Tuesday, March 22, 2011

week Three in FO2011

Jeez !!!! it is already Week three in our Facilitating Online course (FO2011). I cannot believe how fast it is going and how much I have already learned.

This week has been quite busy. I have already wrote a post about a video from Salam Khan, from the Khan Academy. (see previous post).

This week we have been asked to answer the following questions:

What is online facilitation?

After watching the video from Jan Delmas, Seven key skills of workshop facilitation , I would say that an online facilitator is a support person who should guide the students enrolled in the course. This person should keep in mind at all times their audience, the purpose of the course and the needs of the audience.
How do these skills differ from face-to-face facilitation?

Well…..before watching the Jan Delmas’ video I would have been able to find a lot of differences between teaching F2F and teaching online, but looking at the 7 skills that Jan Delmas points out (listen/supports/summarizes/challenges/leads the process/create a safe environment/ trusts the group) I actually think that there is no difference at all then between the two types of teaching. I should actually add that I hope students in my class right now can find the all 7 skills in my F2F teaching :-)

What experiences do you have of online facilitation both as a facilitator, and as a participants in a community, network or event?

I have never been an online facilitator but I have participated to a few online meetings on different platforms like Twitter, Flashmeeting and Skype. I have also participated to Community activities like Ning, Facebook and Google Groups.

What have you seen work well, and what has worked less well?

I do not want to sound too PC but I think they all work very well. Each platform has its advantages and its purpose. They complement each other.


  1. Interestingly I think they all can work well too. Perhaps it is as much about content and connection with the topic and people that makes things work online. I like the fact that many of these environments take different forms for different users. Do you think there is a difference when there are high stakes assessment involved over the love of learning?

  2. You have talked about the difference between F2F teaching and online teaching, but what about the difference between teaching and facilitation? Can you really be an online facilitator when working with students when ultimately you have the power to 'pass' or 'fail' them at times of assessment?

  3. Dave

    You r question is very tricky :-) If I look at the skills required to be a good facilitator then there is no difference at all even if there is an exam at the end. It seems to me that I have always facilitated my classes as I hope I have always listened to them, kept them on my mind etc. My classes are very focused, tehy said to me they do not French to have fun but to do some work. So for my classes the exam at the end is only a detail I suppose.

    I hope I have answered your question :-)

  4. Dear Sarah

    as I said to Dave above, the pass and fail is just a detail. If I teach students online I will give them advice, listen to them and their needs. I can survey them all the way to see if what I do is what they except from me. As for the content of what I teach (e.g. past tense in French) I cannot change that as it is NCEA requirement but I can change the way I deliver in order to keep the kids motivated and ensure their success