This topic will contain all the feedback related to Briana's Synchronous Session
Thank you for getting us started by facilitating yesterday. I was impressed by your preparation and your attention to detail. You sent out two zoom resources before the session to minimize tech disruptions and you also asked for a volunteer to monitor the chat (Thanks Doug M.!). You also connected with each participant as they came in.
The session was designed well - outcomes were clear and appropriate activities were incorporated into the learning. The timing was slightly ambitious - when using external tools you have to allow some extra time just in case participants have some unexpected challenges (like creating an account). The exercises, however, were solid and related directly to the outcomes.
Your technical skills were good and my bit of feedback here is to be confident - try to refrain from dialogue like "I hope this works". That being said, we all knew that this was a supportive learning environment.
Closing was a bit rushed but you provided a nice summary , incorporated a feedback tool and I really liked how you provided the article the content was based on. A nice bow to end the session!
Thanks again for getting us started in this phase of our course - well done!
I used the Facilitation Session Guide to provide you with feedback:
Session lead up
- I thought you did a great job at making people feel at ease as they logged onto the meeting. I liked that you engaged with everyone informally.
- I really appreciated that you accepted people’s circumstances. For instance, people who were at home and had background distractions, like myself, people who were at work, people who were dealing having trouble logging into the session.
- One suggestion, maybe during this informal time, participants could have been told to set up an account on the online tool Miro so that it would have been ready to go for use during the session.
- Briana was very professional. I appreciated that you told participants about recording the session, you asked with people were ok with it.
- I thought it was a great idea to assign a participant to monitor the chat
- I can see that it’s easy to get bogged down in the session opening when participants have technical difficulties, or participants arriving late into the session. I felt that you moved things right along so that we could get into the session content in a timely manner.
- You had clear communication.
- I understood the purpose and objectives.
- The session was longer than what I expected it would be given the guidelines for this course. However, I thought that you were engaging and the content was very relevant that I felt like the length of the session was suitable.
- I really appreciated the use of tech tools in your lecture. You gave us instructions about the tools before posting the link to the activity.
- The activities and use of tools was very innovative and I felt that I learned a lot from them.
- It takes time for people to learn how to use new tech tools, so I thought that for me, I took a few minutes to figure out how to use the tool before I dove into the activity. So in my case, I felt like I had to rush the activity because I had taken time to figure out the tool.
- The activity with a partner in Slatebox, maybe more time could have been allotted, because in this activity we needed time to have a discussion with our partner and time to learn to use the tool.
- You were prepared and confident with your technical skills. I felt that you handled technical issues well and kept the session moving along.
- You were helpful in anticipating problems, for example, logging into Miro. I appreciated that you allowed some time for participants to make an account so that we could trial using the tool.
- Visually, it was easy to follow your presentation.
You appeared comfortable on video. You were easy-going, engaging, interesting. It was easy to hear you.
I know that you were probably nervous regarding the tech tools working, links working, sharing screen working, etc. My feedback here would be to build more confidence, and don’t worry about saying “I hope this works”. You were came across as confident in the presentation and if something didn’t work you were great at managing your way around it, like the Miro activity.
- You worked well with the participant monitoring your chat. You checked-in with him regularly.
- How did the experience of having a participant monitor the chat feel for you?
- You ended the session well with summarizing.
- Evaluation form link didn’t work for me.
- I appreciated the extra resource you provided.
- For me, the session closing did not feel rushed and I appreciated that.
Thank you for your thoughtful and in-depth feedback, Mariana. I greatly appreciate it!
Having a participant monitor the chat worked well for me (thank you, Doug!). It took some pressure off and allowed me to focus on other things. It was a last-minute thought but I think it is something I will adopt when teaching.
will the presentation slides or recording be available to others?
Thank you for your feedback, Ross! In particular, your comments about the activities being too rushed is very helpful. This is something I struggle with even in face-to-face sessions. I need to find the space to slow down (or eliminate unnecessary content) and let participants fully engage.
Hi Briana - to clarify it was just the conclusion that seemed a bit rushed. The three activities were just the right amount of time for what needed to be accomplished. The pace was good otherwise. Ross
I sent you a private note - but I wanted to apologize for not being there. I had another meeting that ran until noon and I had put 12:30 in my schedule (because that was the time on the sign up) - but when I popped in to make sure my link was working (around 12:10ish) you were all there and started so I dropped out right away so not to disturb.
I hope it went well.
Sorry about that Patience (& Brianna). Not sure what happened there. I'll double check for the future sessions. :-)
I'm sorry you didn't stay, Patience. You were more than welcome.
Hi Briana - a well-run session by a clearly experienced facilitator. I thought you did a great job of using active learning via synchronous tools to teach us about active learning via synchronous tools :)
Some things that stood out for me:
- Excellent communication throughout to let us know what to expect
- Clear agenda
‘I’m going to stop sharing so that I can access the chat and put in the link’ - ‘I am going to go back to my presentation’
- Clear instructions
- ‘For those that haven’t used padlet before’ + image of padlet
- Slatebox instructions
- Repetition of instructions - first pre-activity then again at the time
- NOTE: In the external apps the activities moved quickly - wasn’t much time to get used to the new tech environment
- Provided options for participation
- ‘Feel free to interrupt me or raise your virtual hand’
NOTE: It took me some time to find the ‘raise hand’ feature in Zoom
- ‘You can show or hide your video’
QUESTION: How did it feel as a facilitator to deliver to mostly blank screens
- Engaging facilitation
- Positive responses to our ideas put forward
- Explaining rationale behind activities - ‘One minute for discussion because we are all familiar with this’
- Clean slides - not just read - with additional resources/info to consider - i.e Bloom’s taxonomy
- Small-group breakouts in external environments
- Managing comprehension - ‘Overlap in your responses is fine’
- Prodding questions - ‘Do you have any suggestions for how to do that?’
