Monday, 23 November 2009

Learning from Others in the Room

After LearnTrends 2009, I received a note from a person I know and highly respect that said, “I dropped in on several sessions over the last three days and wanted to thank you for your good facilitation skills …”

It’s great to get that positive feedback, but this was actually a bit of a surprise.  I often felt during the conference that I was not doing a good job of taking advantage of the expertise that was often in the room.

This was amplified when George Siemens did a highly participatory session where he had the audience list out design considerations for several things like formal vs. informal, etc.  Some tweets during the session:

  • “opens the whiteboard up to let participants create the agenda…whoa! crazy fun! ” @chambo_online
  • “Very intrigued to have 130 people writing on a whiteboard all at once at #learntrends … and amazingly, it didn’t suck” @cynan_sez
  • “130+ people writing on same Elluminate whiteboard and GWave also being completed. Online learning has arrived” @GillianP

That session flew by and was a great use of the power in the room.  A masterful job by George.  Great stuff.  And something that I believe he and I will be doing together in the future in some way.

Other than George’s session, most of the rest of the conference had active chat, but it was limited in many ways.  The time we had for open discussion didn’t seem to achieve that much discussion.  It rambled. 

My gut tells me that if I had designed things in a particular way, we could have had some truly amazing sessions.

So, please help me so that in a month when I’m designing future online sessions, I can come back here and design something great.

What are some ways that I can facilitate meaningful learning from others in the room during online sessions?

Have you seen examples of something that was powerful?

What conversation would you have wanted to have or see?

Please comment or post with ideas.  And if you don’t have an ideas, please just retweet to ask someone else for ideas?  And maybe come back in a day and see if some of the ideas help spark other ideas for you.

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