NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2012) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

Archives Tagged week5reflection

Week #5: Energy Facilitation

Internet have many facilitation tools either free or paid. Of course paid ones are most of the time comes with the better quality, but we as a students are much more dependent on our budget which is rarely big.  Free stuff here I come.

We as a students in online facilitation must be creators and contributors. In order to understand both sides of the game, so we could improve our quality of facilitation. Teachers in other way should be either spectating or contributing as facilitating group. The feedback of how the facilitation should’ve went can only be given after the facilitation itself. I don’t know if I must mention the reasons, but it’s called feedback for a reason. And the other is that we must make our own mistakes so our teachers could explain them for us simply pointing them out and correcting our path, not putting our feet in their engraved one.

To generate better facilitation experience enhance dialog between facilitators. It provides a dialog and the breakout of ideas, especially if you’re people motivated to facilitate. I’ve tried getting online feedback myself (not exactly a facilitation) and it’s not an easy task. I’ve posted in numbers of forums which I’ve found and only one person responded. But what a person he was! When I told him more about my project he gave me a lot of tips, places where I could find information and even corrected my grammar in my text! If you look deep enough you can find people like this in forums and then they can be your gateway to more enthusiasts which could be a valuable facilitators for your study. Before that, I couldn’t believe that these kind a people exist.

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Of course in team’s facilitation I believe there’s one more very important thing is to keep in close contact with your colleagues. It depends on your project, but meetings offline are crucial for project success.

So the main idea is try to gain valuable facilitators which requires very much energy, but will pay off if you figure out at least one person like that. Another is to provide your facilitators quality info, so in other words: to be prepared. And the last but not least, keep in contact and work like a team, do not always divide tasks, but rather try to solve them in team.

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Posted in All Students, Group 9, Marketing Products
This was originally published at strange Behaviour

Knowledge

In our Project Community group work we have now used many different online facilitation platforms. Some of them have been a great success and some have failed to meet our needs or failed because of technical reasons. Nevertheless it has been a pleasure and a good experience to facilitate our work in different ways. Researching the communities has also given me a good view into different online platforms.

Looking back I have to say that for me personally meeting people in person is still the most convenient way of communicating. In other perspective- the world is always developing, working global becomes more common and there is a possibility that meeting in person will not be an option. I think it is worth getting used to and maybe the complexity we are facing now is just a sign that we are not yet really ready for this. I would be happy to continue with different platforms and learn more about possible facilitation options- if there are any?

If I don’t know I don’t know- I think I know and If I don’t know I know- I think I don’t know. Laing R D (1970) Knots Harmondsworth; Penguin (p.55)

It is hard to know that I would like to know something if I don’t know it exists. J
One of the main problems in online facilitation for me is the fact that nothing really gets done during the meetings. Good ideas are forwarded and questions asked but often that is all.

In the very beginning we decided to keep the group tasks dynamic by approaching each week separately. This decision was made because it is not a linear process and a straight-forward task. Nevertheless, group members have in a way developed their position through the process. My contribution to our teamwork has been pretty much spot on to the Belbin test results- Monitor-evaluator. When things get messy and the target gets vague I pause the process, take a step back, find a solution, reset or refresh the target and help everybody to move on.

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Posted in All Students, Customer Communities, Group 5
This was originally published at Henrik Eeltee

Student Facilitation

As you think about the learning you are embarking upon here at the university, reflect on the role that your instructors and fellow students play in facilitating yours and their learning. What are they doing? How is it facilitating learning and teamwork based on what you have experienced so far? What has been useful? What would you like to see and experience that you haven’t yet in the facilitation of this course from yourself, peers and faculty? What can you contribute as a peer facilitator? For your commenting on others’ blogs this week, maybe you notice where another colleague has contributed to your learning through their facilitation and let them know when/where it happened and how it was of value to you. Are you game for that?

Learning in a group is always a great experience. The more groups you work with the more you start to understand how groups work. You understand what the most efficient form of collaboration is and how to achieve it. I have found that every group is different. Different people work best in their own conditions and their condition may be different to other people. All groups also need guidance, otherwise everyone in the group is lost and no work gets done.

what I have enjoyed within my group is seeing the enthusiasm and contribution they all have to show towards the completion of this project. At first things were a bit slow within the group, but now that the project is much clearer and that we have a full group, we can really build momentum to finishing this project.

