Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Comment Challenge Day 30: How Can I Use What I've Learned About Commenting to Change my Teaching?

Thank goodness, only one more day to go!

Today's task is to reflect on what I have learned from the Comment Challenge and apply into my teaching.

The skills of facilitation
From a teaching point of view, I think the main thing that has been re-enforced to me is how to facilitate conversation ie
  • include lurkers in discussion;
  • honor what everyone has to say;
  • ignore the troublemakers;
  • have boundaries and
  • have fun.
Whilst there is no body language to guide your reactions, I don't believe that online facilitation is much different to face-to-face, classroom facilitation.

Do you think it's as easy as I have made out or do you think that face-to-face teaching and communication is a very different kettle of fish to online teaching/communication?

Image: 'Friendlies' moriza


Michele Martin said...

Sarah, in some ways I think it can be harder to facilitate discussions online. You can't read body language or hear tone to try to correct any misunderstandings that may occur with what you say. I think part of the challenge, too, is seeing writing as a "conversation." We're used to having a back and forth with questions, etc. when we have verbal interactions, but I don't think it's as natural for us to do in the written context. So we end up having to remind ourselves that we ARE facilitating discussion, even if it's written conversation.

Sarah Stewart said...

I know what you're saying Michele and to be honest, as soon as I pressed the 'publish' button I thought 'oh no, Sarah , it's not as easy as that'. What I feel does aid online facilitation is that there is time for reflection and answer.