Sunday, August 03, 2008

Facilitating online communities

I have decided that although I am supposed to be on leave working on my thesis it would be intriguing to see how the current iteration of the Facilitating Online Communities course goes now that it is truly open. I am having a hard time keeping my fingers off the keyboard and not participating - yeah cos distractions such as FOC will kill my study leave get a draft of the thesis finished.

I am absolutely intrigued by the numbers who have registered in the FOC08 course now it is openly advertised. Last year we ran the course for the first time using wikiEd, however students were given access via Blackboard and a formal enrollment process. This year we got the go ahead to have informal it is proof of the open concept and evidence of the need for people to keep increasing their skills in facilitating online many experienced people.

So my way to manage having meager participation will be to check in on key blogs so I can get a sense of how it is all going...for the next time I get to facilitate the course. Also so I can keep the debate about teaching versus facilitation going with Leigh Blackall who is superhumanly facilitating 80+ participants. Will the 10% rule rule I wonder? :)


Sarah Stewart said...

The course looks like a nightmare to facilitate with all those people. Goodness knows how George Siemens is going to cope with his course which has hundreds of people enrolled.

Leigh Blackall said...

Actually, George and Stephen had 1200 last count! Listen to the audio of a discussion we had about it last week. So far it hasn't been too bad. I am really enjoying seeing the very real potential that this model works! A kinda 'I told ya so feeling'.. but its a balancing act. So far I haven't been able to stick to the 6 hours per week target... it has been about double that.. but I'm hoping it will slow down a little and I'll be down to 6 hours per week until the assessment begins.

Bronwyn hegarty said...

hi sarah and leigh I have to say it is a surprise how many people have come out of the crooks and crannies.
Suffice to say facilitating online communities is not a finite skill as we know - always something to learn.

Leigh I do worry about the enrolled people though - how are you facilitating them? do you get a sense of how overwhelmed or not they are feeling?

Leigh Blackall said...

I telephone them often

Derek said...

Why we also need to use e-mail

A psychiatrist was testing the mentality of a patient.
"Do you ever hear voices without being able to tell who is speaking or where the voices are coming from?" asked the psychiatrist.
"As a matter of fact, I do," said the patient.
"And when does this happen?" asked the psychiatrist.
"Oh," said the patient, "when I answer the telephone."

I hope Leigh you are keeping record of the time you spend. It will be a useful finding. And the questions - doing it different, how would that affect things.

Bronwyn hegarty said...

yes I agree Derek email does add another dimension like the telephone. I am really enjoying the abridged emails of the discussions - i can sit and read them all when on a break from my thesis - as opposed to shiftng my mind to deal with each one as it comes through.