LRNT 528 Course (Facilitating in Digital Learning Environments) has added a great deal of knowledge and skills to me about digital facilitation. Working with a group of facilitators has been a new astonishing experience for me.
Three things I reflect on digital facilitation:
- The use of technology should be carefully thought of. In a group of 20+ learners, using break-out rooms to discuss thoughts and opinions with fewer team members enhances learning and enables authentic and meaningful discussion. Knowing how to use technologies to facilitate for a big audience was certainly an added value to me.
- Digital co-facilitation requires a lot of teamwork, even more than in a face to face setting. Clear and prompt communication is key in digital facilitation.
- A reminder that facilitation is not instruction. Facilitators and Instructions are two different roles. An instructor is someone who transfers and shares knowledge with the audience in a structured, planned way. A facilitator encourages discussion and learning among an audience using facilitation skills and always tries to personalize learning. Wilder (n.d.) best described the difference between an instructor and a facilitator, stating that an instructor is a content resource. A facilitator is a [learning] process resource combining many elements to create an active and interactive learning environment!
Two questions I have about digital facilitation:
- Is the proficiency of digital facilitation the new mandatory skill that educators should acquire? If so, will there be a formal certification process to qualify educators to teach online?
- What efforts should organizations make to find the right mix of digital interfaces or platforms that offer an enriching learning environment? Is it solely the responsibility of a facilitator? Or, should the organization interfere to guarantee consistency?
One Metaphor: A digital facilitator is a storyteller. Someone who thinks about the learning journey with plenty of details such as an opening, setting, characters, dialogue, plot, and ending. The more you engage learners with your story, the more successful you’ll be!