Thoughts on Digital Facilitation

3 thoughts or ideas you have about digital facilitation:

  • My first thought about digital facilitation is that I have much to learn! This course has come at a great time. Our classes in Hong Kong have resumed as online-only, so each idea or theory from this course stands to offer something tangible that I can try out in my classes right away.
  • A key consideration for digital facilitation is that it is distinct from face-to-face facilitation. Experiences that feel natural in person can become tiring online, expectations for attention span and technical aptitude are different, and the learning experience itself needs to transform rather than be transplanted.
  • Synchronous facilitation, such as the online learning we’ve seen a lot recently, should account for timezones and be empathetic of peoples demands on their time. This may take the form of recorded sessions, as well as polling students for optimal times, or varying the times of live video sessions to offer more possibilities for students to join.

2 questions you have about digital facilitation:

  • When promoting social spaces and community in an online setting, how do facilitators create a space that students feel motivated to authentically participate in, rather than resorting to making participation a mandatory part of the course grade?
  • When facilitating a video setting for younger students, should they be forced to always have their camera on and be present? What about considerations for students who may feel embarrassed about their home setting, or may not have a quiet space available to them during a synchronous learning activity?

1 metaphor or simile about digital facilitation:

  • Good digital facilitation is like a rhythm. Every lesson or learning experience can’t happen at the exact same pace. There needs to be variety and variation, but not too much, just enough that it creates rhythm and flow. For example, weekly synchronous chats, mixed with asynchronous reflections, mixed with self-paced activities. A rhythm isn’t completely random: there’s some structure and repetitiveness in the variation, to create a difference in kind of learning as well as difference in volume of learning. The result is a learning experience that flows together while having both variation and repetition.

Photo by Armand Khoury on Unsplash

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