Well, this blog post has been sitting in my Evernote notebook since the Festival of Learning in Burnaby this past June! The summer has just flown by!
I had the pleasure of co-facilitating another “get the word out about FLO” conference session at a new professional learning event called “The Festival of Learning” (#FOL16) that took place June 6 – 9, 2016 at the Delta Villa Hotel in Burnaby, BC. Not to be confused with a similarly named event early in May, the June Festival was conceived by the BC Teaching and Learning Council and organized by BCcampus and a platoon (army?) of volunteers to offer an unprecedented range of learning and sharing opportunities for BC educators.
Our quartet of FLO afficionados and practitioners: Beth Cougler Blom, Leonne Beebe, Sylvia Currie, Sylvia Riessner was offered a 3 hour time slot to explain the “power of FLO” and the potential the five week workshop offers to develop online facilitation skills (and the value of the FLO OER resources available for other institutions to develop their own “in-house” offerings).
Although the 3 hours sounded generous at first, we quickly found ourselves scrambling to tighten up each section to ensure that we covered the important elements about the FLO workshop while still making the actual session interactive, engaging and useful for participants. We also integrated some Liberating Structures facilitation micro-structures (modified for constraints of time and space as we had a fairly awkward presentation room) – Impromptu Networking and Shift and Share AND shared a template for creating engaging and interactive online learning activities.
During the session, we explained:
- the evolution and “flow” of the Facilitating Learning Online workshop
- the weekly topics, team facilitation activities, and “stream themes” used to focus the discussion, activities and reflections during the 5 weeks
- the value of shifting roles from participant-facilitator-participant
We took turns sharing:
- what we valued most about our involvement with FLO
- some statements from past participants about what they valued about FLO
- brief descriptions of the focus activities (facilitated by different teams of participants each week)
Our participants in the Festival session seemed surprised at the scope of the FLO workshop, curious about the OER resources available, and left with a “grab-bag” of ideas for addressing their own challenges around engaging learners online.