Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Reflections on our first MicroCourse

In June we kicked of our first MicroCourse called "Create your course intro video".

Why MicroCourses?

There are several reasons for offering MicroCourses. Here are the top three:

  1. They're short, manageable chunks of productive learning
  2. They provide a taste before committing to a full FLO course -- active learning, peer support, outcomes-based, facilitated
  3. They provide an opportunity to practice facilitation

About the practicing facilitation part

Robin Leung, senior systems specialist at Kwantlen Polytechnic University Teaching & Learning Commons, was fresh out of the Facilitator Development Online course when he stepped up as our first facilitator. It was a wonderful experience working with Robin. Here's what he had to say:

It was an absolute privilege to be invited to co-facilitate the first ever MicroFLO course with Sylvia. I was very surprised with the opportunity, as I had just finished taking the Facilitator Development Online course (FDO) just a few weeks prior and the information was still sinking in. I was totally not ready to co-facilitate with the things going on with at work and the fact that I haven’t even taken the FLO course yet. But without hesitation, I decided to dive into the deep end of the pool. I’d figure it was an excellent opportunity for me to take what I’ve learnt from the FDO course and apply it to this MicroFLO course.
Unlike other FLO courses, the MicroFLO course focuses on one topic and is only a week’s time. I think this allows participants to focus on that particular topic and hopefully those who participates are really passionate about that specific topic also. The amount of time required to spend on the course is very flexible, but of course, the more invested, the greater the return. 
One thing I learnt from co-facilitating this MicroFLO course was to not underestimate the abundance of knowledge that is shared amongst the participants. At first, I was afraid of the lack of contribution or what if no one would respond or comment on each other’s work. I found that with co-facilitating, it is hard to gauge the need to respond or not respond to a discussion. Sometimes it is better to be silent and allow other participants to take lead or respond with an affirmation. And other times, you feel the need to take charge. 
The second thing I learnt is to be open to suggestions and feedback. Obviously, what is good to some may not be good to others. I’ve provided an example demonstrating universal design for learning, while it echoed for some, but the video sample was not perfect and some caught other parts which could be improved. I take it as every feedback is an opportunity to improve the next time. 
Lastly, I learnt that you need a co-facilitator that balances with your life well. And Sylvia was exactly that. I had a more technical background and she had more of the facilitation background. I am a night owl (catching most of the activities at night), and she’s the early riser (catching most of the activities in the day time). I think that complimented very well. 
Until the next FLO, keep flowing.


The level of participation in the course was perfect -- enough to make it interesting but not so many we felt overwhelmed. Registrants showed up from a variety of institutions, including out of province and international. As always, you expect more registrants than active participants in a free course, but the ratio was good. 11 individuals submitted video projects and all were peer reviewed.

This log was captured during the week of the course. As an open course, the resource will continued to be viewed. 

How did the participants feel about the course?

At the end of the course participants are asked to provide feedback about their experience. All reported they were satisfied or very satisfied. Here's what one videographer had to say:
Friendly congenial group and instructor energy, great feedback and this was something I had been intending to work on for a long time - the course gave me the motivation to plunge in and start making intro videos!
Overall, it was a great experience and we're looking forward to the next FLO MicroCourse, Creating and using rubrics, which runs September 17 - 21, 2018. Our facilitators will be Jacquie Harrison from Vancouver Community College and Bettina Boyle, Capilano University.