FLO Learning Activities

Mini-sessions: facilitating

Individually or with a partner or team, you will facilitate a learning activity ("mini-session") on a pre-assigned topic for your fellow FLO participants. (see the Schedule for this info). 

For each topic, we have provided a "Back Pocket Strategy" to help - this is essentially a little brainstorm of ideas that you may decide to use.  

Before your Mini-Session - Things to Think About:

  • Connect with your partner (if you have one) early to begin planning your approach. A mini-session planning forum is available each week. Use of that forum for your planning is optional. It is visible only to members of your facilitation team. However you may choose to make it visible to all participants; allowing others to peek in on planning-in-action discussions can contribute to everyone's learning.
  • In your planning, consider that some of your participants (like all adult learners) will prefer to work on the weekend, and some will prefer not to.

  • No matter how you decide to facilitate, the key is, how can you support your students to achieve the learning outcomes provided with your topic

  • As soon as possible, let the FLO facilitators know if you need any additional tools set up to support your mini-session activity (e.g., you may find you need a wiki, forum, special team permissions, etc.).

  • Plan for a strong clear start to your mini-session. Do a welcome message. Provide clear instructions, timelines, or other expectations you have. Ideally, introductory information like this will be online before your mini-session starts. This ensures your online presence is evident when participants "arrive", early birds can get a jump on things if needed, and no time is wasted.

  • If you have a partner, discuss if/how you'd like to split the workload  (e.g., alternate days, play different roles, focus on certain people, etc)

  • Think about how you're going to wrap up the activity. Think about a way to help participants synthesize their learning and come up with a "take home message".

  • During the mini-session you facilitate, you may receive feedback during the week or at the end of the week when participants are asked to post in the mini-session feedback forum. Remember that the feedback is intended to help you improve. You don’t have to agreed with it or change your behaviour. Take a breath and reflect briefly before you respond.

  • You may find that the value of the feedback increases if you ensure your full understanding by paraphrasing the information received and checking with the person who posted the feedback. If there are particular skills or facilitation techniques you want to improve, make sure to communicate with others so they can provide ongoing support.

During your Mini-Session

  • Facilitate as you see fit. Ideally you will come into it with a thoughtful plan containing well-reasoned instructional strategies, and it will all unfold beautifully! If it doesn't, adjust as you go!

  • Don't hesitate to contact your FLO facilitators for support during your mini-session. We're here to help!

After your Mini-Session: FLIF!

  • Remind your participants to use the mini-session feedback forum to provide you with feedback about the mini-session.

  • Complete your own online FLIF. An FLO facilitator will review and respond to your FLIF.

  • Celebrate - your mini-session is done!

A possible timeline

  • the weekend before your mini-session week: post instructions (including timelines) for your students. Make these extremely clear. 

  • Monday: ensure your strong instructor presence early. If there are student posts, respond - acknowledge, encourage, re-direct if needed. If there are NO posts, make a move: post a message that provides a nudge and/or check for understanding (it may be that they are unclear about how to proceed and are waiting for someone else to make the first move). 

  • late Thurs/Friday - wrap things up and remind participants to provide you with feedback

  • end of your week - reflect on feedback you received, submit your FLIF, ideallly by Sunday night so you'll be ready to actively contribute and support your peers in the next mini-session.