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.