Monday, August 16, 2010

Learning in Chaos

Well I survived my first role as an online facilitator, thanks to the help and support from Sarah, Coach Carole and Nancy.

To be honest it was overwhelming, although I didn't want to dare admit that at the time because I wanted to maintain some sort of professional ability throughout the session.

I have very little 'hands-on' experience of Elluminate. In fact prior to Saturday's session, I had only joined one live session and listened to a couple of recordings. So when Nancy opened it up so that all participants could have moderator/facilitator privileges I felt somewhat redundant and not needed. For me everybody was getting the chance to see what a facilitator can do without having the pressure on them to do it.

Of course in retrospect this 'free form' session probably provided me (and the other participants) with a more diverse way of learning than we would have had from a more structured session. I loved the 'show and tell' style format of everyone sharing with each other, but the chaos was hard for me to handle. I like to have a level of control - and that was something that was common between several of the other participants too.

When I'm given a role of responsibility I take it seriously and in this instance, because I didn't have much experience in actually using Elluminate, felt I couldn't contribute as much as I would've liked during the actual session. But then of course my role as a facilitator is not so much to contribute and participate myself, but to ensure others are included and that they are learning.

The planning session with Coach Carole using Skype was fundamental to my learning - her experience, recommendations and guidance were invaluable.

All in all as I explained to Sarah I would've loved to have had more time to prepare and gain more experience in Elluminate before taking on the role of facilitator, but at the same time it was a great opportunity to have hands-on learning.


  1. Sharon, I think you did a fabulous job especially since you've had minimal experience of Elluminate. I totally understand where you're coming from when you say you want to be better prepared. But some of that comes from the fact you are inexperienced with Elluminate - that desire for contriol lessons as you become more confident and competent.

    The other thing I would say is that the online experience has a lot more opportunities for serendipity...for off-the cuff actions/interactions/activities. To work well in this environment, you have to throw yourself in, boots and all. And I also think people are far more generous about mistakes in the online environment than they are F2F...because we are all learning together :)

    What do you plan to do to build on this experience?

  2. Sharon, I didn't attend the live session, but watched the recording. I thought you did a marvelous job! If you hadn't mentioned here, I wouldn't have known that this was only your second live session.

    I could see how when Nancy gave everyone moderator status you might have felt redundant (you weren't, but I can understand the feeling). I think that aspect of the session was really exciting for the participants. Most of them had probably not had moderator status in Elluminate before and it really is different from just being a participant.

    Thanks for sharing your reflections on the experience :-)

  3. Hi Sharon, I agree with everything that Claire said above. Particularly that you did a terrific job and I certainly didn't recognize that you were not feeling totally comfortable.

    Well done.

  4. I didn't attend the live session either but watched the recording. One of my first thoughts was about how you who were facilitating felt. I am sure it was unexpected. It made me think of some of the ways that that may happen with facilitating. The Wiki or other open editing might lead to far less control.

  5. Thanks to all of you for your kind comments, much appreciated and of course does the confidence levels the world of good!