Based on my previous group experience in my high school projects I have tried to facilitate the project with the old techniques. Personally I don’t think I have enough group experience to be able to facilitate peers efficiently so that’s why the more groups I get involved with the more I realize what does and doesn’t work.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Industrial Design Engineering 2012

Facilitating / Facilitation

It’s only when you start thinking about facilitating that you understand and see how much is being facilitated and how much you facilitate yourself. This is because I feel facilitating is a natural urge, the means to share information and the means to come to common ground on understanding each other.

Earlier today I saw a great documentary about creativity which Bart Hoekstra shared on facebook. It got me thinking about how creativity and spreading of idea works and how it got so much faster and easier in the past decade.

Technology facilitating has become one of the most important ways to share knowledge so that others can in their turn share their knowledge and so on.

If you take this principle to university as is happening, you take away regular ways of education but inspire the students to share great things with each other which in turn leads them to picking up way more knowledge than they would passively learning. In such a case it doesn’t matter that we deviate from the subject matter sometimes because it’s not useless information.

I feel it’s like additive learning, you keep picking up pieces and bits and it confuses you sometimes, but it also challenges you to complete the jigsaw and combine al these pieces into a new piece to complete a bigger jigsaw.

Facilitating others and others facilitating will keep on being of the most important aspects of learning, for without it initiative and infecting others with ideas is lost. Werther it’s trough technological, physical or mental interaction it’ll stay.

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Posted in All Students, Group 6, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Nout Hogesteeger

Facilitation of new ideas and group dynamics.

The largest difference between the teachers and students teaching me is that while the teachers explain and facilitate the pure learning experience, my peers allow me to make use of this learning. The lectures are quite interesting and allow the introduction of new ideas, this helps build a base of what my knowledge is. My interaction with the other students is a key part of my learning experience. The ability to exchange ideas and thoughts and get direct feedback is a form of learning that I hold to the highest regard. But having teachers there to coach and guide us through more difficult problems is quite a feat in its self. Probably the most useful way that we have learned is through our small talks with Nancy. She has cleared up many issues that we have had and gave very direct answers that we have been looking for. Thumbs up for that! Losing a group member has been quite a change for us as we have had to divide research and even though it has been a little tougher at times, we have compensated eloquently. This said, our group is not without its problems. Something that I would love to have within the group is a better group environment and dynamics. Being people from vastly different cultures and places gives our group a very strong multinational base but also adds tension to the mix. This could be one of our strong selling points towards customers and it is being squalled by group conflict. I feel that I try to always stir up ideas, where we try to look at them from a different point of view. A different perspective while problem solving helps to stir up and can lead to really innovative ideas and allows for quick response to changes in our group dynamic and the problem at hand. 

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at Expert Innovation

Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #5

Regarding my own learning

So far, to be honest, I don’t have a very satisfying feeling regarding my own learning. Normally, when I feel like I really learnt something, I can at least sum up some big insights that I had. That’s not really been the case in this project so far.

I do of course know that those big insights are only a small part of the actual learning taking place. An important part of the things I learn usually revolve around the ways of expressing things, certain terminology and other small things. Of course that’s really important. Especially the way of expressing/communicating things is a thing that I’m very interested in. Since I know that that is one of the areas that I know I can have the biggest impact with if I improve it. But then again, regarding that I learnt a lot probably, but I cannot really tell what specifically.

Of course a big part of the learning of those small things is facilitated by my fellow students and the course facilitators. It’s their way of saying and expressing things, that I try to suck up (as a sponge) and make use of at the right time.

Regarding my peers’ learning

I think I can add a lot more to my peers’ learning than to my own learning. I’ve already been doing that in my group, since I am already very familiar with OpenIDEO and Ushahidi, and for a couple of other groups who are working on Basecamp. I find that to be really satisfying, although I have to admit as well that it is a little less satisfying having to do that in my own group. Since I’ve already been working in education for a couple of years now, developing human potential is really one of my passions. I love helping others in their learning and I always hope to ignite a little bit of passion and create wonder about the world around is. That is what I like to do in groups of 13 year old students, but still as relevant and awesome to do in groups of much older people. In the end I always try to inspire people in general, it doesn’t matter how old they are, but I’d prefer to see similar faces like in this picture of my students of last year:

One thing that I am really missing currently in the whole peer-learning process is a way to communicate the group progress. I’d love to be able to jump in on conversations that are really about the project itself. These reflections are good to read, but personally I don’t find them as interesting as diving into the subject matter for real. I do like to find out what the other groups are doing through a Google Hangout, like this week, but I would still prefer to really see what they have set on paper, regarding their topic. That is because I want to add comments to small details and provide bits of inspiration to the other groups, but I don’t want to waste another groups’ time on listening/having to read things they already know.

