it tremendously helpful. It’s given me access to a whole range of skills that I’m really not sure where I would have found them from had I not been involved in this project. I’m in two minds about online versus face-to-face but the aspect of it being over a number of weeks and being able to comtemplate and build  up between the sessions has been valuable so I’m more skewed towards the online learning. In relation to my own practice, having been asked to consider and be critical about other people’s proposals, will definitely be reflected in the way I take this organisation forwards. The Balanced Scorecard is a tremendously useful tool. Overall I feel very positive about it.

Brian. I found the process really interesting. I’ve shared in the first and third sessions. Struggling a bit to feed back. I hope at the residential we can look at overall programme objectives and what we’re expecting from the pilot and would be interested to help in planning for the future. Hoped I could use this locally, not sure now that it is, but I have really enjoyed the experience.

Neil. The first week was always going to be  the worst, overcoming technical difficulties. Spot-on today, it seems to have gone well. Have learnt a lot, great to hear other people’s comments, in particular on the Balanced Scorecard because ACF is very keen on this, so it’s great that everyone’s enthusiastic about using that. Was sceptical about online courses rather than face-to-face. Still have minor reservations but since we sorted out the IT I really enjoyed, particularly today’s session, because it went smoothly with the IT especially for me.

Liz. Using internet for this is eye-opening, I do feel difficult not being able to see people and  talking into space is odd but I’m surprised it’s worked so well. I have learned a lot but I don’t feel I’ve grasped it yet, more on gut feeling rather than rigorous assessment for what’s a good option and what’s not. We’ve looked at examples where they are seeking loan finance. It would be interesting to look at those setting up enterprises without taking on debt. What I love about this is that we’re talking to people across the country. Residential will be good, being able to talk face-to-face. And all the things I’ve queried as not clear will be made clear. We’ll be able to meet face-to-face and even go back to listen to some of it.

Magda. I really enjoyed the sessions. The lesson I’ve learned from doing this is a personal benefit, that I can talk better and pitch better. Would like more, this session was definitely the best. I like the Dragon’s Den and also the Balanced Scorecard.

Kerry. It’s been great for me. Over the years I’ve seen lots of different ways of evaluating propositions but not seen the Balanced Scorecard – v useful, I’ll use it in future. It’s been great week-by-week to share views, with different people. Everybody brings something different to the thought process, and everyone’s spread out across the country which makes it even better. A novel way to go about learning – week-by-week we all got to grips with it. The technology can work. I’d like to have another go in future. Great to have the opportunity to take part and thanks.

Amanda. I’ve really enjoyed the two sessions I’ve managed to come to. Especially today with the Dragon’s Den approach and the DVD to watch beforehand. In terms of what I’m going to use Balanced Scorecard will be useful in future. In terms of the learning module, one of the reasons for coming on the course was to see how online learning might work. My organisation is interested in doing this in the future. After initial teething problems it has been really enjoyable.

Linda. We’re lucky to have in this project a mix of IT and residential for face-to-face. I work visually so I’m not a big fan of huge wads of text to plough through. It’s tough prioritising it with workload so I preferred the DVD to the paper homework. I can see this as a really exciting communications platform for feedback to practitioners on social enterprise ideas. If they’re lucky they might get funding for a single consultant supporter, where they get one individual with expertise in eg finance or marketing. With this platform you could have four experts, covering each of those four quadrants, in different parts of the world possibly, actually taking them through a business proposition and marrying up all that human capital in one project. That could be really exciting.

Judith. Didn’t have a mic – sent a text to the chatroom. Neil read this out:
“It was brilliant, especially the Balanced Scorecard because it opens my thought process, and makes it more holistic. We definitely need more sessions. It was a bit difficult, given work pressure, to do the homework more thoroughly, especially last week’s huge business plan. Great learning experience and will be definitley useful in my work, is already proving useful. Online great – I’m at home with my vomiting child and would have otherwise missed the session if I’d had to travel. Hooray to the organisers!

Miles. I’ve participating in 2 of 3 sessions. I was a bit sceptical when I started and not too sure how things would go but I have been absolutely enlightened. It’s great integrating from people from different organisations and with one’s experience have a bit of input. Would like to have the four Dragon’s Den presentations and could have made a more informed decision. Looking forward to residential. I’m going through the mill with my Whitby project, trying to get it into a dev trust and becoming more sustainable. Have already taken the Balanced Scorecard back to the camp, so to speak. Thanks to the organisers I think you’ve done a really good job.

Simon. Can’t come to residential. Been a learning process for us moderators as well. As participants have got more comfortable with the technology, we’ve also been picking up hints and tips along the way to make these sessions more interactive and useful. If we were to start again we would get off to a flying start. Thanks to all the trainees who’ve acted as guinea pigs.

Hugh. Thank you to everyone. It’s been a learning experience for us. We’ve been exploring an awful lot at once, including difficult homework. But in the real world you get both information overload and inadequate information. The electronic platform and the material that fits in their as well as trying to sharing tools like the Balanced Scorecard and thinking about how ideas are pitched. It really has been a pilot for us all and I look forward to coming up with sensible ways forward at the residential. We have in the pipeline some proposals to do some further work to develop this and we’ll be using Elluminate within the DTA for internal discussions of all kinds in the future.

Jess. Have to produce final report for Finance Hub who have funded it. If you would like to feed in further points – as honest as you like, you’ve all been very polite to us but if you want to make any other points that you didn’t want to say in the main room, please email me. I wll send the final report round to all of you once we’ve submitted it to the FH and we’ll keep you informed with where we take this next. Thanks to everybody, it’s been great fun and I hope we’ll see as many of you as possible at the residential.

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