This topic will contain all the feedback related to Elena's Synchronous Session
I enjoyed your session today. I found it very interesting and thought provoking. Thank you for facilitating. I'm going to use the Facilitation Guide to help me organize feedback.
Session lead up
When I arrived, I noticed you were chatting informally with others while awaiting everyone's arrival. I also noticed during the session that the video was uploaded and ready to go as well as your slides. From a participants perspective, this helps to prevent delays in the session and keep things moving. As a facilitator, it can help alleviate some of the pressure or stress.
I enjoyed the activity with the picture. It created a lot of discussion and started everyone's thought processes. It was a good lead into the session. I found it interesting to hear everyone's view on what they saw. We all notice different detail. This activity created participation from all in the group and helps with engagement.
The video was a nice addition to the session. I found myself counting, however I did notice the gorilla, but nothing else. This activity produced some good discussion. My question to myself is 'do I focus on the details or the big picture?' An activity like this can create self reflection. Another great way to engage attendees.
I thought your voice was clear and easy to listen to during the session. The pace of your speech was just right. Initially, there seemed to be some nervousness in your voice. I remember you stated it was the first time facilitating online. However, once the session began, the nervousness disappeared. It was clear that the content was very familiar to you.
We ran out of time. It would be great to hear you facilitate a full session with all the activities you had planned. At the closing, a web link was provided for attendees who would like more information. I assume the summary/wrap up of the session was cut short due to time. It might be beneficial in future sessions to provide a little more formal summary of the outcomes of the session (eg. key points of working in group). The summary not only closes things for the attendee but also brings forward the important take home points of the session.
I enjoyed the session. You did a great job.
Thank you Elena!
I appreciated the warm welcome you offered everyone. I appreciated that you took the time to orient us to the key tools on Zoom, as I haven’t used it very much. I was impressed you included so many of your colleagues - this demonstrated confidence and an open mind. The size and diversity of the group contributed to a very interesting conversation.
I enjoyed the powerful artwork activity. It was a very interesting image and I enjoyed learning how differently we all see the world. I wondered if perhaps given the time constraints this activity could have been the focal point of the conversation. Perhaps the artwork discussion could have been further developed with a second round of conversation using another open question (to bring out another layer about situational awareness) ...instead of shifting the conversation with a video?
You communicated clearly, with warmth and caring. Your body-language and voice communicated that you were very present with genuinely cared about supporting our learning. Your presence created a safe and welcoming learning environment. Thank you.
Balancing connection, content and timing is one of the skills I have had to really reflect on in facilitating online. Our aspirations are usually greater than the time we have, especially when we value dialogue and connection.
Thank you Elena, I would like to say that your “way of being” was what made this a success. I felt connected to you and the learning.
Here's my feedback:
I enjoyed the session. Elena was very friendly and positive throughout the session which created a welcoming environment. The beginning of the session worked well to orient all participants to zoom. Even though I’ve attended many zoom meetings now, a reminder of where to find the tools was helpful. The introductory activity worked well with the number of participants. It wasn’t too long and I was engaged throughout. I liked how the introductory activity also introduced the topic which was a good use of time. I tend to get frustrated with long stand-alone introductory activities. The purpose of the session wasn’t completely clear after the introductory activity. A slide with the first discussion question would have been helpful. If there was more time, breakout groups would have been a good way to run the discussion. I was uncertain when to jump in and seeing many raised hands indicating that other participants were ready to comment made me reluctant to participate. Given the time, stopping the video after one time through the passing demo would have been enough. Overall, Elena moderated the session well given the time constraints and opened and closed the session easily. Well done!Alida
Hi Elena - thank you for facilitating today in Zoom - its great that you had lots of support from your class mates and colleagues. You arrived early and greeted each person warmly. Really good icebreaker with the possibility of tying it into indigenous culture - nicely done. I like how you also acknowledged the phone participant - shows that you were paying attention to all participants.
Your outcomes were clear and the activities were appropriate for achieving the outcomes. I see you skipped some material on the fly and that shows agility. Something you need when you are facilitating online. You also paid attention to time and this is always appreciated by participants,
Your technical skills were solid so my one piece of advice is to be confident - sharing the link yow were saying "I hope the link works"- but you can be assured that the link will work. On the technical skills side I noted you were sharing your screen. Try sharing the application next time around and then the participants do not see the top controls (Not a big deal though).
Anyway - congratulations! You are now a practiced facilitator!
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.
· You gave lots of explanations regarding what to expect in the session and what technology you were going to use and not going to use (eg. Break-out rooms)
· You welcomed everyone. You were very professional and easy going.
· I liked how you explained how to use the tools in zoom and had participants try them out, eg. “Raise hands”, “thumbs up”
· I felt that you intro activity was very relevant to the topic. You connected the activity into the theme of the session very well, it really demonstrated the relevance of the activity.
· The session was very short, and thus I felt that the introductions took much of your time. I realize that introductions are necessary but if you are crunched for time maybe just ask for people to say their name and what they see in the image?
Purpose and objectives
· You stated the time of the session very clearly. I felt like you reminded people of the time limit on the session various times, giving me the impression that you did feel crunched for time and it made you a bit nervous.
· You had to make some decisions regarding content to make the session fit the time limit, and I appreciated that you acknowledged this with the participants. You only had the opportunity to provide a general idea of what is situational awareness. I think that in the introduction you could have been more explicit regarding what you would actually accomplish in 30 minutes. I left feeling like I wanted more!
· I felt that you tried to make the topic applicable to everyone who was attending the session, which made the session engaging.
· I liked the activity, I was just thinking if you could have somehow made the video shorter due to the short session time. During the discussion of the video, it was hard to know when to speak up. There were a good number of people attending the session and not everyone was going to be able to have a turn to speak. Maybe having 3-4 minutes in a breakout room would have been useful? Or maybe getting people, who didn’t have a chance to speak, to write their comments in the chat?
· I liked how you tied the activity to how we apply these concepts in team settings in real life.
Technical skill and comfort
· You were prepared. I felt that you handled technical issues well and kept the session moving along.
Visual and technical resources
· 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 you were probably nervous being the first time that you facilitated an online session, so my suggestion here would be to build more confidence.
· You worked well with me, monitoring your chat. I felt that you probably didn’t even need my help since you were on top of what was going on in the chat. I really did very minimal work.
· How did the experience of having a participant monitor the chat feel for you?
· I appreciated the link you provided in case people wanted to learn more.
· The session was short but you closed it on time and did a good job in giving participants some “take-aways”
· Great job!
Thank you all so very much for attending my practice session yesterday and for providing the valuable feedback. I am so appreciative of your participation and helping to create a safe and open environment in which to learn.
Here is my 3-2-1 self-reflection
3 things I think went well:
1. Technology: I navigated fairly smoothly between the Zoom platform to screen sharing, including presentation slides and video. It helped to delegate moderation of the chat box to Mariana and to briefly check in with participants at the start of the session about their comfort with key features that would be used in this session. I practiced several times through in preparation for the session, and I think this helped me feel more at ease and avoid any major technical glitches (and I believe luck was on my side as well!)
2. Supportive learning environment: I think this was more the result of the participants than my facilitation, but the group was so incredibly supportive and encouraging to me. It immediately lowered my level of anxiety and set me at ease. I was able to connect with participants as they entered the session, and this helped me feel more at ease and approach the session more as a conversation than lecture.
3. I actually enjoyed facilitating in this format! I loved hearing from the participants about what they saw in the opening picture. It was really interesting to hear the variation in participants' responses to the activities, and it felt like the connections to the learning topic fell easily into place. This was not as much of a struggle as I anticipated it would be. I was able to mostly stay present in the moment which helped me to listen to the participants' contributions and then facilitate connections to the topic.
2 things that could be improved:
1. Too much content for the time: I had anticipated having many fewer participants and allotted only 5-10 min for the opening activity. With 16 participants, it took closer to 15 min. I think I had probably planned too many activities to begin with. With the larger group and longer introduction, there was not enough time for meeting the objectives I had set out. While I was able to shift activities "on the fly," I could have avoided this ahead of time by limiting the amount of content and perhaps focusing on only 2 activities and go deeper into the conversation. I ended the session somewhat abruptly and did not leave time for an effective recap/summary or check-in with the participants to understand what they were taking away and what questions remained.
2. Pre-assessment/learning needs: Based on the level of expertise and experience of the learners, I imagine that many may have already heard of the concept of situation awareness. If I was designing this again, I would have sent out a needs assessment activity ahead of time to better understand where the participants were at with this topic so that I could better meet them where they are. I would have also provided a pre-activity to help lay the foundation for the content, and this could have helped me use the in-session time more effectively rather than introducing the topic halfway through the session. Ironically, this could have helped with a "shared mental model" coming into the session!
I found the biggest challenge to be balancing the amount of content and the level of interaction. What do you think worked well in terms of level of interaction and amount of content? What could be improved? What specific strategies do you use to determine how to design for this ahead of time? and what works for you to shift the plan in the moment? (I recognize this is not 1 question, but several, but I'd love to tap into your collective wisdom!)
My thoughts on your question. Whenever you have content that does not benefit from your telling it (eg. can be read on websites, OER, video), share it asynchronously which generally is more accessible to all learners. Then use the synchronous time to discuss/apply the content and interaction. Many interactions can be done asynchronously as well, your topic could have been applied through a synchronous role modeling situation.
Three things that went well:
I liked your icebreaker. This was well-aligned with your content and nicely demonstrated different perspectives between different participants.
You maintained a calm and composed presence, despite the time crunch. I was drawn in through that and I could tell that you care about the topic.
I was somewhat familiar with your topic of situation awareness but I didn't know the framework you used. I liked that model and the way you scaffolded your session to build up to the content and guide us through an experience linked to situation awareness. In the end, the group came up with some strategies that you would have shared which is direct feedback of us achieving your objectives.
Two things to work on:
The introductions took a lot of your time with the large group we had. Consider moving people into breakout rooms or have everyone share with the chat.
When we got to the end, I found myself wanting to learn more about the framework and maybe an opportunity to think about ways to apply this to my own practice