Thursday, August 5, 2010

Post mortem of my 1st facilitation online experience

Well as with all new experiences, it wasn't as bad as I thought. My main fear was a technically disaster that I did not know how to fix. Otherwise the preparation, faciliatation and evaluation of the meeting was similar in a lot of ways to face to face facilitation. The things I have taken from this experience are:
  • Be prepared, have a back up plan on paper (My mother brain will often leave me mid sentence and I forget what I am taking about - mothers will know what I mean)
  • House keeping or ground rules to ensure eveyone knows what to do in the session
  • Know your subject well
  • Try and meet with your co-presentors to discuss the flow of the session, who will do what.
  • Log on early (approx. 1hr) to ensure you are connected and have everything ready
  • Have a practice a few days before hand to get a grasp on what the screen looks like in 'staff privledges mode' and what you have to do with it. Sarah will need to give you this access.
  • Handy to faciliatate with 2 people (1 with lots of knowledge and one without - is always a benefit)
  • This exercise increases your listening and multi tasking skills (I need to practice my listeneing skills)
  • Have fun!!!


  1. I thought you and Chris did a fabulous job - you both sounded extremely professional and efficient.

    How did you find the multi-tasking element of facilitating a synchronous session?

  2. Thanks Jillian - I appreciated both that you modeled and articulated what you were doing. Your preparation shone through! Well done!

  3. Hey Jillian
    Just wanted to say that I thought you and Chris did an awesome job yesterday. I am hoping to have a go soon and have found your comments and reflections useful. Being an honorary 'staff member' gave me an insight into what's going on behind the scenes and the need to be aware of and respond to different cues than in a face to face situation. I expect you were pretty exhausted afterwards!

  4. Thanks for your tips Jillian. Great to have a neophyte insider's view of what's required.

  5. Jillian
    listened to the recording of your session- seemed as if many technical hitches were skilfully overcome. WELL DONE to both of you. I see the need very clearly for more than one person, and ideally one with more exeprience. Your evaluation tips and your planning notes really helpful.
    Can't get to Monday's meeting, but hope to be at Nancy White's session next saturday.

  6. Great input, Jillian. Thanks for having the courage to go first. Gloria

  7. Sarah asked me about the multi tasking element of facilitation. I likened it to mothering really. Probably not the most professional answer but very similar in alot of ways - Lots of people asking different things of you and needing an answer fairly quickly!As with mothering, being organised, prepared and knowledgeable allows you to overcome most issues and allows you to deal with everything in a calm, ordered way. Occasionally things happen that you can't foresee or prevent and this is where a backup plan and an extra set of hands (another faciliator) always comes in handy. At the end of the day have fun, be honest about what you can and can't do and try to be a great problem solver - just like a mother!