- Providing insights - ‘Working with learners to create how we work together’ - 'Changing up the activities every 15 minutes while staying on the same topic'
- Feedback questionnaire - and posted on forum - shared follow-up resources
- Shared email address for further discussion
- Excellent use of external tools
- Preparing us first before dropping the link in chat
- Talking us through the external activity from within Zoom
- Transparency about potential tech issues
- Quick workarounds when things didn’t work - ‘You can drop it in chat and I will put it on Miro’
I really enjoyed your presentation.
- I thought you did a good job of connecting with the audience
- I appreciated that you checked in with us about recording the video
- You were clear and confident communicating with us about purpose and objectives
- The session content was full of ways to interact with the audience and quite diverse. While I appreciate the opportunity to learn about these tools, I found it difficult to take it all in within such a short program. You went over session time limit but I was engaged with the material if somewhat overwhelmed. I think 30 minutes is too short…..and wonder if this forces us as facilitators to cram rather than provide information at a slower pace?
- You appeared to be in control of the variety of tech tools that you demonstrated, as well as talking calmly through any hiccups- a great resource
- The visuals were clear and I understood what you were conveying
- Your communication was clear and you appeared confident on video
- The camera positioning of you looked slightly awkward, but you did came across as relaxed and friendly
- The end of the session was summarized well and I enjoyed learning about all these new resources for engaging people online
- The follow-up link didn’t work for me to provide feedback
Thank you so much for the great facilitation session of your material.
Thank you for your feedback, Asif! Your note about me being a clearly experienced facilitator made me laugh. I actually have very little experience facilitating online as well as being relatively new to F2F instruction (I started teaching last May). But I am pretty comfortable with public speaking, so I don't tend to get very nervous in these types of situations. I also love trying out new things and seeing what works and what doesn't.
You asked, How did it feel as a facilitator to deliver to mostly blank screens? I wasn't bothered by the blank screens. In fact, it may have helped reduce distraction. I don't feel like I get much valuable body language in virtual environments so I wasn't really concerned about not picking up on those important cues that would have allowed me to pivot my approach. It was also helpful knowing that Doug was monitoring the chat and would interrupt me if I was missing out on crucial sideline conversations.
I was definitely pushed outside my comfort zone and have picked up a couple of things that I plan on adopting in September.
Hi Briana - good to hear re: blank screens helping reduce distraction.
The subtext of the question was around participant etiquette - based on an assumption that we need to see the faces of those we are speaking to - however by the final presentation I was turning off my video too because it seemed not to be a problem for the presenters.
We call it 'distance' learning - but amazing how intimate a medium the webinar can be - as immediate as a voice in your ear coming through your phone.
Glad you were able to have some takeaways to apply to you practice :)
Your experience and comfort as a facilitator clearly showed during your Friday session. Leading into the session, you were available to greet us casually and then smoothly transitioned into formal session introductions and ground rules. Your delivery throughout the session was excellent and minor distractions and tech issues were unable to faze you. During you screen sharing, I noticed that you had what looked like a script which you appeared to be following and I was impressed that you were able to go off script and return easily.
Your subject matter was perfect for this course even though the breakout sessions did not allow for more than a basic look at these couple of apps. Having to log in to an account to experience Miro was disappointing but you were prepared and told us this might happen. Otherwise, I am unable to add much to what Ross, Mariana, Asif & Katharine have given you for feedback. One thing that I did notice was camera placement. It looked like you were mostly busy with another monitor for your presentation and didn't have much of a chance to make eye contact with your camera. Don't read too much into that statement as I need to participate in a couple of sessions more before I can clearly articulate my thoughts on the item. Great job all around!!
Thanks for your feedback, Doug (and for volunteering to monitor the chat during my presentation)!
I have been struggling a bit with my home office set up and I still haven't gotten my monitors and camera positioned quite right. If I'm going to have to spend much more time working from home, I will have to invest more time in perfecting my set-up (and I think I'll also have to buy a new computer).
You are welcome. I think many of us are struggling with that to different degrees. We would like to look professional, but we are not video production engineers. Time and practice!!!
My reflection follows.
3 things that you thought went really well in the session in terms of your facilitation skills, technical skills or session design
- Using a video conferencing tool that I already had experience with reduced technological challenges and allowed me to focus on developing my content and facilitation skills.
- Being prepared reduced my nerves and allowed me to enjoy the session and engage with participants. I felt comfortable asking and answering questions because I was confident that I would be able to answer questions. I also have enough experience as an instructor to that I don’t have to have all the answers and I can turn to students and participants to help me.
- I think my choice of presentation topic was a good one. It was an opportunity for both me and my session participants to learn more about what tools might work for encouraging active learning in a synchronous session.
2 things that you weren't sure went well or that you think could be improved next time
Before facilitating another online session, I need to:
- Eliminate or reduce as many technological distractions as possible. I have been struggling to get comfortable with my home office computer set-up. The position of my camera and the challenges I was having moving between my laptop and second monitor were distracting for me.
- Spend more time testing activities. I was disappointed that participants had to create a login in order to use Miro. I did test this activity but just prior to the session it occurred to me that I was likely able to login without a password because the page was cached.
1 question that you have for the group about something specific in the session that you are wondering about or would like feedback on
- Was the session too rushed?
Sometimes my “expert blind spot” gets in the way and I fail to ensure learners fully grasp the subject matter or have sufficient time to fully engage in activities.
Was the session too rushed? No, I believe your intent was to introduce the participants to a few apps that could be useful to enhance the learning moment. In no way were you trying to make us comfortable with the apps which would take a considerable larger time frame. For me, it worked! You tickled my interest to explore the apps further on my own time, lifelong learning, eh?