Facilitating in the Open


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Canada Moot presentation, May 5, 2011

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  • We help universities and colleges connect with students, faculty and other administrations using information technology. Students can apply for higher education, faculty can learn how to use technology in the classroom, and institutions can offer courses online using our services. We provide the IT infrastructure and expertise to make it all happen.
  • Facilitator functions fall under 3 main areas – based on Morten Flate Paulsen (1995) The title of facilitator can mean many things Involves designing and managing learning environments, as well as monitoring and advancing dialogue. Think of facilitator as attending to dialogue Can also very much involve design, curation of content, technology stewardship, etc
  • Open doesn’t have to mean disorganized
  • What do we mean by facilitating in the open? Complex - Depends on the context – wide open likely will be more complex Unknown - How many people will show up? What background knowledge are they bringing? Who is participating on the periphery? New possibilities - New tools, new ways to organize and distribute content Many hats - Technology steward, curator, Emerging and multiple facilitators -Sit back and hope for leaders to emerge -Allow others to invent new ways to manage the openness New formats Many different combinations Credit combined with open participation Less control - May be impossible to attend to everything learners are doing Selective attention Less likely can attend to all contributions Fewer opportunities for individual attention More organizational and less intellectual? - In large and distributed courses is it possible to monitor dialogue, build on contributions, craft interventions that will advance learning?
  • Effective Online Facilitation - Australian Flexible Learning Framework 2002 How much of this is possible in an OPEN context?
  • LMS mindset Short time, Moodle Moot conference, focus in on Moodle Why do people equate LMS with ‘closed’? How is LMS any different from any other tool used? It’s not! It’s as open and flexible as you want it to be I’ve never heard an anti-LMS argument that makes sense yet Moodle is a great example of how you can open up and be flexible in terms of content and participation If there are certain tools in Moodle that don’t serve your purpose, simply don’t use them – integrate something else
  • From http://docs.moodle.org/en/Top_10_Moodle_Myths May 4, 2011 Many people see LMSs as inflexible
  • My puppy is thirsty because his bucket of water is too tall Do something about it! Photo by Brad Holt http://www.flickr.com/photos/brad_holt/2094899036/
  • Why do people think that an LMS is a platform for formal and closed courses? A matter of opening up your mind to how these tools can be used
  • Where is the facilitator in open learning? Open doesn’t have to mean chaos. A facilitator can help to bring the pieces together.
  • If you like the functionality of tools outside of Moodle, use them! Facilitator can work help to make the learning environment make more sense, integrate various tools and artefacts that emerge through participation Importance of Organizational Role
  • Some great examples of Moodle for open learning and facilitation SCoPE seminars http://scope.bccampus.ca/course/view.php?id=8 Best Practices Models for Elearning community, Staffordshire University http://learning.staffs.ac.uk/bestpracticemodels/ IT4ALL http://www.integrating-technology.org/ University of Manitoba – online conferences http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/moodle/ Learning and Knowledge Analytics MOOC http://scope.bccampus.ca/course/view.php?id=365 Knowplace http://knowplace.ca/
  • Shaping Our Future conference at SCoPE ~250 “registered” Moodle – using hub model Tags, Elluminate, other social media services like delicious to organize content and extend dialogue
  • Example of distributed and emerging facilitation roles – 2011 Learning and Knowledge Analytics Course at SCoPE
  • Demystifying the Student Perspective discussion at SCoPE - http://scope.bccampus.ca/course/view.php?id=366 Caution – open does not have to mean disorganized What do students want?
  • Facilitating in the Open

    1. 1. www.bccampus.ca Facilitating in the Open Canada Moot 2011 Sylvia Currie Online Communities [email_address]
    2. 2. Hi from my home office almost pyjamas online facilitator back therapy my other office
    3. 3. What do we mean by facilitating? Organizational Social Intellectual
    4. 4. OPEN means many things <ul><li>Formal or not </li></ul><ul><li>Credit or not or both </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed or not </li></ul><ul><li>Free or not </li></ul><ul><li>Open enrolment or not </li></ul>
    5. 5. OPEN does change things <ul><li>Potentially more complex </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for the unknown </li></ul><ul><li>New possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Many hats </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging and multiple facilitators </li></ul><ul><li>New formats </li></ul><ul><li>Less control </li></ul><ul><li>More flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Selective attention </li></ul><ul><li>More organizational and less intellectual? </li></ul>
    6. 6. From 2002 Guide <ul><li>Designing the right mix of online and off-line activities </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping tabs on individual students’ progress </li></ul><ul><li>Catering for different learning preferences and learner needs </li></ul><ul><li>Adopting student-centred approaches, and learning to become a ‘guide’ or ‘facilitator’ </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with the pragmatics of teaching online – e.g. administrative and support requirements, and issues of time </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with technical issues </li></ul>
    7. 7. LMS mindset “Doors” by percivalsmithers
    8. 8. Moodle Myth Moodle is just not designed to cope with my specific group of learners
    9. 9. Photo by Brad Holt
    10. 10. Moodle as a hub of activity <ul><li>Communities of Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Online conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Courses </li></ul><ul><li>Special interest groups </li></ul><ul><li>Portal </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolios </li></ul>
    11. 11. We’re networked! Now what?
    12. 12. <ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><li>Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Reader </li></ul><ul><li>Forms </li></ul>Twitter Moodle as a learning hub Blogs YouTube Blip.tv Diigo Delicious Flickr Etc. This tool Etc. Etc. That tool
    13. 13. Some great examples
    14. 16. “… as a student taking several courses, it would be easier to have all the information in one place” Post by Diana Chan Student, Simon Fraser University In Demystifying the Student Perspective discussion at SCoPE