FLO Learning Activities

Activities: facilitating

During the FLO workshop, you will facilitate a week-long learning activity, referred to as a "mini-session", on a pre-assigned topic for your fellow FLO participants. You will be assigned to a team and topic. Teams typically have 2-3 members. You may negotiate a transfer to a different topic/team by posting your request to the Open Forum

Mini-sessions are activities that take place over each week of the course. Each activity plan can be found in the Facilitation Teams' Workspace tab and provides information you will need to facilitate the session effectively. To save time, and help you focus on learning and trying new facilitation techniques and skills, we've designed the basic activity for you. One of the FLO facilitators will be your lead support during the week.

Your FLO facilitator can assist you in developing your facilitation plan and using any tools within Moodle. Use the planning forum in your section of the Facilitation Teams' Workspace page, to develop your plan and to keep team members and the FLO facilitator up-to-date on progress and to coordinate your facilitation tasks during your activity.

Before your mini-session:
  • Check the List of Facilitation Teams and Sessions in the Hub to determine which team you are on.

  • Navigate to your private planning forum in the Facilitation Teams' Workspace page and post your contact information and availability as soon as possible. The forum is private and shared only with your team members and the FLO Facilitators. Keep your FLO facilitator informed about your progress and/or questions or concerns before and during the activity.

  • Discuss how you will communicate during the planning. Identify what you need to prepare and who will take the lead.

  • Review the week's Overview and the Activity Plan document to familiarize yourself with the theme for the week and the goal(s) and tasks for the session.

  • Refer to the Intended Learning Outcomes in the Activity Plan to help you focus session activities. Plan how you will facilitate the activity together.

  • Discuss with your team how you will summarize the activity. Think about a way to help participants synthesize their learning and come up with a "take home message".

  • In your planning, consider that some of your participants may have work or other commitments during the week; try to build in some flexibility.

  • Discuss if or how you would like to split the workload (e.g., alternate days, play different roles, focus on certain people, etc). No matter how you decide to facilitate, the key is, how can you support your learners to achieve the learning outcomes provided with your topic?

  • As soon as possible, let the FLO facilitator know if you need any additional tools set up to support your 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. Ideally, you should post a welcome message by Sunday evening. Think about how you will make sure that every participant receives/views it.

  • Provide clear instructions, timelines, or other expectations. Ideally, introductory information like this will be online before your 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.
During your mini-session
  • Facilitate as you see fit. Ideally you will come into it with a thoughtful plan containing well-reasoned 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 Activity. We're here to help! We may also reach out to you privately in your planning forum with prompting questions to consider as things unfold.

  • Be flexible - your participants may encounter unexpected challenges. Find ways to accommodate if possible but keep the session moving along.

  • Communicate any changes clearly; ensure all participants are informed.

  • Monitor participation during the week. You may choose to contact an individual privately to check on reasons for a lack of participation.

  • Participants are asked to provide you with constructive feedback at the end of the week's learning activity. Remember that the feedback is intended to help you improve. You don’t have to agree 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.
After your mini-session
  • Remind your participants to use the feedback forum to provide you with feedback about the mini-session.

  • Review the feedback (and respond if you need clarification) before you complete your FLIF (Feel, Like, Improve, Feedback) reflection.

  • Complete your own online FLIF. The FLO facilitator that was supporting you will review and respond in the FLIF itself (by using the Comment feature.)

  • Celebrate! Your mini-session is done!

An ideal timeline
  • The weekend before your mini-session week: post instructions (including timelines) for your participants. Make these extremely clear. 
  • Monday: Ensure 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 and submit your FLIF - if you're delayed, please inform your supporting FLO Facilitator.