3  Thoughts about Digital Facilitation

  • Encouraging constructive controversy (i.e. healthy conflict) is difficult and requires a strong foundation of trust. A work agreement like a team charter can be a great starting place, but it isn’t enough; trust needs to be continuously fostered and reinforced.
  • Asking open-ended questions is more likely to drive deep, personally meaningful learning than asking closed questions or offering answers, so ask open-ended questions often and see where they lead.
  • You are unlikely to meet the expectations and needs of all your learners. The best you can do as a facilitator is clearly communicate the structure of the course, outline the learning objectives, include a variety of activity types, encourage active engagement with the material, and be there to support and reinforce.

2  Questions about Digital Facilitation

  • How do you know which technology is most appropriate to use? There are so many options that people seem to default to what they know how to use or what the program/class is already using (e.g. Moodle, Collaborate, Mattermost in our case).
  • Can Socratic pedagogy be more regularly and effectively applied outside of philosophy? If so, do we need to rethink our approach to learning objectives or the measurement of their acquisition?

1  Metaphor about Digital Facilitation

In a Community of Inquiry, learning is exploration. Open-ended questions and constructive controversy may feel like a detour from the learning path you so carefully laid as the facilitator, but the scenery will be finer and the experience more memorable than you could have mapped. As the eminently quotable Anaïs Nin famously said, ““In chaos, there is fertility.”


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