iFacilitate 2012

iFacilitate is a 5 week open workshop that introduces a variety of facilitation skills to help participants engage learners across a range of conversational spaces, including online discussion forums, web conferencing rooms, and wikis and blogs. This workshop explores building online learning communities and communities of practice within the context of online courses and webinars. It is also designed to provide participants with an experience of engagement in an online learning community. Online learning communities develop through interaction among participants Participation is open to everyone and there are no fees or subscriptions required. Your level of participation is up to you.  Please read Levels of Participation below for receiving an iFacilitate Letter of Completion.

Workshop Begins February 27th
To Get Started:
Please join this workshop by entering your email address below. Once the course begins, emails of course activity, readings, and other highlights will be sent to you.  

Outcomes

Increasingly, universities are using online resources and interaction to support authentic types of learning. Even educators with excellent face-to-face facilitation skills are likely to confront a significant learning curve in transferring these skills to the online environment. This workshop is designed to introduces online facilitation skills to help faculty engage students across a range of conversational spaces, including online discussion forums, web conferencing rooms, and wikis and blogs. After completing this workshop you should be confident in facilitating online interactions in ways that assist your students in reaching their goals. 

By the end of this workshop you will be able to begin to:
  • Create, facilitate and assess asynchronous online discussions; 
  • Use a blog to aggregate remix, re-purpose, and feed forward meaningful content. 
  • Discover opportunities afforded by Web 2.0 technologies for online learning communities.

Introduction to an Open Workshop

Open Access Workshop

This an open workshop where learners participate by choosing how  to post all of their information. You can post directly to the Talk Story @ iFacilitate Wall, post to the weekly discussions, or post to Twitter or Facebook. However a common method for communicating is with a personal blog. Don't worry if you feel a bit disorientated at first. Your active participation in this workshop will help you to acquire the skills needed to function in this type of course. 

The learning in the workshop results from the activities you choose to undertake, and will be different for each person. We will ask you to visit other people's blogs, and create some of your own.

This type of workshop is called a ‘connectivist' workshop and is based on four major types of activity. 
1. Aggregate 

You will have access to a wide variety of things to read, watch or play with. There will be a LOT of content associated with this course, everything from relatively basic instruction to arguments and discussions to high-level interviews with experts in the field. 

You are NOT expected to read and watch everything. Even we, the facilitators, cannot do that. Instead, what you should do is PICK AND CHOOSE content that looks interesting to you and is appropriate for you. If it looks too complicated, don't read it. If it looks boring, move on to the next item. 

2. Remix 

Once you've read or watched or listened to some content, your next step is to keep track of that with your blog. 
You may also choose to take part in part in the weekly discussions. 

3. Repurpose 

We don't want you simply to repeat what other people have said. We want you to create something of your own. This is probably the hardest part of the process. 

Remember that you are not starting from scratch. Nobody ever creates something from nothing. That's why we call this section ‘repurpose' instead of ‘create'. We want to emphasize that you are working with materials- that you are not starting from scratch. 

What materials? Why, the materials you have aggregated and remixed online. These materials are the bricks and mortar you can use to compose your own thoughts and understanding of the material. 

Your job isn't to memorize a whole bunch of stuff about the tools. Rather, your job is to USE TOOLS and just practice with them. Think of every bit of content you create not simply as content, but as practice using the tool. The content almost doesn't even matter – what matters is that you apply the tool. This will seem awkward at first, as any tool does. But with practice you'll become an accomplished creator and critic of ideas and knowledge. And that is the purpose of this workshop! 

4. Feed Forward 

We want you to share your work with other people in the course, and with the world at large. Now to be clear: you don't have to share. You can work completely in private, not showing anything to anybody. Sharing is and will always be YOUR CHOICE. 

And we know, sharing in public is harder. People can see your mistakes. People can see you try things you're not comfortable with. It's hard, and it's sometimes embarrassing. 

But it's better. You'll try harder. You'll think more about what you're doing. And you'll get a greater reward – people will see what you've created and connect on it- sometimes critically- but often (much more often) with support, help and praise. 

People really appreciate it when you share. After all, what you're doing when you share is to create material that other people can learn from. Your sharing creates more content for this course. People appreciate that, you will probably appreciate the content other people in the course share with you.
From: How This Course Works 

Principles

Building online learning communities 

This workshop explores building online learning communities and communities of practice within the context of online courses and webinars. It is also designed to provide participants with an experience of engagement in an online learning community. Online learning communities develop through interaction among participants. 
Acknowledging, valuing, respecting and accommodating diversity as a combination of similarities and differences plays a central role in fostering and maintaining online learning communities. While this workshop mostly uses online discussions, and blogs, it also introduces the opportunities afforded by Web 2.0 technologies for developing and maintaining online learning communities. 

Playful Learning

During this workshop you are encouraged participate in playful engagement and make learning fun. Playful learning involves participants taking small risks, playing with ideas, keeping an open mind and making connections where they are not obvious. Participants are encouraged to express their creativity through developing their ability to challenge, question and explore.
 
Reflection

A key principle underpinning this workshop is the emphasis on reflection as a learning process. Reflection on your own learning helps you to take ownership of your learning process. Articulating your reflections makes your thinking available for comment and feedback. Reflection is an important facet in the development of online facilitation skills and strategies required for the establishment and maintenance of online learning communities.

Levels of Participation

Participation in this workshop will be focused around the regular updating of your own blog as well as commenting on the blogs of others in this workshop. I can not stress strongly enough how essential both blogging and commenting are to your success is this workshop.

1. Participate as you desire 
Start and finish at any time, working through the workshop at a pace that fits your needs. Recommended weekly activities are offered, but participants can engage in the course at any level that their schedule or interests permit.

2. iFacilitate Letter of Completion
To receive an iFacilitate Letter of Completion each participant submits a SELF-REFLECTION of their contributions.
  • Suggestions for an iFacilitate self-assessment:
    • Set up or use an existing blog. This blog will represent your online presence, be a key communication tool and demonstrate your learning as evidence for assessment.

    • Follow the course schedule, review the weekly content and/or locate new material,and participate in any events.
    • Write blog posts with impressions and reflections of what you have learned.
    • Include original thoughts, reflections and references
    • Make connections between the weekly topics.
    • Make connections between your previous blog posts.
    • Make connections with posts that other participants have written.
    • Comment on other people's blogs.

I Want an iFacilitate Letter of Completion!


Acknowledgments and Resources

This online workshop uses open educational resources(OER) learning materials that are available freely available for use, remixing and redistribution. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial-Share Alike. 

Some of the materials used in this workshop are from Facilitating online: A course leader’s guide by the Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town. 

Other materials are from the Wikiversity course Facilitating Online and the WikiEducator course Facilitating Online Communities created by the Educational Development Centre of Otago. Polytechnic, Facilitating online: A course leader’s guide by the Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town.

Thanks to Nancy White for her Facilitating Online Interaction An introduction curriculum and materials. Creative Commons - Non Profit/Share Alike Full Circle Associates - 2002 - http://www.fullcirc.com

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Emc Leeward,
Feb 28, 2012, 5:42 PM
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Emc Leeward,
Feb 28, 2012, 5:42 PM
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