Wednesday, December 5, 2018

What is it like to facilitate an online MicroCourse?

Another successful FLO MicroCourse ran from Oct 29 – Nov 2, 2018, with the theme: Experience and design a community building activity. Once it wrapped up, we asked the facilitators about their experiences. Here’s what they had to say:
“I’m grateful to have been invited to do this. I wasn’t sure what would come from completing Facilitator Development Online in May. My workload at Yukon College is pretty jam-packed and a full Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) facilitation seemed daunting. Collaborating with three facilitators for a MicroCourse made this such manageable and fun work.

“These inter-provincial-territorial-institutional relationships are not easy to build! When I leave Yukon for a 3-day conference, I get to meet other teaching and learning folks face-to-face, but it can be difficult to build relationships in such a short time, with many sessions and things-to-do competing for attention. For me, co-facilitating FLO became such a meaningful way to build relationships – not only with participants, but also with co-facilitators. Even though all our communication was via tech tools (e.g. Skype, email, GoogleDocs, Kumu, Padlet, Moodle…), I feel like we made good connections because of substantial, shared work on authentic tasks – something that can be tough to do at conferences.

“I’m grateful for the chance to learn from my co-facilitators and gain practical experience. The depth of participation in the MicroCourse blew me away! I also came out realizing how much I value co-facilitation and how rare it is to have co-facilitation opportunities in online academic courses. I’m hoping to change that!” – Colleen Grandy, Faculty Development Instructor, Yukon College
“Co-facilitating the MicroCourse has been GREAT. I was a bit apprehensive beforehand and felt I hadn’t done enough preparation for this. (I think I tend to over-prepare.) I was impressed by the quality of ideas people posted within such a short timeframe.

“Obviously, FLO has hit the Goldilocks sweet spot for “just enough” direction. As a co-facilitator, I found this to be a very enjoyable experience, easy to engage such a keen group, and not overly demanding time-wise. It sure didn’t hurt that I had such fantastic co-facilitators.” – Gina Bennett, Sessional Instructor, University College of the Fraser Valley

What did the participants say?

“I was impressed with the quality of this course over such a short period of time. It was a great learning experience.”

“The topics are timely; the amount of time and involvement is flexible; participating in the building of the FLO Community of Practice is rewarding; I feel valued and validated as a Micro FLO participant. I’m just a FLO enthusiast; what can I say…”

“Fantastic online experience.”

“It was helpful to see other examples of proposed community building activities – and try them out and discuss them – and have the chance to propose my own and get feedback on it.”

One participant even offered a promotion statement!

“Experience micro-learning in a fun, fast-paced, action-packed week with FLO. Target your chosen professional development topics and learn (and practice) with knowledgeable, thought-provoking facilitators and colleagues online.”

Who are FLO MicroCourses for?

In this series we have attracted participation from across Canada and beyond, including public post-secondary, K-12, and private organizations. The courses offer:
  • An opportunity to dip into an online learning experience
  • A practice platform for designers and facilitators
  • An emergent and practical course topics.
Contact me if you have topic ideas for future offerings or would like to co-facilitate!