Monday, November 30, 2009

30th November Round up assignments, course review

This week is the last week and will be a breather period to tie up all your assignments, review and summarise your weekly blogging efforts, provide feedback to the course facilitator on the content, workloads, and other aspects, and to meet in our final web conference to discuss the topics as a whole.

To do

1. Write a closing post to your blog with links to your previous postings made for each of the 10 topics. Include a few sentences after each link that summarises what you wrote for each topic:

  • What is an online community?
  • Facilitating, moderating, or teaching
  • Discussion forums
  • Blog networks
  • Wiki collaborators
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Social networking platforms
  • Reflecting on the different kinds of online communities
  • Facilitate an event for the course mini conference
  • Evaluate the facilitation of an online event

2. Finish this closing post with feedback to the course. Did you learn new and useful things? Was it challenging enough? What could have been better? What could you have done better. Did the course facilitator do a good job? How will you apply what you have learned? Who would you recommend to do this course next time?

3. If you would like to give feedback in a more private forum, feel free to complete this evaluation form.

4. Attend meeting on Elluminate to debrief the mini-conference and wrap up the course, Tuesday 1st December 8pm NZ - international time here.

If you are not going to be finished by the end of the week, 6th December, please let me know. If I do not hear from you I will assume you have finished all the assessments and I will complete the marking process.

Thank you all for working so hard over the last few weeks. Whilst I know there have been a number of challenges, I also hope you have enjoyed this course and learned some valuable lessons about facilitating online.

Good luck and have a wonderful Christmas, Sarah

Image: Fireworks - St. Louis Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton

Monday, November 23, 2009

23rd November Evaluate the facilitation of an online event

So, did we survive the course mini conference? More importantly, did we learn a thing or two about facilitating online and our responsibilities to this our online community of sorts? This week we reflect on the experience and make note of the things that happened and what we learned from it all

To do

This is the week you complete assignment 3

1. Those of you who have not arranged a mini event yet, please finalize details and let us know on the mini-conference page. If you're wanting to know what is a good day for me, Tuesday 1st and Friday 4th December are both days I can attend as marker.

2. Consider your own or another's facilitation of an event at the course mini conference. Review the preparations that should have been documented on the wiki's history, the wiki's discussion area, and the blog of the event facilitator.

3. Complete assignment 3 as a post to your blog

4. Attend a webconference on Elluminate on Tuesday 1st December at 8pm NZ time to debrief the mini conference.


There are quite a few of you running behind schedule. I am very happy to give extensions if you need them. Ideally, I would like everything wrapped up by Sunday 13th December which gives me a week to finish marking etc. However, if you think you'll need longer to finish, please let me know.

Please drop me a email to confirm when you have finished your blogging so I know I can complete marking your posts - I don't want to mark you down for not doing something when you actually haven't quite finished. Any questions about any of this, please let me know. I am away until Saturday so won't be very quick to answer emails over the next couple of days.

Good luck, Sarah

Image: Lotus Flower Reflections IMGP6812-refl Bahman Farzad

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

'To the mighty FO09'

Here's a 'good luck' message to everyone from Leigh Blackall.

If you want to leave him a message, go to the video on YouTube and leave a comment...that way you can see how conversations develop on YouTube and have a think about how you would use it as a platform for facilitation. You can also have a browse around and see what videos Leigh has made and what he subscribes to.

Monday, November 9, 2009

9th November Facilitating Online 2009 Mini-Conference

Things are certainly hotting up and the 2009 Facilitating Online mini conference starts today. Check out the schedule on the course wiki to see details of the events, where and when.

I am very excited and really looking forward to attending the events. Unfortunately, we have had to make a last-minute change to how we mark the assessment of this course. Leigh has just moved to Canberra for a new job so we have had to abandon the model we were using ie keeping the facilitator separate from the marker. Thus, I will be marking all the course assignments and someone else from EDC Otago Polytechnic will be moderating.

To do (if you haven't done so already)
This is when you complete Assignment 2.

1. Confirm details of your event listed in the course mini conference.
2. Actively promote your event to the rest of the participants and wider. This conference is open for anyone to attend, so take the opportunity to bring in wider audiences.
3. Facilitate your event at the mini conference and attend as many if not all other events in the conference.
4. Help document the conference by posting commentary to your blog.

Those of you finalising your events
For those of you who have yet to arrange your event, please check what has been organised thus far. There is a very strong theme about online tools and how we use them to organise ourselves, so be careful that you do not replicate what is already being offered.

Also, if you're thinking about asking for a brief extension, I will be away from 24th-27th November so will be unable to attend any live events during that time.

'Thank you' to Leigh
Last, but certainly not least I would like to thank Leigh for all the work he has done in this course not just this year but over the last few years, and wish him all the best for his new job. It was Leigh, Bronwyn Hegarty and this course that started me on my journey three years ago and for that I am very grateful.

I can tell you that this course is only the beginning, and that you have heaps more challenges and fun in front to you :)


Image: 'untitled' Emery_Way

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2nd November Reflect on different kinds of online communities

You should now have more understanding about the difference between a community, a group and a team. Also how the roles of a teacher, moderator and facilitator differ and the diverse range of skills each role needs. Spend this week reflecting on what you have learned so far about different online communities and the roles and skills required of an effective facilitator.

To do
1. Write a post to your blog that reviews all you have considered in this course so far. When you talk about the previous posts you have made, please link to them so we can all track back to the orginal post.
2. Be sure to read the posts of some other participants and offer comments and feedback.

Last week's recording
Last week we met and discussed the features of social networking platforms and how we could use them for facilitation. We spent a lot of time discussing the issues of security and online identity. In response to this discussion, Herve has written a blog post discussing the issues and linking to some interesting articles about the dangers of using platforms such as Facebook. Herve has written:

I am more comfortable with a closed environment where you can control the membership of the group and moderate the content.

If you read his post, please leave a comment with your opinion and join in the discussion about how facilitators can ensure security yet encourage open networking and constructive engagement. Krishan has joined the conversation on his blog by publishing some very useful guidelines for using social networks.

The link to the recording is here.

Mini conference - time is running out
Just a reminder that the mini conference starts next week so you're running out of time for the planning and advertising. Please make sure you put the details of your event on the course wiki on the page "Course Mini Conference". Don't forget you can look to see what last year's partuicpants did if you want some ideas. Here are some ideas about how you can advertise your event:
  • tell your work colleagues, institution or company;
  • blog post;
  • FO09 email group;
  • create event on Facebook;
  • email to 'networked learning' email group
  • ask the group who use Twitter to send to their network.
If you are still struggling for ideas, please contact me persoanlly asap.

Practising with Elluminate
Just a reminder that if you want to practice the full range of facilities on Elluminate, you need to ask me to meet you there so I can give you the ability to be the 'teacher'. Once I have done that, I can leave you in peace to get on and have a 'play'. Please feel free to ask me to meet you in the evenings or at the weekend - I don't have a 'real' life so I'm online most of the time :)


Image: 'Une représentation de mon réseau social dans+Facebook' luc legay