Learning the Art of Online Facilitation: March 1-21, 2007

Online Facilitation - the next 10 years (where do we go from here?)

Online Facilitation - the next 10 years (where do we go from here?)

by Nick Noakes -
Number of replies: 10
Time for a little 'foresighting'. What trends are you seeing that you feel will impact online facilitation and in what way or ways? What does this say for the skill sets we need to be gaining now ... our learning now ... so that we keep ahead of these curves?
In reply to Nick Noakes

Re: Online Facilitation - the next 10 years (where do we go from here?)

by E.A. Draffan -

I was interested that you started with a second life type greeting - it is hard to work out how we can make that accessible to all students but interestingly enough it is also given as an example at the Open University in UK http://digilab.open.ac.uk/services/secondlife.php 

I am not sure about wikis and their mass of text as support mechanisms? They are not always helpful to those with dyslexia (specific learning difficulties/LD) unless they are really well presented.  Moodle does not make it that easy to offer alternatives such as audio etc.   Thinking about other options?

Tagging - not easy to read for everyone? 

Do some people find there are navigational issues with the Web 2.0 formats?  Need to learn which are the best layouts etc to help facilitators and users!

In reply to Nick Noakes

Re: Online Facilitation - the next 10 years (where do we go from here?)

by Ian MacLeod -
I think that the increased use of Web 2.0 tools and technologies (and Web 3.0, 4.0, etc....) will add a greater "social" aspect to online learning and online facilitation. What this means to me is that as an online facilitator I will be able to engage learners in ways that I have not even fully thought out or realized yet, and they will be able to engage each other in ways not yet fully explored, resulting in a much richer learning experience with a collective approach to information gathering and dissemination.

Learners will develop their own personal learning environments (PLEs) around tools and technologies that they want to use rather than tools assigned or provided to them. This means as a facilitator I will have to be aware of these diverse tools and technologies.

I think that the traditional LMS will evolve or be replaced by these open, customizable Web 2.0 (and follow-on ) tools and that the emphasis on creating the learning environment will transfer from the facilitator to the learner. Our job as online facilitators will be to guide learners through the process of developing their PLEs and helping them  find the content that meets their learning needs - learner-defined content, not facilitator- provided content.

As a facilitator my concern is that the learning outcomes are met, how the learners get there should not be their concern, not mine. It will mean that we will be supporting multiple learning environments, not one that is constrained by a LMS that does not meet the needs of all learners.
In reply to Ian MacLeod

Re: Online Facilitation - the next 10 years (where do we go from here?)

by Emma Duke-Williams -
I think that the increased use of Web 2.0 tools and technologies (and Web 3.0, 4.0, etc....) will add a greater "social" aspect to online learning and online facilitation. What this means to me is that as an online facilitator I will be able to engage learners in ways that I have not even fully thought out or realized yet, and they will be able to engage each other in ways not yet fully explored, resulting in a much richer learning experience with a collective approach to information gathering and dissemination.

I sort of agree with this ... to a point. I don't think that the senses we use are going to change really (yes, I know that some people are working on scent for the internet, but I can't see it getting mainstream) - it's going to remain auditory/ visual.
We've also for quite some time been able to be both recipients and creators of text/images/audio/ video.
What's changing is the way they can be used & combined; the ease of creation - of all media.

What's going to change I think is the range of ways of connecting - whether it's using a small handheld device, the "Media Centre" in your lounge, a "traditional PC" in office/ classroom etc.

I'd like to think that it's going to be easier to easily convert between media - so that the dyslexic student, the agrophobic student, the student who's on the other side of the world to the rest of the class, the student who has English as their second language, the visually impaired student etc., etc., etc can all join in - without the lecturer having to create many different versions of the material / stay up all night etc., accomodate all the needs. However, I suspect that it's going to take more than 10 years to have sufficient processing power / AI to translate from British Sign Language (sent over someone's mobile phone!), to American Sign Language, to Braille, to audio, and then into Vietnamese ... And that still won't accomodate the person studying in a very different time zone, on a $100 laptop....

I think that the main changes are likely to be in the way we access the material - and also the need to learn how to select modes to suit personal needs, without excluding (too many) classmates.

