The new 3-2-1 blog post – Refelction on facilitaition week

The past 8 weeks have saw a rewarding learning experience of facilitation in digital environments. In retrospect, here is the reflection and update on my previous 3-2-1 blog post (to see my original post, please click here).

Point 1: To promote interaction is the key

Unlike the initial choice in my previous post, the first point that concerns me after the 8 weeks’ learning is facilitators’ leading role in promote interaction in the digital environment. This choice comes from both my own experience involved in the course design and management over the facilitation design and the learner of the rest 3 teams. The significance of leading interaction and maintain the impetus of each participant cannot be emphasized more over the facilitation week, from the ice breaker module, to the synchronous session. It is the transition from social interaction to academic interaction and critical discourse that moves the learning community from social presence to cognitive presence and leads to deep and meaningful learning outcome (Vaughan et al., 2014).

Point 2: Facilitators’ role as a learning coach

While facilitators encouraging interaction is imperative to social and cognitive presence, their role as a cheerleader comes to me as the second key point. In the digitalized environment, students would encounter various impediments, whether these be technological problems, confusion over course content, or just lack of learning enthusiasm. All these problems had happened to me throughout the facilitation weeks, and it was where the facilitators who provided great support in dealing with all these problems. This role of learning coach is justified over the experience, it is to provide subject over to students, to teaches them to throw a spiral for themselves (Bull, 2013).

Point 3: Do not overburden learners

This point is the very one that I have ignored over the facilitation week. This is also reflected in the feedbacks of many learners. It is also one of the requirement of the facilitation assignment; however, I didn’t realize the learning pressure until I experience as a learner of other teams’ course.

2 questions you have about digital facilitation.

The two questions in my previous post still remain over the learning experience. To create a humanized digital learning community and how to create a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere in virtual classroom is still ranked as my top concern; however, I did learn from the facilitation session, both as a learner and teacher, to learn to use ice breaker strategies to start conversations among teachers and students, thus facilitating social presence. Particularly, as a learner over the facilitation week, I also learn the importance of giving special attention to individual students who are less involved in interaction.

Metaphor:

I still remain my metaphor of the role of facilitator in digital learning environment, who is expected to act as a conductor and arranger of an orchestra. In my former expectation, the facilitator should also ensure every student receives equal consideration, and I would add another point from my experience from the facilitation week: facilitators manage and ready to change the design over the implementation according to the feedbacks of different students, so as to make the course content to cater to discrete needs of individual learners.

References

Bull, B. (2013). Eight Roles of an Effective Online Teacher. Faculty Focus.

Vaughan, N. D. 1960-, Garrison, D. R. (Donn R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. T. A.-T. T.-. (2014). Teaching in blended learning environments : creating and sustaining communities of inquiry LK  – https://royalroads.on.worldcat.org/oclc/875241319 (NV-1 online resource (viii, 142 pages) : illustrations.). AU Press. http://www.deslibris.ca/ID/447286

Reflection and Personal Exprience of Informed Conflict

Photo on I-sight

I must say it is a rewardable experience to learn the conflicts and solutions in a systematic but concise way.

Among all types of conflicts that taking places, what concerns me more is relationship conflict. Such a conflict seems difficult to address, as it is caused by innate attribute or personality. While grouping students with commonalities together seems to be a remedy, it doesn’t work in small combos with only 2-3 students. And such types of small classes are very popular in customized courses in my school: fewer learners in a course offers students better learning efficacy.

In such a case, to avoid relationship conflict, I sometimes need to give special treatment to the more introverted students, who are less likely to express their frustration, for example by asking more feedbacks from them to find out how they think. In many cases, they may have a sense of inferiority when their peers show a proficiency in certain realm. My solution to cope with the feeling usually is to sharing personal learning stories featuring commonality with them.

Apart from that, I also act as an interpreter of these introverted students over discussion, help them to express what they think in a more logical way, and ask them if I am on the same track with them? By doing so, in case where relationship conflict cannot be avoid, I hope such approaches can alleviate the communication impediments. As mentioned by Shonk, 2020, teacher acting as a mediator can be of great help in dealing with this tricky conditions.

Reference

Shonk, K. (2020, October 1). 3 Types of Conflict and How to

Address Them. Program on Negotiation: Harvard Law School.

https://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/conflict-resolution/typesconflict/