Post by Sylvia Currie, Manager, Learning + Teaching, BCcampus
This marks the launch of our Meet the FLO Facilitators series. If you are thinking about offering FLO courses to your faculty and staff, these are the people who can help!
Meet Gina Bennett
What got you started on this path to becoming a FLO facilitator and mentor?
Probably my interest started in 1996, the year my family moved from Nova Scotia to Kelowna. It was a tough transition for me: I didn’t know anybody and couldn’t seem to find a job. I credit the internet with saving my sanity. I was able to stay in touch with friends and colleagues from N.S. and I kept busy with some adult education courses and a little online teaching. So outside of family life, my social, professional, teaching, and learning lives were all online. One takeaway from that experience was that you can have meaningful relationships and transformational learning experiences without being physically present with the Other. And I’ve been fascinated by the art and science of making that happen for others ever since. The FLO courses are a perfect fit!
What experience and expertise do you bring to this new support role of helping others to adopt and/or facilitate FLO courses?
For almost 19 years I was a faculty member at College of the Rockies, working to support and encourage e-learning, educational technology, academic innovation, learning-centered approaches, and faculty development generally. A lot of that work involved helping faculty make the transition from classroom-only to online instruction. Learning to use the technology was only part of the process; faculty also needed support as they learned to teach in new ways, developing skills in facilitation rather than lecturing, and mentoring rather than just delivering content. So I do understand the context! More recently, I’ve completed several FLO courses myself (including the FLO Facilitator Development course), assisted in the development of the FLO Facilitation Guide (workbook), co-facilitated one MicroCourse, and participated in several others.
How can people contact you?
The most reliable way for the first contact is via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I monitor my email pretty compulsively.
This guide will benefit individuals facilitating FLO courses as well as any course that emphasizes facilitating in a community of learners and supporting collaboration and reflective practice. It is presented with a consistent structure for each FLO course, making it easy to zone in on exactly what is relevant.
Over the next 12 months, the guide will be used by co-facilitators in each FLO course. Through this process, we will identify areas that need improving. If your institution/organization is implementing a FLO course this year, we welcome feedback!
The FLO Facilitation Guide, along with all FLO courses, is available for browsing, copying, adapting, or downloading and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence.