Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another evaluation of our mini conference

When I reread my previous evaluation I started off by evaluating the mini conference but ended by evaluating the course. Must have been post evaluation amnesia so will try again.
1. What went well and what didn't go well - I think the general flow of the session was logical and easy to understand and follow. The subject was relevant to our course and was applicable to all participants despite the platform being used in a health organisation. This point is important if different types of participants will be attending We ran to time nand I felt we were not rushed or pushed for time. I know at one stage Malcolm was a little worried we were running late but I was able to reassure him through a chat message seen only by the staff which made it easy to manage. I had watched the other facilitated sessions throughout the course to see what time they kept and it generally followed the same plan of 5 - 10 minute introduction / house keeping, 20 - 30 minute presentation followed by questions and summary.
What didn't go well - we didn't advertise soon enough or wide enough. This was due to not finalising our topic exactly till the last minute and therefore were unable to put out the correct information soon enough.

2. How the event was organised and promoted - adequate info, support & relevance. I felt there was enough information in the advertising although I found this hard to do on Twitter due to the word count. If I had my time again, I would just include my blog url so to redirect them to my site so they can check out the full details. This also provides extra traffic to my blog which is only a good thing. I don't think we advertised long enough or wide enough. I felt able to offer technical support as this was one of the biggest issues for me. I assisted a brand new user how to navigate from the start and she only managed to get on 2 minutes before we started. I didn't want to leave her so had a plan B if she was unable to access Elluminate and I had to go. As stated before I thought the session was relevant to the course and all our participants.

3. Event was managed & conducted smoothly - yes I think this occurred, in saying that, it felt like it did to me. I was very prepared, we had rehearsed and each of us had a back up plan for the other. I was obsessed with having a back up plan for everything - my OCD coming out with avengence.

4. Efforts were made to ensure participants knew where they were supposed to be and when and arranged technical support. Yes I felt that the course wiki and advertising details were quite explicit and we didn't seem to lose anyone that said that they would be coming. I noticed some groups asked for a reply to say if you were coming. This might have been a good idea, more so to alleviate us of the worry that potentially no one would turn up - now that would be awful.

5. How you set the stage, made introductions, remained neutral - I felt we could have done a little more introducing of ourselves to help people know who we were. I thought this was too brief. As for remaining neutral - I think this may have been easier had I not been involved with the subject matter that happened to be close to my heart at the time. I wonder what it would be like to faciliate an event that you knew nothing about?

6. Did you go round , draw closure and indicate where recordings would be? - I felt we went round and I kept a note of who had asked a question and the subject matter of that question. Malcolm did the summarising and I supported him in this. I thought it was good how Malcolm put over the chat box that people could interupt and ask a question or wait till the end a the beginning of the presentation. It intially felt peopel were a bit reluctant to engage and so I think this broke the ice a little. In the future I would like to go around everyone in the introductions and just to do a quick intro to get people in the right frame of mind to engage.

7. Feedback from the audience - was very positive. I liked how someone commented it was the first time she felt her voice /opinion was asked for which made me feel like I had really listened to the participants ( a skill I have been trying to improve).

8. How would you do things in the future? - overall the session went well, Just a few twicking things to do - advertising, general confidence with being able to solve IT problems, sorting out why I can not upload a power point presentation.

I enjoyed it and would do it again tommorrow.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Recording of our mini conference 1.11.10

Here is the recording of our mini conference from 1.11.10. Driving change: Introducing a virtual education and training portal into a large organisation / network - the opportunities and challenges. Thankyou to those of you who attended and we look forward to your feedback.
Regards Jillian & Malcolm

My evaluation of our mini conference

Overall I am generally please with how the session turned out. I spent alot of time (and some would say too much time) preparing down to the enth degree and having back up plans for absolutely everything. My biggest fear was not being able to manage the technology and associated problems - something out of my control. (I realise that I am a total control freak and do not like anything to be outside of my control). I have found online facilitating similar in lots of ways to my facilitation of the student midwife real world environment however it is the unpredictability of the virtual world that scares me. All in all the things I will take away from this course are:
1. Learning new technology is very time comsuming and at times frustrating. Without the desire to learn more, the obstacles would be overwhelming for an apathetic learner. Therefore we need to engage, excite and arouse the learner to tweek their interest and bring them to the onine world of learning
2. Give them reasons to engage. Advertise the benefits to them. Sell them the product / site / technology. Sales plays a big part in getting them to the site. Social networking plays a big part in keeping them there. Use this to your advantage.
3. A plethora of tools awaits us - ever growing, ever changing. Be patient, have a go and have fun as you engage with people from all walks of life. It will open doors and provide access to people you never knew existed.
4. Don't take it all too serious. Now that my uni semester is all but over, maybe now I can relax a little more and really enjoy the online journey. With no assessments hanging in the balance, I can just enjoy the experience. Would love to have another go at it when it is just for fun.
5. The process of online facilitation from start to finish is lengthy, complicated and at times frustrating however it has improved my skills exponentionally because I had to do it over and over again. I am proud of myself for silly things like being able to hyperlink tiny URLs, edit a wiki, work a world time clock, help someone new come into Elluminate -walk them through the process and trouble shoot. I need to work on getting better at Twitter - not really getting the whole concept yet, understanding more technical jargon and being able to sell / advertise things better online.
Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and learnt heaps. Thanks to Sarah for excellent you tube videos (an idiots guide on how anything) these really made a difference to being able to do things without having to ask you all the time LOL!!! Thankyou to all the participants for your encouragement, sharing of knowledge and ideas and to my family who has supported me in this very time consuming process of online learning.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The night before.......

Well, it feels like the night before a big public speaking event. I'm not usually nervous as I find this type of work comes very natural - I love to talk. However I can't help feeling I've forgotten something. Have I given enough details on where to find the mini conference, have I advertised enough, will anyone turn up, what happens if my internet falls apart - a real possibility after the week I've had - hence why I've decided to borrow my neighbours internet connection just to be on the safe side. When I'm teaching, I know my subject very well so even if I lost everything, I have it stored in my brain and know I could talk without any support. Not so in this world of online facilitating. My control is only in the facilitation, not the presentation - such a wierd feeling!!!!
Important (as a wise facilitator said to me earlier this week) not to panic and not to take it so seriously. Easier said then done for a perfectionist like me. Must keep it in perspective - this environment has been so supportive of learning and making mistakes. As I tell my children and students - you do your best learning from your mistakes - wonder why I find that line hard to swallow at 10pm the night before???????

Feedback from the mini conference

Thankyou for providing us with your feedback. If you could answer a few simple questions and leave your comments it would be much appreciated.
1. What did you learn in the session?
2. How can you apply this knowledge to your future work?
3. Any further feedback that you feel would benefit us.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mini Conference

Well the time has finally arrived for us to test our skills and 'walk the talk'. Our mini conference (Malcolm Lewis and I will be facilitating) is due to be held on Monday 1st Nov at 11am Brisbane time. For world clock times: .

For those of you interested in gaining an understanding about the opportunities and challenges that impact on participants uptake and engagement in a new education and training e-platform, please join us for what we hope will be an interesting and lively session.

Kayleen Gordon will be our guest speaker (with over 26 years in education, a Masters in Education specialising in e-learning) and is the Assistant Director of Nursing for the new QLD Health Education and Training portal - ClinEdQ. She has first hand experience about the challenges faced by organisations and individuals as they try and engage people with online learning / networking.

Please join us if you are interested in just hearing about Kayleen's experiences or have some suggestions of your own. Kayleen will also discuss some strategies on how best to encourage engagement and uptake of a new site.

Information on how to access Elluminate can be found here:
The link for the room can be found here:

If you are new to Elluminate and need to test your audio and mic, please enter into Elluminate at least 20 min before the scheduled start time so Malcolm and I can assist you.

To leave your feedback, we would appreciate if could answer the following 2 questions via your comments:
1. What did you learn in this session?
2. How can you apply this to your future work?
3. Any further feedback that you feel would benefit us.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 10 - Cultural competence

I will have to admit that my experience with cultural competence is very limited both in the real world and online. I have had more to do with mothers with disabilities (sight, hearing and learning) then I have had with different languages or cultures. I have particiated in my organisations cultural awareness program and learnt about cultural sensitivity in pregnancy and child birth but have really not had much opportunity to practice and improve my cultural competence. Even my experiences in teaching at university have seen the vast majority of my students fall into the white middle class anglo saxon group. I think the best I can do in relation to being a culturally competent facilitator is to learn as much as I can about the subject and then maybe go looking for opportunities to practice these skills because they are clearly not coming up in my current work environment.

I have a feeling of ' I won't know what I don't know' so I better start searching out information about this subject as I am unsure how I would ensure the resources, images and communication tools and activities were culturally appropriate if I don't know what is and isn't appropriate. Many issues to consider. The activities provided some good back ground reading and food for thought.
Just a thought - If you have say 3 or 4 different cultural backgrounds in your e-group and there are things within each culture that are not appropriate for the other culture to see, hear about or discuss, how do you cater for everyone or am I being too simplistic here? (eg: female circumcision????)