Friday, March 23, 2018

Facilitator Development Online

Registration is open for the Facilitator Development Online course which runs May 7-18, 2018. This is an intensive 2-week program to prepare you to facilitate FLO workshops. 

I will be co-facilitating this course with Ross McKerlich from Okanagan College, along with other FDO alumni who might wish to step in to help out. This is what I love about FLO -- the ongoing collaboration to keep the facilitation spirit and skills 'fLO'wing! 

Ross facilitating some facilitators on the topic of...guess...facilitation
This free workshop experience embraces important elements of a vibrant community of practice and open educational practices: 
  • There is no cost to enrol, only a polite ask for commitment.
  • The course remains open to participants after the completion date. After all, the workshop experience is really all about what the learners contribute -- rich discussions, and artefacts they plan to re-use in their own facilitation. 
  • Participants are invited to return to participate or assist in future workshops, also at no cost.
  • The learning experience relies on the distributed expertise of the members.
  • The workshop facilitators take on the typical tasks: welcome, model, clarify, support, advance dialogue, etc. However, the to-become-facilitators share that role, and are invited practice.
  • During the workshop we often reach out to engage groups and individuals outside the workshop
  • Past FDO alumni are encouraged to share back -- new ideas, experiences with implementation, etc.
  • The workshop space is available to registrants only. However, everyone is encouraged to share out using social media.
  • There is no pressure to "complete" -- the learner decides when the outcomes have been met.
  • Discussions about how to improve the workshop experience are encouraged and ongoing
  • It's all about what individuals are willing to invest. The opportunity to take facilitation to the next level is always there!
Do you want to take facilitation to the next level? I hope to see you in FDO! 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Festival of Learning 2018

The Festival of Learning (May 28 - 30, 2018) is a biennial conference that brings together multiple groups and individuals with an interest in advancing their work as educational professionals. The organizers of the event also encourage participation from students, and I hope many take them up on that invitation! For starters, I can't wait for the student panel on Tuesday morning facilitated by one of my favourite people, Jonny Morris.

This year I submitted a proposal very close to the deadline and right before taking off for the Christmas holidays -- not enough time to round up collaborators. I still plan to do that!

UPDATE: Ross McKerlich from Okanagan College will be co-facilitating the session. So happy to share this news!

Here is the session description:

The Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) – Fundamentals workshop has been implemented through BCcampus since 2013. During this time three new FLO workshops were developed, one of which is designed to prepare upcoming FLO facilitators, and each offering of FLO workshops provides an opportunity for these individuals to practice alongside experienced facilitators. In addition, all participants provide input into design and content revisions, a process that has been successfully managed because of the small scale of the project.

Ultimately, the goal of designing and hosting FLO workshops at BCcampus and preparing future facilitators is so others can successfully implement a high-quality experience for faculty and staff. All FLO workshops are openly licensed and available for institutions to implement in-house. Several B.C. institutions and non-profit organizations are actively exploring options for FLO adoption.

Typically support for the adoption of open educational resources (OER) centres around evaluation, and mechanics of using the resources – how to check for relevance and quality, how to integrate into a course environment, and so on. The focus is on the receiving end of the resources.

However, those involved in FLO facilitation and implementation, affectionately called FLO Enthusiasts, agree that there are specific elements that make FLO flow, so to speak. In other words, adoption goes beyond handing over the content. The success of these workshops requires an ongoing effort to advance the use of these OERs as a collaborative effort.

In this session, we will explore the Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) family of workshops as a case for establishing a “handle with care” model for open educational resources (OER) adoption that both engages and serves a community of adopters. We will draw on experiences and expertise from session participants to sketch out a model that is functional and realistic.