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Bart Hoekstra's Tumbleblog

sooooo… facilitation !

To begin with, I would like to explain in easy way what facilitation and facilitator is. This describes the best:
“Facilitation is the art of leadership in group communication. A facilitator is one who fulfills this leadership role.”
Deeper (as I understand this): “facilitation is like making art with others, also, being a communicable leader. Facilitator is the one, who does everything to make others tasks easier.”

University is still like a new, unexplored planet for me. Teachers and classmates help me to “survive” on these trebling floors. I am learning from them, I hope they are learning something from me also. We are communicating very much. The main platform is “Facebook”, because it is the easiest way to do this, we have our groups, we can upload all files, show results, chat and do mostly everything. now we just started to use “Google+ hangout” to make conversations between us. I don’t really like this way, I would prefer to use “Skype”, I think, that it would be easier to communicate.

Wednesday’s “hangouts” are reaaaaally helpful to understand everything. I think its not only for me, but also for others. Without this it would be harder to find solutions and to write a blog every week. Lectures are very important, too. Before my studies here I thought that The university has to be the place where teachers wont show initiative to help you, you have to find everything by yourself and so on. But.. I found this course in other, better way. Teachers want to be like friends, communicate, they help us, they give us information sources, say what do we need and try to plug the information to our brains. I like this much.

To be a good facilitator you need to have many skills, but, in my point of view, it is “enough” to be COMMUNICABLE, FLEXIBLE AND BALANCED OBSERVANT WITH RICH IMAGINATION AND PATIENCE, WHO HAS A LOT OF CONNECTIONS, IS NOT AFRAID OF AFFIRMANCE AND CHALLENGES AND, ALSO, CAN KEEP SILENCE.. J

Facilitation is like art, as I wrote, we are designers - we can understand the art. We all are facilitators. Maybe not at the university, but anywhere else.

p.s. I really like what ive found about online and offline facilitation: http://www.mindmeister.com/767714/online-and-offline-facilitation-different-and-alike
I think this describes mostly everything about facilitation.

Sites Ive used:
http://www.mindmeister.com/767714/online-and-offline-facilitation-different-and-alike
http://www.slideshare.net/cococorina/team-facilitation
http://www.odos.uiuc.edu/greek/resources/downloads/artfacilitation.pdf

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Posted in All Students, Group 8, Work Teams
This was originally published at Justina Vaičiūnaitė

Facillitation

So far I have been pleased with this program and feel that the class and I has already made some progress. This progress has been possible because of the resources and knowledge that our teachers have shared with us. Every week we have had the opportunity to explore the web on our own, we have made new discoveries about how online communities work and how to best communicate with others. All with the assistance of our teachers. The most unusual feature of this class is also the fact that one of our teachers is sitting halfway around the world and goes online every week to connect with us and guide us in our project. She has also given us some new online experiences by pushing us into trying new online sites and communication tools.

The main issue I have had until now has been the vague assignments in this project. We have been allowed to go exploring online on our own, but this has caused us to not get a real sense of the purpose of the project. When we tried to ask specific questions about the end result of our assignments, we have been met with answer that didn’t make the project any clearer and mainly left us more confused and in the dark than before. It wasn’t until this week, when we had our group meeting with Nancy White on Google Hangout, that the purpose was finally made clear for us. Nancy was able to give us concrete answer about what we are supposed to get out of this course. Because of this helpful meeting we are now more aware of what we need to do.

Because this epiphany about our purpose came so late in this course, we now need to make sure that we stay on track with our project, so that we don’t fall behind. In my group we have a tendency to get extremely of topic and loose track of the assignment in front of us. I will therefore have to be a bit more strict when it comes to our teamwork, simply because we have to get a bit more focused and concentrate on creating results.

