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Effective Online Facilitation

Effective Online Facilitation

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Effective Online Facilitation

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  1. Effective Online Facilitation Barbara Treacy July 16, 2014

  2. Today’s focus • Identify key questions about online facilitation • Discuss the power of connected learning and online learning communities • Learn about tips and strategies for effective online facilitation • Engage in hands-on collaborative activity to address key facilitation scenarios and challenges • Wrap-up

  3. Key Questions • What does it take to be an effective online facilitator? • How do we create engaging, reflective online discussions that support deeper learning? • How do facilitators maintain participation and build strong learning communities? • How do facilitators keep discussions on target and focused on the core goals? • Why are facilitators important for building effective online discussions, or are they ? • Your questions? Small group discussion about why you want to learn about online facilitation

  4. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” -Alvin Toffler

  5. What’s Different About Online Discussions? • Content: different structure • Technology: increasing choice and capability of tools (a plus) • Technology: accessibility must be addressed; technical glitches occur regularly (a challenge) • Social dynamic: different interaction methods and pacing to address cohort and individual needs • Discussion: new facilitation strategies needed; importance of written communication • Assessment: new tools available and new strategies needed

  6. Ten Tips for Effective Online Facilitation

  7. 1. Make everyone feel welcome and heard; create a comfortable environment

  8. 2. Establish clear goals and expectations at the outset


  10. 3. Provide behind-the-scenes support via email

  11. 4. Foster communication between participants

  12. 5. Model participation and discussion techniques for participants

  13. 6. Keep the discussion alive; prevent stagnancy

  14. 7. Keep the discussion on-topic

  15. 8. Guide participants through the content

  16. 9. Make sure the audience and the content are in sync

  17. 10. Bring closure to each topic before moving on

  18. Key Lessons • Online facilitation takes time and care: “building it” is not enough to expect “they will come” or stay • Online learning community models foster reflection and inquiry based approaches • Tone and online voice matter • Opportunities for regular feedback are important • Technology must support, not overwhelm facilitation • Online facilitation requires specific strategies: training and practice in the online environment are critical!

  19. EdTech Leaders Online Facilitator Course topics: • Learning Community Approach to Online PD • Skills, Strategies & Techniques for Online Facilitation • Strategies for Assessment, Feedback & Evaluation • Preparing to Facilitate a Specific Course • Using the Course Management System Instructor Tools • Leading Meaningful Discussions • Motivating and Meeting the Needs of Adult Learners • Organizing and Finalizing Your Facilitation Plan Example with social media incorporated to enhance online community

  20. Scenarios – Discuss in Small Groups Log in: Username and password: blc Facilitating and Implementing Online PD Session 3: Scroll to: Discuss Small groups will work on individual scenarios

  21. Importance of Learning Community Models “Learning is social, and we will all get better at our projects and at learning from each other by social learning together. In the right context, all of us can be more innovative than any one of us.” -John Seely Brown, USC and Deloitte Center for the Edge

  22. Thank you! Barbara Treacy EdTech Leaders Online Education Development Center