What a course! What a fantastic and demanding learning experience. In this blog post, I am reflecting on digital facilitation, having now engaged in planning and delivering a weeklong digital facilitation experience with our peers in the MALAT program. I was part of a team that facilitated a group learning experience on Digital Literacy Skills for Effective Online Facilitation. The focus of our week was exploring the use of data-analytics and surveillance tools in educational technology.

I have outlined my reflections, in connection to my 3-2-1 blog post from the beginning of our course, in a 3 (Thoughts) – 2 (Questions) – 1 (Simile) format below.

3 THOUGHTS about Digital Facilitation

  1. It calls for more planning, preparation, and communication efforts (with learners) than my previous face-to-face teaching experiences.
  2. As stated in my initial 3-2-1 blog post, I still feel that “it is important for a facilitator to give frequent and specific feedback in a digital learning environment”.
  3. I found it to be more challenging to plan and navigate when facilitating as a group of five, than it would be for me as an individual instructor—or co-teaching with a second instructor. There is more negotiating of styles and priorities amongst a group than if working individually, or with one partner/co-facilitator.

2 QUESTIONS about Digital Facilitation

  1. In my initial blog post I questioned what might be a more effective tool for a group discussion: Moodle or Mattermost? I found Mattermost to be an excellent tool for discussion, particularly in the context of the asynchronous debate that was a central element to my group’s facilitation week.
  2. A new question… I wonder what the ratio is for time and effort that goes into planning a digital facilitation week, versus a face-to-face facilitation week. In the end, I am deeply aware of the fact that all good teaching efforts take time and commitment, regardless of the setting or modality.

1 SIMILE about Digital Facilitation

My initial post contained an image of a multi-armed, wise, omnipresent guide (in connection to an image of a Thai Buddhist statue). In revisiting this simile about digital facilitation, I remain committed to my thinking that digital facilitation is a role that involves a significant and multi-faceted level of multi-tasking! As I pointed out in my initial post: “There are so many more tools, and channels of communication (i.e., discussion forum or app like Mattermost, email, synchronous sessions, blogs) to keep up with, particularly as a facilitator” (McCarthy, 2020). To reconnect with the wise and multi-armed Thai Buddhist statue from my initial post, I propose this image as one that captures my sentiments about digital facilitation… having just finished our facilitation week.

Photo by Anton Shuvalov on Unsplash

Reference

McCarthy, L. (2020, August 27). Digital Facilitation – 3-2-1 [Blog comment]. Retrieved from https://malat-webspace.royalroads.ca/rru0125/digital-facilitation-3-2-1/