Talk:Facilitating online communities

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
Global Alliance for Self Management Support (online community)201:02, 2 September 2009
Buddies1907:42, 13 October 2008
Storytelling009:33, 5 October 2008
Online Communities in Developing Countries000:26, 4 October 2008
Introductions17109:59, 20 August 2008
Tools, tools tools: Signpost007:33, 17 August 2008
Making a start616:57, 6 August 2008
THE Blog list014:32, 6 August 2008
Crumbs...010:24, 1 August 2008
General Questions602:04, 29 July 2008
FOC Google Group117:33, 28 July 2008
Suggestion for evaluate a facilitation event315:09, 9 July 2008
Taking off021:46, 17 June 2008
Planning for FOC002:07, 4 May 2008

Global Alliance for Self Management Support (online community)

This is Manuel Serrano, I am the Director of the Global Alliance for Self Management Support-GASMS. Our goal is to promote self management support and patient empowerment worldwide through the use of ICT an mass collaboration. (Look at Wiziq recordingfor more info).

We want to train online facilitators to implement the GASMS through crowdsourcing and volunteers. That is the reason why just started with a blog in spanishand a network in Wikieducator. Please, join our plattform and start working collaborativelly in specific projects. We think that having a specific group for a project on facilitating online at the GASMS would be a big help to start with. (Check for a specific group example)

Mserrano34 (talk)22:08, 19 December 2008

Many thanks Manuel. I believe this is a very good initiative. I will like to get updates and see how i can support in any way i can. Cheers.

Victor.mensah (talk)22:58, 12 May 2009


Congratulations on taking the initiative to start a workshop. Gladys Gahona and I have developed a format for online workshops. See the list and let me know if I can be of help.

Warm wishes, Nellie

Nelliemuller (talk)01:00, 2 September 2009

Illya and a few others in the course have had the great idea to try and coordinate a buddy system. Buddies can be a great way to help each other through difficult or technically challenging periods of the course. A bit like when scuba diving - buddies should never lose sight of each other, they should make sure they are in the same place at the same time.

This thread is an attempt to help with the formation of buddies. If you think a buddy would be helpful to you, please leave a message as a reply to this that explains what you might need from your buddy. Hopefully someone with confidence in the things you are not so confident will come along and reply to your message for you two to take it from there. If you have technical confidence but don't yet see a request for buddy, then please go ahead and leave your offer for buddy help for someone to come along and reply to that and take it from there.

Leighblackall (talk)10:35, 4 August 2008
Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 10:24, 5 August 2008

Thanks Leigh for setting this up.

I'd be glad to be a buddy for anyone needing a bit of help on the techy/web tools side. I feel it's always a two-way street and that I can also learn a lot from my buddy and hopefully help at least as much. Anyone interested? (gee, I feel like I'm advertising! Sorry if it sounds that way too)


Hi Illya, I am Vida from Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand. I work as a Facilitator in the Community Learning Centre in Alexandra (Central Otago). I am Ok with blogs & Wiki but could do with some help on RSS readers & probably lots of other things. Need an update on Delicious as I haven't used that for a while. If you would like to be my buddy that would be great & I'm sure I will be able to help you also. Cheers, Vida

Illya (talk)03:01, 5 August 2008
Edited by another user.
Last edit: 13:20, 12 August 2008

Hi Vida I'd love to be your buddy! I have little experience on the facilitating side, so you can help me there as well. I'm sure we'll be a great team. Cheerio Illya

Sounds good to me Illya. Cheers, Vida

Illya (talk)09:51, 6 August 2008
Edited by another user.
Last edit: 13:24, 12 August 2008

Hi Vida, I will like to be your buddy. I am experienced in the use of open learning platform like Fronter and Moodle. I and want to know more about Blog and Wikis which I have used but not very well. RSS etc. My main concern is that I want to know more about web 2.0 tools and how to set them up and link them to another site for group communication. I have enlisted in some of them but have not used them well e.g. second life. I am not sure if I am putting this needs well but I hope you could understand my request. Olufemi

Hi Olufemi, That would be great. I am a Facilitator. I know how to blog, am learning about RSS feeders. I have had a look around in Second Life but not really experienced with it. I would really like to know more about Open Learning Platform & Moodle. We are going to be using Moodle for another course I am doing. Look forward to learning & facilitating. Cheers, Vida

Ojolubodun (talk)00:24, 12 August 2008

Jan Hunter here. I would really appreciate having a buddy for this course as I am the newest of the newbies. Unfortunately for my buddy, it will be a bit of a one way street as I need a bit of help with this Course.

Cheers Jan Hunter

Jan Hunter (talk)10:36, 5 August 2008

Jan, I can be your buddy, if you don't mind. I would be happy to help in anything I can.

