Discussions started by Asif Devji


Scenario: Cohort of online facilitators seeking to integrate Liberating Structures activities into their learning delivery with the goal of better meeting learner needs and increasing learner engagement.


  • Introduce approaches to online facilitation of LS activities via an online experiential course
  • Acknowledge and address participant concerns about applying an LS approach in their online facilitation
  • Have participants prepare for possible consequences emerging from their online facilitation of LS activities

Liberating Structures:


  • Drawing Together
  1. Using Padlet -- in groups of 3 -- participants draw their individual response to the question: What is your biggest fear about facilitating an LS activity online?
  2. Using a Troika approach -- participants group into successive 2s and consult to interpret the drawing of the 1 -- consultations take the form of comments under each drawing in the Padlet
  3. Each triad reports back to whole group in the course LMS -- acting out the fears interpreted in the form of an improv discussion forum thread
  • Critical Uncertainties
  1. Using the text tool in red font on a whiteboard in a Collaborate web conference  -- participants make a list of uncertainties in response to the question: What factors are impossible to predict or control their direction as you facilitate LS activities online?
  2. Using the text tool to change to blue font some list items -- participants prioritize the most critical factors in response to the question: Which factors threaten your ability to facilitate successfully? 
  3. By circling two blue items -- participants select the two most critical and most uncertain items 
  4. Facilitator takes a screenshot of the whiteboard to save as an artifact and then opens a clean whiteboard -- facilitator draws grid on whiteboard with more of/less of X and Y axes -- one with the most critical item and the other with the most uncertain item 
  5. Participants divide into 4 small groups -- each group takes one quadrant of the grid -- groups are sent into 4 breakout rooms
  6. In the breakout rooms -- each group writes a thumbnail scenario for their quadrant and brainstorms 3 strategies that would help the group operate in that scenario
  7. Facilitator takes screenshot of each group's whiteboard to save as artifacts
  8. All groups meet back in the main room -- report on their scenarios and strategies to the whole group  
  9. Whole group sifts results to identify robust/hedging strategies
  10. Facilitator uploads all artifacts to LMS
  • Min Specs
  1. Using a Wiki in an LMS -- participants make a list of all the do’s and don’ts to pay attention to in order to successfully facilitate an LS activity online
  2. While screen-sharing the Wiki page In a Collaborate web conference -- participants sift through the list one item at a time and strike-through every rule that gets a positive answer to the question: If we broke or ignored this rule, could we still successfully facilitate an online LS Activity?
  3. Participants reduce list to the absolute minimum needed to successfully facilitate an LS activity online

Notes: the activities above:

  • would constitute part of a course on facilitating LS activities online
  • would take three separate sessions to complete
  •  are conceived of as building on each other sequentially -- i.e. the thinking and outputs generated in Activity 1 would constitute the inputs to Activity 2, etc.
Invitation: How can Liberating Structures activities be facilitated in online environments?


Hi All -- I've had a brief look at the Liberating Structures site & content as part of a previous (FLO Synchronous) workshop -- and while I've come away with a positive perspective of the activities presented there -- I also come away with the idea that those activities seem pretty common sense if you're actually trying to 'liberate' people to put forward (what they might otherwise consider risky) honest opinions within contexts that might not otherwise welcome alternative views or critical feedback.

Those (vocational/educational) contexts generally set the overweening 'structure' within which their participants operate -- so my question is: to what degree can a Liberating Structure activity override the the risks presented by the larger not-necessarily-so-liberating context which participants will necessarily be keeping in mind as they participate in the activity?

In this workshop I hope to learn from the perspectives and experiences of my peer practitioners who have attempted some of the Liberating Structures activities (or activities based on the same logic/objectives) -- and their reflections on the results thereof.