The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

New Milton Discussion Group

Group Activities in 2020

Throughout the strange and turbulent 2020 we stayed in contact as best we could by a mixture of:

- online debates
- online discussions and
- some face to face meetings outdoors, at the Community Centre and on Zoom:

1. Online Debates - see below
2. Meeting outdoors

Meeting Oudoors

Another meeting outdoors was cancelled due to the weather

3. Online Discussions

Online Discussions

4. Zoom Meetings

Zoom Meetings

5. Meetings at the Community Centre:

Our first meeting back was on 8 September

Meeting 8 September

The last meeting at the Community Centre was held on 13 October in two groups of six:

Last Meeting at Community Centre

Online Debates 2020

Initially, the Discussion Group conducted 20 debates using e-mail & phone for submitting answers.

Feedback on our debates was summarised in a separate page for each question and the summaries were circulated once a week

Online Debates

Lessons Learnt

I listed some of the lessons that I learnt from the exercise:

1. After an early experiment with Zoom, I chose to use e-mail communications so that everyone could join in if they wanted to

2. I knew that it was not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I hoped that everyone would get something out of the exercise.

3. Some members of the Group submitted questions, jokes and amusing videos.

4. The debate questions that worked best were those where there could be a Yes, No or Undecided answer. In discussions it does not matter so much.

5. We started with typical timeless debate questions but soon switched to topical questions which had a bit more life in them

6. I gradually steered the questions away from the doom and gloom of the coronavirus

7. Some of the e-mails included humour which helped!

8. Some weeks I found it a struggle to find good suitable questions. But we were conducting weekly debates as against monthly discussions.

9. As I learnt as an examiner, people don’t always answer the question (e.g. Yes, No or Undecided)!

10. On occasions some people hedged their bets, e.g. Yes but.....!

11. I wish I had learnt earlier that some people preferred to give their answers over the phone. A small sub-group made the phone calls and I would have built this in earlier.

12. It would have been easier if I had had everyone’s phone numbers as well as their e-mail addresses. Something to discuss some time

13. Some members of the Group were able to type up more detailed answers than other members. There are various reasons for this of course.

14. Some members of the Group have perhaps been able to get their points of view heard more easily than during our discussions!

15. I missed meeting up of course including bringing up subjects we had debated already, which then come up in the news. If only they had asked us!

16. Some members of the Group wanted to meet up fortnightly when discussions resumed.

17. I thought that we had given the idea of debates and votes a good run

Colin Bower
16 December 2020

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