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at THE GREAT DANE

New way of learning

During this course i’m experiencing absolutely new way of learning. In schools and at the universities in my home country everything is different – in my opinion much worse. Lectures are taking place in big classrooms with something about 150 students inside and a lecturer comes, speaks to the crowd drawing something on a board without any personal interaction with students and after one or one and a half of an hour he leaves and the students have to go to another big classroom for another lecture, which looks exactly the same. And usually nobody cares if you are there or not. You just have to be prepared for your exams. Fellow students are borrowing and copying notes from each other and that’s all about their contact in learning matters. Sometimes they are studying together for exams, but there are no group activities in their study program.

Here it’s completely opposite – we have a lot of group activities and we have to talk a lot about what we have to do together, share our ideas and solutions. Through that we are learning to be open for different points of view and criticism, to listen to each other with understanding and explain our ideas, so they could be understood by others. The classrooms are usually not so big, so everyone can be seen and heard and that encourages to interaction on both lines lecturer-student and student-student. I feel that i’m treated personaly not as one of the crowd and that’s great. The lecturers are closer to the students than i imagined. They care about us to understand what they are talking about and to be at the classes, they are also very helpful in a lot of matters unconnected with the course. They are really nice, friendly, smart people, who are sharing their knowledge and experience with us in many interesting, creative ways, but who also wants to involve, understand and get to know us. I think that they are learning a little from us too. Great and new for me is also that we can stay in touch with them online. That’s really helpful. Just like meetings with Nancy, which surprised me even more. It’s not yet popular in Poland to use any online tools in education.

In my country learning is old-fashion and boring. It’s impossible for people to imagine that studying can be fun, so i wasn’t expecting that they will be here, but they really are. I’m happy that i choose this course, because even if i won’t decide to be a designer in my future i’ll develop my creativity and learn here a lot of things, which can be useful in my personal and profesional life doesn’t matter what i will be doing. And the best thing is that i’ll learn them having a good time.

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Posted in All Students, Group 4, Marketing Products
This was originally published at Julia Zarebska

Western civilizati….Wait what ?

At first when we started working in groups I was shocked… But after a week or two I realised that this is quite the opportunity. At first it seems strange working in multicultural environment but after some time you start using this as your advantage - both for you and the group. Right now we are in week 5 and so far so good. We have our disagreements but it all comes down to where everybody comes from. Sometimes I want to hit somebody but this is more like Personal Branding. But I’ve learned that teamwork is important and they are helping me to adjust to the Western world. Of course lets not forget the teachers. They are always helpful and ready to speak with you if you have some kind of problem. Also the teachers are also multicultural which is qute nice. In that way we can improve our work because every teacher will say something about their coutry and we can put this in use in our projects - making them better. We facilitate the work process by collaborating with our community. And then we put the knowledge into doing out projects better every single time. It’s quite useful and I am keen to improve it a bit futher.

I would certainly like to improve my English - Coming from Bulgaria means having typical Eastern accent and most western people are not used to it. Also it’s normal for bulgarians to talk fast - of course I talk fast and sometimes this is quite the problem. Thats why sometimes I remain silent because many people won’t understand me. But after coming to the university and with the help of my friends from the course (not from my group) I learned to speak little bit slower and I think I fixed a little bit my accent so I am greatful to them. As for the study teachers should lay their steam off…. I mean seriously!! Couple of days ago I made a joke and nobody understand it and they simply called it stupid O_O. In my country is typical to have jokes with the teachers to lay off the steam and they do it too. So it’s not something which is bad. Sometimes I just don’t understand the western world. It’s so strange to me. If you look at the laws in the Netherlands and the teachers (well some of them, not all) it’s like we are back in the Soviet Union….I am not kidding and I am 100 % serious !

Reading my friends blogs it’s quite useful because sometimes you can “steal” ideas and modify them to fit you. After all we should help each other because some of us will be 3 years together :). Aside for that everything seems ok for now and to tell the truth I am very home sick…. It’s my very first time being abroad and I miss my country every day. Usually the pain becames smaller with time passing but mine is only growing… I try not to think alot but right now it’s almost impossible :D. At least I try to make stupid jokes from time to time to cheer myself and my friends. I think I will adjust rather quickly to the western world as soon as I find some good friends :)

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Posted in All Students, Group 2, Support Raising
This was originally published at ItSkO