3d facilitation and on-line communities of learning

In the third edition of “Did You Know” a certain Allan November was supposed to have identified 3 essential skills we need (children) to learn:

  1. … deal with massive amounts of information;
  2. … global communication skills;
  3. … to be self-directed and understand how to organize more and more of their own learning.

I believe they are also competencies any participant in a community need to have. Inability to acquire such skills might be the reason why a) a number of members might be highlighting problems about reading so many blogs and catching up with discussions, b) some people might be ‘having headaches’ just being present and listening to what happens in the Elluminate meeting room, and/or c) why some people are even wishing that those proximate with one another can meet up personally/physically.

The whole paradigm of using on-line as medium of interaction is precisely that it is about colossal amount of information, interacting virtually within differing time zones, and finding a level of participation that is uniquely self-managed and self-driven.

This brings me back to a model of facilitating I developed recently. I call it 3D Facilitation.

The first dimension is about Content. This will be the relevant content that the group is concerned about. In the case of this on-line community, that will include what is outlined in the wiki – all about Online Facilitation of Communities. The second dimension is about Process. It is about how the members are interacting with one another through whatever model of community building or stages of formation that is being used. In the case of this on-line community, that will include how people are participating in the discussion forum, how people are commenting on each other’s blogs, etc. It also includes the navigational skills people need to make use of the different technologies. The third dimension is about Set-Up. This will pertain to how the first two dimensions are facilitated by the technology, platform and/or set of activities lined up – all geared towards achievement of the objectives of the community.

Given this model, one can appreciate that there will be some Facilitators who are very well versed with Content and will have interventions loaded with such. Others will be good in Process and will simply be moderating without any input at all to what is being discussed by the group. The third – those good in Set-up would have to be very good at both the Content and the Process.

Again, an on-line community can make use of the wiki, the blog, readers, tweeters, forums, groups, diigos, SL meetings, Elluminate meetings, etc. to facilitate learning about a subject matter. But Effective Facilitation will be achieve only when the question of how one can ‘set them all up seamlessly’ is answered — leading to total integration, thus enabling members to have a handle on how well they are doing, individually and as a community, relative to the 3 essential competencies listed above.


2 Responses

  1. Hi Greg, I did this course last year. I like your model. I wonder if it could perhaps also be viewed as scales with facilitation as the axis, attempting to provide some balance to the content and process.
    Thanks food for thought.

  2. I very much like your suggestion that a facilitator can set these up seamlessly rather than another LMS or something. Most people I know who identify a need for seamless integration tend to go looking for something out of a box, rather than someone with a certain skill set. That said, it is very difficult to establish seamlessness as a facilitator of a group that shoot off in all sorts of directions. Perhaps the seamlessness will be the coming together of two things in the not too distant future. 1. People’s ability to cope with Internets 2. The Internet as a whole becoming easier to use (web3)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: