This week we had the opportunity to look at some sample synchronous sessions and learn from them - what ideas and strategies worked and which practices did not work as well. As a result we learnt about online synchronous facilitation and how to react to these dynamic learning environments. We also experienced breakout groups first hand and were able to apply a liberating structure - normally done face to face - to online synchronous learning. Also, Briana led the way by facilitating on Friday - thank you for those that participated and don't forget to give feedback in Briana's topic in the Week Three Discussion forum.
Next week we will continue with 7 more practicing facilitator sessions and learn about giving effective feedback. The last time I taught this course it was with my colleague Clint Lalonde who offered these words on this important topic:
"On providing feedback, feedback is essential to learning. It lets people know whether they are mastering the outcomes and indicates whether or not remedial or additional action is required.
Feedback can also encourage learners to stretch and reach new heights. Feedback is like water or air for online learners; they need it to survive.
Feedback can be inspiring to learners. It can assist struggling learners who need more encouragement and positive reinforcement. It can also help learners better appreciate the specific strategies they need to use to improve their skill level or performance.
Nevertheless, if not done with sensitivity, respect, and empathy, feedback can also be devastating. Poorly planned, or awkwardly phrased feedback can confuse and demoralize a learner.
To be effective, feedback should be positive, concrete, and specific. Feedback should also be instructive. Like asking good questions, providing feedback also enables participants to reflect on their learning and determine possible follow-up actions and strategies."See you online!
Ross and Asif