Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reflecting on facilitation skills

I have just been going through the assignments for the FOC2010. The video, Seven key skills of workshop facilitation, gives a really clear overview of some key skills. It also got me thinking about my own teaching. I realise that I relied heavily on body language when I was a teacher. Moving around the class; being a physical presence; creating and holding eye contact, all these were strategies that I used as part of classroom management.

What I am wondering is how one compensates for this when facilitating online? Does it become as intuitive as it does face-to-face? I imagine it must be much harder to get the feel of a bunch of voices, most of which belong to people one has never even met! I'm looking forward to trying out some online facilitation and getting the 'feel' for the virtual classroom.

On a completely different note, Heather Lamond, the librarian in charge of distance students at Massey University was at Ucol this morning, showing us some of the independent learning packages the Massey library staff have developed to assist students learning how to access information in the library databases, and so on. They work mainly in Captivate and Presenter, and they've produced some really useful, interactive stuff. Heather clearly ran a very well-organised and planned project to get these learning objects created, and it was good to hear her talking about how she went about things. She was also talking about the value of creating a virtual repository for learning objects, where these sorts of things could be stored, in an editable format, for people from other organisations to access and download.

I know many tertiary institutions are moving towards the Creative Commons approach and sharing materials, but wouldn't it be amazing if there were an organised library of these learning objects? A sort of one-stop-shop where materials developers went first, instead of reinventing wheels! The Open University, UK, is already doing something along these lines... check it out here.

Image downloaded from Sthacker's photostream,


  1. I believe very strongly that we must do more of this sort of sharing. I'm about to start collating resources for midwifery educators on a wiki...will let you know how that goes :)

  2. Jean
    I listened this morning on Catherine Ryan's programme to interviews about e-mail,text and online counselling. Two speakers gave their views. Both said that as the possibility of a range sensory cues diminishes, you have to work to develop a heightened senisitivity to those cues that are present and possibly restrict your depth of involvement and do more referring on. I found it very apt and relevant for my work and think that while I need to adjust my lense focus, I also need to be very clear what I can offer and what I can't. If I can't then what? do I refer on? if so to whom?

  3. Insightful post Jean! You have given me much to consider.

  4. I like your thoughts and questions. I am seeing that there is many things that I need to learn about communication without many of the things I have relied on.