Talk:Facilitating Online

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July 2009 new version[edit]

Just a quick note - I want to run the next course here on Wikiversity. I have run it twice on Wikieducator, and I'm curious if there is a different experience over here. This page is a work in progress and should be finished in the next few days... ready to run 27 July (The preceding unsigned comment was added by leighblackall (talkcontribs) 07:59, 4 July 2009)

Sounds like a great idea, Leigh - I'll be really curious to hear about the pros and cons you run across. Sincerely, James - -- Jtneill - Talk - c 08:09, 5 July 2009 (UTC)


This is an initiative of Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand to create materials in an open and collaborative space for staff development purposes. This topic is based on resources originally created by TANZ (Tertiary Accord of New Zealand.)


Facilitating online is about more than simply facilitating learning. The original content used in this page made the mistake in my view of focusing on facilitating online learning - at the expense of appreciation of the scope of usefulness and application of facilitation skills. I don't think this resource would be any less useful to an online learning context if it were to widen its intent to include all forms of online facilitation. The potential would then be that techniques used in other forms may become evidently useful to the ideas of learning facilitation and visa versa. --Leighblackall 08:13, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

further to this, I think we all know at least 5 teachers who talk the talk of facilitation, but walk the walk of teacher. I think by making as fewer references to the specifics of education in this entry as possible, we convey the message of facilitation more clearly. No it is not teaching with a different hat on - it is in fact an entirely different practice that more often than not, a teacher is perhaps not suited to (power dynamics, prior knowledge, topic expertise and authority might have too greater impact on successful facilitation).--Leighblackall 06:46, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
This is interesting, Leigh - perhaps this link might be useful? Howard Rheingold on hosting online conversations. There are tons of other links/texts on online facilitation, of course.. Cormaggio beep 15:54, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Leigh I'm back to the beginning of this course- the distinction between facilitation and teaching for me is a false one and I must confess I don't know why you labour it. An eeucator uses both sets of skills-sometimes the power is held by the educator, sometimes it is with the members of the group. The skilled and wise educator knows and is able to work with congruence to the moment.People who hold power to themselves are false to the educational endeavour.research into secondary school teachingh would suggest that the person who is most confident in their subject discipline is most able to facilitate , as they are less likely to lose the thread of purpose. Willie--Williec 08:04, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the link Cormaggio - that is a help, many points I would like to simply copy and paste - but for the global "all rights reserved" statement on it :( Perhaps its enough to quote and link.--Leighblackall 05:19, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Are you talking about motivating the online conversation, when you draw the distinction between teacher and facilitator? Historybuff 23:54, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
not sure what you mean exactly there Historybuff (that is if you're talking to me and not Cormaggio) - but the distinction between teacher and facilitator could be used as a conversation point - though I would have hoped it was not a point of contention. To me there are clear differences. I imagine a teacher as knowing something that I would like to learn. A facilitator might not know the something, but can help me to learn it anyway - and that may be in simply pointing me to a teacher, or reading, or other information; then negotiating some form of communication or social interaction to help me and others cement or test new knowledge.--Leighblackall 05:19, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Leighblackall - My comment was for you. I'm interested in distance learning, and in paticular real time vs asych communications. I think that many people try to take the classroom and put it online by proxy, through other technologies.
Facilitation, as opposed to teacher/student interaction, will be important as a tool for WV. I'm sure we will have some teachers here and there, but students and just learners can benefit a great deal from interactions -- I find if I can explain something, I really understand it.
This isn't my prime field -- I'm a computer person, but learning and using these types of tools is how Wikiversity will develop and flourish. Historybuff 14:34, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi again Historybuff - I just posted about this issue to my blog, where I'm gradually trying to tease this issue out some more. If you come across any material that talks about this same issue, please let me know. In the meantime, I think at the very least the distinction between teaching and facilitating is a topic well worth discussing. But personally I hope it will become generally accepted that teaching is very different and at times counter productive to facilitation. PS, sorry it has taken me a while to get back to this - I'm not very good at communicating through the mediawiki communication channels. --Leighblackall 01:34, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

An eclectic example[edit]

Leigh, I think you should know about a unique example of an online community called Whole Wheat Radio. It's an interesting mix of independent music, wiki technology, informal facilitation, and international ad hoc networking. I've never seen anything like it! • CQ 03:30, 5 July 2009 (UTC)