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.
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.
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