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
- It calls for more planning, preparation, and communication efforts (with learners) than my previous face-to-face teaching experiences.
- 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”.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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/