Evaluation of my facilitation of PBL9

So what is the role of the facilitator/teacher?

A facilitator is like a midwife. She assist while the baby is born, but she can’t do any more. But she is always there…The midwife can give instructions, ask questions, helps with motivational problems, technical problems, organizational; problems or other challenges. And she has to monitor the mother, the baby, the time, the process, she knows what can go wrong, but she don’t mention it, she assist in a silent way and encourage the mother (and father).

OK, but what is the role of the facilitator for online PBL groups?

In this case, a facilitator and co-faciltator helps the group with several babies; the group presentations of ONL162

As a co-facilitator I joined thirteen group meetings out of five-teen – one hour each-, four webinars and Tweetchats of five, five facilitators meetings out of seven, if I am not mistaken. I made seven blogs about my experiences: https://franciscafrenks.wordpress.com/

How did I do?

I learned a lot. The biggest challenge was to join the discussion in a facilitating way, because I was so involved in the subject and I wanted to be a part of the group. The group worked together, formed a collaborative group and I was sort of an outsider. I was the co-facilitator and I had to cope with this role. My facilitator was only once in our group when I was there. He was limited in his time. I wanted to share more thoughts and experiences with my facilitator, to reflect on our role. My time was also limited. I wished I had more time. Co-facilitating with ONL162 takes 10 hours a week I think, when you want to prepare, join, reflect…

I wanted to give more comments on what they produced in Topic 4. The course design, because I am so experienced. But I did not, because I am not a teacher I am a facilitator. That is really difficult! Why does a teacher want to teach, when you know they learn more if they discover the things by themselves at their own pace?

As a teacher you want to been seen because it was so hard work to get all those knowledge in your brains, all that experience in your body….blood, sweat and tears… and years… and now, you are reduced to a facilitator…. 🙂 But my group members made it easy for me. They said that my questions were very valuable. In the pocket!

At this moment I am very motivated to learn more about the skills of the tutor or co-facilitator and to develop several working processes to be effective. During this course I made the skills and role of the facilitator more specific:

Skills for facilitators of online PBL groups:

Help students with:

  • configuring audio and webcam
  • computer maintenance, technical support
  • managing the learning (folders, links, databases, LMS-en, )
  • Using tools and software
  • setting ground rules
  • setting group culture
  • make thoughts and feelings explicit
  • make collaborative knowledge explicit
  • getting aware of strengths and weaknesses in the group, and use it (synergy)
  • working structures (mind maps, Fish-docs, timelines, story board
  • how to encourage and motivate each other
  • recognize behavior which shows lack of motivation, lack of confidence, lack of engagement
  • how to scaffold each other
  • to make clear analysis
  • construct causal explanations
  • discuss and debate effectively
  • become self directed learners
  • learn to formulate and ask questions, deepen the questions
  • a vision on learning in a group. (Learn that contribution is investment for effectivity)
  • a narrative perspective of them self as a group member. Why am I valuable for the group?
  • learn how to select information when preparing a topic or a scenario. How will you narrow your research? What is the role of your personal interest, your intuition, can you make choices, how do you make choices?
  • What resources are valuable for you? Resources are also your own experiences. Resources on internet are not always reliable.
  • Learn to listen
  • Manage and use your emotions and authenticity in a professional, but personal way
  • Learn to be vulnerable in a professional way.
  • Learn to not judge on others too fast on peoples behavior
  • Learn to be patient
  • Learn to be flexible
  • Learn to speak in a communicative way. (others will understand you)
  • Learn to be empathic
  • Learn to work with presentation tools, with management tools, with other group facilitation tools
  • Learn to work with SCRUM, Human Dynamics or whatever methods there are to getting things done.
  • Learn how to blog for re-flexion on your own learning.
  • Learn to read very fast and put it into context
  • Learn to ask for help, in your own environment, but also on Social Media, internationally
  • Learn to think in a collaborative way

Why this is so interested for me as an entrepreneur? I think labor market ask for responsible, creative, well-skilled, independent and compassionate citizens. Virtual teams in organizations should be familiar with PBL-or something like that- for effective international collaboration. When you learn online PBL already in school, you will be very welcome on labor market.

With a lot of gratitude to my PBLgroup9 of #ONL162: Sonja, Miriam, Natalia, Gizeh, Asa, Mohammed and Raphael.





9 thoughts on “Evaluation of my facilitation of PBL9

  1. I find this post really valuable because you made me think, in the first place, in all of those skills that we develop in order to go through such experience as ONL. You as facilitator, me as PBL group member. It has been AMAZING! Sincerely I loved the work that we did together and your way of facilitating the process. Specially I liked your comments and questions that I took as hints. I realized you didn’t want to be a “teacher” but in such a group where people is used to learn by themselves there is little risk that the students expect to have such a teacher and rely 100% on the teacher’s instructions :-). I also sense and started to learn that there is another way of thinking than the pure academic. For me it was specially interesting to start sensing the mind of an entrepreneur behind my co facilitator and I am looking forward to continue hearing from you in the future.

  2. Francisca, you were a wonderful facilitator and you always had your finger on the pulse – you knew what we needed. What I perceived as another very valuable contribution of yours, were your basic computer skills, e.g. taking screen shots and posting them to the page if people struggled with resolution on their screens etc.. I know that these are very simple things, but it was really helpful and I think that is exactly what a group needs. That everything is taken care of around the group so we can hold the meeting (i.e. give birth to speak in your analogy). Thanks!

    1. Hi Miriam, Thanks for your reflection and feedback. Your comments didn’t dissappeared. They have to be approved first… Yes, the simple things is about the first stage of Gilly Salmons model, and about Digital literacy.
      I could only be a facilitator because of all members in the group. I loved your contribution because took initiative very often in a gentle and intelligent way. Your hard work was very inspiring for me – and probably for all groupmembers-. As a magician you created the online course, that was needed to make all the texts in the Fish document visible and insightful. Thanks for working together!

  3. I loved this analogy of being a midwife…I think it must be so true. I recognise the teacher within myself and know that I would want to “do” the teaching and “help” the group. I think that often drove me to “do” things (and perhaps sometimes drove our group a bit up the wall 🙂 …this is definitely going to be my “lesson” – to facilitate and and to step back – allowing the group to do the work and thereby learn by doing!
    I will miss working with you guys as a group, but as I am going to keep in contact with you all..I am not going to be sad 🙂 So wishing you and our group (Miriam, Gizeh, Asa, Natalia, Raphael and Mohammed) a very festive season and a blessed New Year!

    1. Hi Sonja, You are so honest and vulnerable… I love it, because that will break walls, take away thresholds and evaporate barriers to learn. If you are a great midwife… and I know you will, then there will be many beautiful babies born. Midwifes have to work often when others sleep, so the most important thing is to watch yourself as a midwife, because you are facilitator.;-) Thx for your sharp reflections Sonja and have great holidays and a meaningful New Year! Francisca

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