Saturday, April 9, 2011

Disappointing news. FO2011 will no longer be facilitated this semester

I have disappointing news for those of you who have been following this semester's iteration of FO2011. I am afraid that I do not have enough enrolled students to be able to continue facilitating 'Facilitating Online' this semester. Therefore, the course has ceased functioning as it usually does. We hope to offer Fo2011 again in July 2011 if we can get enough enrolled students, so please let me know if you'd like to enrol for that course.

Amended course schedule
I have slightly amended the course schedule for those of you who are following the course so you still have access to weekly live events of some sort or another. I have also given you links to the recordings of useful sessions that happened last year.

Looking for facilitators
If you would like to have the opportunity to practice your facilitation of a live online event, I am looking for volunteer facilitators for the Virtual International Day of the Midwife which runs for 24 hours from 12.00 hours on the 5th May New Zealand.

If you would like to go ahead with facilitating your own event to meet the assessment requirements of this course, please feel free to use the course wiki to organise it.

Questions or feedback
If you have any questions, or would like to give me feedback about the course, please feel free to either leave a comment on this blog or email me: sarahstewart07(at)

Hope to see you next time, Sarah

Image: 'Marinos Ices Mixture'

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April 4th Case studies

Here are several case studies that illustrate aspects of online facilitation in a number of contexts.

Web Conferencing

Join the virtual class meeting in WiziQ - Monday 4th April 14.00 hours New Zealand time (World Clock) - click onto this link to join the Wiziq meeting room.

The speaker will be Dr. Nellie Deutsch who will talk about her experiences as an online facilitator and will also spend some time showing us how WiZiQ works. Nellie has a PhD in educational leadership and specializes in curriculum and instruction and in integrating technology into blended and fully online programs. She has designed and facilitated thousands of online workshops including Moodle for Teachers (Orientation, Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced), online facilitation, WebQuests, Professional Electronic Portfolios (via the Moodle and Mahara), and TESOL. She also presents at online and face-to-face conferences on leadership, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Blended Learning. In addition, she organizes and co-moderates live online conferences such as the annual February Connecting Online (CO09, CO10, CO11)and MoodleMoot (August). Nellie has also facilitated many Learning for Content (L4C) online workshops on how to use the wiki, create OER, and collaborate on WikiEducator.
  • WiziQ is a free tool you may be interested in if you are a business or non-profit organisation. Information about how to use WiZiQ can be found here
  • If you have any problems accessing the Wiziq classroom on the day, please contact Sarah on Skype (sarah.m.stewart)

1. Write a blog post. You may wish to answer these questions.

  • How does a facilitator build an online community or network?
  • What are the key things to remember when facilitating an event, meeting or education course, especially when working with people who are new to online technology?
  • What is the difference between teaching and facilitation?
  • What is netiquette?

2. If you would like additional experience facilitating a live, online event, please feel free to volunteer to facilitate a session during the Virtual International Day of the Midwife on May 5th. This opportunity is open to ALL students. For more information, please contact Sarah Stewart.

Image: 'Metropolis Globe New York'

Students wanting their voices heard

This week I have been struck by the work of one of the course participants, Florence Lyons. Florence is a French teacher working with Year 11 students in New Zealand. She has been telling me that her students are very interested in being part of an online event where they can tell their stories...have teachers listen to them...where they can be themselves and not "the pupil". I am really looking forward to watching how Florence facilitates this in the online environment.

On Wednesday we joined Greg Walker and iFacilitate to think about how to facilitate asynchronous conversations in discussion forums or email groups. Greg passed on some excellent strategies for starting and developing conversations and discussion, asking strategic questions and supporting critical thinking. We also learned about the Six Thinking Hats approach to group discussion and individual thinking from Sebastian. And Greg gave us a really useful link to Fran Peavey's work: Strategic Questioning Manual

Here is the recording (I will make the mp3 available on the course wiki on Monday):
Have a great weekend, Sarah

Image: 'Reading at the demo 2'