Janna's initial list of ideas

Janna's initial list of ideas

by Janna van Kessel -
Number of replies: 3

Hi everyone,

My apologies for being a pretty silent learner in this micro-course as work spills over into evenings and weekends and as family spills over into the remain pockets of time and space.

I am new to online teaching/facilitation, but in thinking of my online experiences as a learner and my face-to-face teaching, here are a few ideas that I am mulling over.

- video introductions/activities (e.g., flip grid): I just participated in an activity in the FLO Fundamentals course and felt a great sense of connection with other learners after viewing their videos /replies.

- for online synchronous courses (or asynchronous courses with scheduled times), I see video-chat options to share, connect, and check-in during 'real-time' as valuable tool. In f2f classes, I like to create opportunities to hear from everyone in the room about themselves and a current topic or some aspect related to their daily life (not related to course content).

- Perhaps using Twitter, Facebook or other options for regular and informal engagement or connection as a community or for regular feedback to the facilitator (akin to Leonne's weekly check ins)?

Alas my other communities are using a more demanding voice, so I continue to ponder.

warm wishes,


In reply to Janna van Kessel

Re: Janna's initial list of ideas

by Gina Bennett -

Hi Janna, thanks for posting!

Funny how work and family involvements so easily expand to fill the entire 24 hours (sometimes seems even more) of every day. I'm semi-retired now & thought I'd finally have lots of time but family, work, & community obligations continue to spill into every available minute it seems. 

It sounds like you are already developing your own multi-tool collection of community-building ideas. I know you are new(ish) to online teaching/facilitation but the fact that you are not new to caring about your students, that you "like to create opportunities to hear from everyone in the room about themselves" is a great starting point. The challenge, of course, is to figure out how to make that happen when we're not all together in the same room...  Because you enjoyed the video introductions in FLO Fundamentals, that makes it a good activity to try -- not least because you appreciated its value & can genuinely communicate that enthusiasm to your online students.

I don't know if you've had time to check out Colleen's post in the Open Forum but she (& others) have been reflecting on some really key questions:  Once you have your community-building activity in place, how will you encourage participation? Will you require participation (e.g. by grading community participation)? 

In reply to Janna van Kessel

Re: Janna's initial list of ideas

by Beth Cougler Blom -

Janna, I really like FlipGrid as well, but when I developed FLO Synchronous I used FlipGrid because I didn't want as many introductions (because it's only a three week course). I had noticed that people often put a first video about themselves in, but it is rarer for them to do reply videos. So FlipGrid seemed a good tool to use when I didn't want an introductions activity to take over the first week of the course. (Introductions activities in forums can be so robust, and almost too much so if you're trying to move on to other things!)

So all this is to say that if I use FlipGrid again where I really DO want a lot of community-building, I might have to think about asking students to contribute several videos to it. Maybe theme two or three "waves" of Flipgrid videos with different prompts...to try to get them to use it more and reply to others more. (For example, Wave 1: Where did you come from, Wave 2: Where are you now?, Wave 3: Where are you going?)

Sharing my thinking on this with you in case you end up using it in an online course too. Good luck with it!

In reply to Janna van Kessel

Re: Janna's initial list of ideas

by Colleen Grandy -

Thank you for finding time to share this, Janna! I always appreciate your community-focused perspectives on student support. Other than creating networking groups in LinkedIn for a Business Communication course, I haven't used social media much for informal engagement/connection. I'm always nervous about how students will feel about combining their personal/academic/professional lives. I've seen FLO community members (like Sylvia) use Twitter to make and maintain connections, and it has definitely made me feel connected/included. I like Twitter because you can be a quiet follower of community hashtags without having to sign-up to a group. I can see this working especially well in classes where using social media is connected to course outcomes and/or when you have a class who already uses a particular social media platform.