Developed within the project FAVILLE
Our project FAVILLE recognizes still significant gap in providing good quality e-learning and virtual learning experience. Despite of the high maturity, quality, and relevance of the course content, both the trainer and the participant could benefit from the cooperation with a facilitator. Learn more here.
Who is a facilitator in virtual learning?
FAcilitator in the VIrtuaL LEarning refers to a relatively new figure in the learning world. Unlike the trainer or tutor, the facilitator does not have to be a subject area expert, he/she acts in the virtual class as a motivator, supporter - someone who facilitates the learning environment, team dynamics, communication and collaboration among the participants and with the trainer. In order to do that effectively, facilitator uses various tools, techniques and exercises, proactively identifies obstacles, searches and provides the opportunities for collaboration.
What does WAFTT Web Application on Facilitation Tools & Techniques offer?
Once successfully reviewed and piloted, our application will provide 60+ tools and techniques for facilitators in virtual learning environment. They were curated from various sources (as given in the WAFTT), and adjusted to the needs of the FAVILLE project target groups. We aimed at simplicity, user-friendliness and easy to follow instructions. Facilitators will be able to choose the right technique based on multiple filters which can be combined as needed.
What filters can be used?
When creating the filters, we had to answer the question: in this specific situation (e.g. I facilitate a training and the focus of the group keeps shifting in another direction), what are the aspects or factors I have to consider when choosing the right technique? The answer is fairly complex, but these are the factors we find most important:
- Group size in persons: choose the facilitation tool based on the group size.
- Time frame in minutes: time necessary for the full use of the tool or technique.
- Phase: phase of the event within which you want to use/need the tool.
- Purpose: what is the reason for using this particular tool, what is the main goal to be reached, what should be supported, developed or enhanced by using this?
- Skills: actively used and involved skills of the participants, it is possible to perceive them as suitable prerequisites for mastering the activity/tool.
- Facilitation level: some tools are easy to use but some require the certain level of experience, therefore this filtering option allows to choose the facilitation level: either the level of beginner (for less experienced users, which are building their expertise in this field), or the level of a skilled facilitator (medium & advanced level of experience with facilitation, and higher level of autonomy and self-assurance).
- Comfort zone: A category that describes the benefit of the technique/tool from the point of view of comfort zone theory. We use 2 levels:
- Safe zone (participants use what they know, what they can control and are familiar with, what they know intimately, the environment and atmosphere of well-being and relaxation, emotionally "they are at home"),
- Stretch zone (participants are in a situation where they experience a slight discomfort, at the same time they gain a new experience, an experience of success from the new situation, they learn, they develop).
So within WAFTT web-based application, you will see these filters. As mentioned already, you can use a combination or simply choose only one of them. Depends on the situation you find yourself in. So what do you think? Is there anything missing – any other piece of information to feed the application with? Let us know in the comments, we will be very happy to read and apply them!
We went the extra mile
Due to current pandemic situation, our teachers also had to very quickly become the virtual learning facilitators. As our application was exclusively focused on the adult learning, we went the extra mile and added a special feature: Resources for primary schools. It is a set of tools and techniques which were modified in order to be comfortably used at the virtual classes.
When could you access the WAFTT?
GOOD NEWS! The application is now entering the phase of peer review after which the piloting will start. We expect it to happen early in April. We will be happy to include you in the piloting, just let us know in the comments.
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