I've got to dash off now, but I would like to come back to this later on.


In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Online Facilitation - the next 10 years (where do we go from here?)

by Ian MacLeod -
I agree with you Emma. Not only will the devices we use to connect change, but we will also be exploring and discovering new ways to connect with each other to share information across social, physical, and virtual networks. It's the depth and complexity of these new networking opportunities and the sheer mass of information that they will create that will present us with challenges as we move forward.

I also think that it will take time to integrate all of the different forms of media/language/device translations, but not sure it will take 10 years - with quad-core processors and potentially TBs of RAM and data storage being accessed, I think it will happen much sooner than that.

But you are right - the keys will be inclusion and engagement of all learners and it's figuring out how we will do that that is the real challenge

In reply to Ian MacLeod

Re: Online Facilitation - PLEs

by Sylvia Currie -
Ian raises personal learning environments, and I just want to mention that Derek Chirnside and Derek Wenmoth will be co-facilitating a SCoPE seminar on PLEs, tentatively scheduled for June 4-24th. Mark that spot on your calendars!
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Online Facilitation - PLEs

by Ian MacLeod -
That's great Sylvia - can't wait - my calendar is marked! I think that PLEs have a lot to offer for engaging learners and providing them with an optimal learning experience.


Cheers


Ian
In reply to Nick Noakes

Live chat breadcrumbs - transparent facilitation

by Nick Noakes -
There were a number of key ideas I left with from our live chat/conf call, such as:
  • Complexity - facilitation, technologies, life
  • Proliferation - of tools, of knowledge
  • Fractured/fracturing/fracturation (not a word but should be) - as a consequence of proliferation and complexity, inclusion-exclusion
  • Expectations - mis-match (gulf? chasm?), management (solving it needs immersion)
  • Faciltator's role - baggage of transmission approach (connects to expectations too), knowledge capturing and sensemaking, glue, collaborator - and how to spread role to others
  • Learner and learning center stage - starting point of shared value of learner driven, e.g. personal learning environment (PLE)
  • Tensions - (i) conforming to one tool vs. multiple tools, (ii) focus on individual vs. focus on group, (iii) being together vs. being apart - level of commitment needed for being together
Facilitation in the past - focused on processes and theoretical grounding of processes e.g. creation of atmosphere, social issues, presence, frameworks

Facilitation now and in the future - Facilitating LEARNING Conversations - deep vs ping ping interactions & levels of thinking. What is appropriate at IM/Ping level, what has to go deeper?  'Transparent Facilitation' - making "understanding of what really is going on" part of the group practice, e.g. what makes a good email/forum post, reading between the lines, understanding silence, non-verbal conversation. And from this a new tension as this needs more time, but people are shouting that they have less time and need things that reduce time. increasingly diverse skill sets and knowledge required, e.g. participant facilitators identifying and capturing the time to slow down. Providing learners/participant facilitators with the mechanisms to sense when to move between ping and deeper interaction and thinking - NOT facilitator signaling.


EA, Ian and Emma have already started to pick up on a couple of these. Are you up for taking one (or more) of these ideas, or one of your takeaways, beyond this ping?
In reply to Nick Noakes

Re: Live chat breadcrumbs - transparent facilitation

by E.A. Draffan -

Thnak you so much for your summing up when you are working under such constraints and I am so sorry I have been so busy after my holiday not to be able to join in more.

I am now off to CSUN, a week long disability and technology conference,  but wish we could gather your key points under the headings and perhaps use a mechanism to make them available to others.  I am just wondering which would be the best tool with so many available?

 

In reply to E.A. Draffan

Re: Live chat breadcrumbs - transparent facilitation

by Sylvia Currie -
E.A. asks about gathering up "key points under the headings and perhaps use a mechanism to make them available to others".

Would it be useful to pull items from our discussion into a Wiki? I'm not sure if that's what you mean. 
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Live chat breadcrumbs - transparent facilitation

by E.A. Draffan -

Yes that is exactly what I meant - I find it quite hard working through all the threads to find the nuggats!  But may be that is my lack of skill smile  Thank you.