Joao (talk)12:07, 5 August 2008

Thank you Joao. I am really appreciative. Cheers Jan

Jan Hunter (talk)17:46, 5 August 2008

It's really a great idea to set up buddies between us! This is Joy, a facilitator from MIT, NZ. And I am one of the newbies and will be really grateful if someone would like to be my buddy and help me with the course. I hope I can contribute to my budy too, thou maybe not that much :-)

Joy.zhao (talk)16:47, 5 August 2008

Hi Joy, I can be your buddy! Just get in touch when you feel like and I will try to share the little I know.

An idea would be to have a back channel skype chat which can work synchronously and asynchronously. We can also get more people on board then.

My skype ID is navysternchen

Cristinacost (talk)03:30, 6 August 2008

Hi, dear Cristina. Thx a lot for being my buddie. I will add your blog link into mine, and pls feel free to email me : I'll try if my old laptop can run skype smoothly. Hopefully we can meet each other soon online ^_^

Millions of thx again

Joy.zhao (talk)17:27, 6 August 2008

Hi! My name's Violeta Cautin. I'm sorry for entering late to this course and I would love to go through this course with a buddy. If there's someone here who is interested in Spanish it would be even better that way I can help him/her to improve with that. :)

Viovio (talk)17:49, 5 August 2008

Hi Violeta, looks like we have spontaneously become buddies. Do you have a skype account?

Cristinacost (talk)03:32, 6 August 2008

Thanks Cristina! I do not have a skype account, but I text chat in facebook (violeta cautin epifani) and gmail ( if that helps. My connection is not very good for video chatting.

Viovio (talk)07:33, 6 August 2008

I'd like a buddy. I'm self-taught so fairly frequently I run into a gap in what I know how to do. I can offer lots of experience in f2f facilitating. Thanks

Nancy Riffer (talk)04:55, 6 August 2008

Hi Nancy I don't know if you already have a buddy. I too am self-taught, but maybe we can figure out things together. I have little facilitating experience.

Illya (talk)01:32, 7 August 2008

Illya, I'd like to have you as a buddy. Thanks for your offer. How do I get in touch with you?

Nancy Riffer (talk)08:53, 7 August 2008

Vida and Nancy

The best ways to reach me are e-mail: skype: illyacelena twitter: illyac

(of course, anyone else can contact me this way as well :-) )

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Illya (talk)23:08, 7 August 2008

Hello, I'm Barbara Dieu and joined the course a bit late but am willing to give a hand with the tools and Second Life (Tuesday 10 pm UTC). If you need any help you can beep me in Skype. My ID is beedieu.

Bdieu (talk)02:44, 14 August 2008

Hi Bee, How are you? I added your skype id and sent you a message. I would be interested in following your lead into SL if you have the time and would be willing to give me a hand. My id is Nellie Homewood. I have made many attempts to join others on SL but I must be missing something because I don't seem to get it.

Thank you. Nellie

Nelliemuller (talk)00:45, 18 August 2008

Thank you, Barbara. I do not need your guidance to SL anymore. I managed to find my way around with Kip and others.

Nelliemuller (talk)07:42, 13 October 2008



Please join the storytelling miniconference and/or add your comments or questions here.

Thank you.


Nelliemuller (talk)18:11, 3 October 2008


Edited by author.
Last edit: 02:09, 4 May 2008

If you would like to be included in the next facilitated course starting 28 July 2008 please introduce yourself by replying to this thread (you will need to create an account on Wikieducator to be able to reply to threads). Please include an email address in your introduction, that can be added to an email forum for the course.

Leighblackall (talk)01:56, 4 May 2008

My name is Leigh Blackall and I will be facilitating this course from 28 July. I work for the Educational Development Centre at Otago Polytechnic and specialise in the use of the Internet for teaching and learning. My full profile can be viewed here. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone who wants to be a part of the next course in Facilitating online communities, and seeing where our journeys will take us. I hope you will contact me if you need any further information (email: leighblackallATgmailDOTcom), otherwise I'll see you back here in the week starting 28 July when I will collect up all contact details and create an email forum for the course.

Leighblackall (talk)02:07, 4 May 2008
Edited by another user.
Last edit: 12:16, 3 July 2008

My name is Minhaaj ur Rehman. I am an educator in Pakistan. I have been teaching for 5 years now. I am willing to participate and collaborate in Facilitating online communities. my email is minhaajATgmailDOTcom

Minhaaj (talk)06:52, 19 June 2008

Hello Minhaaj. Great to have your expression of interest. I will copy your email address onto an email forum when the course gets started. For now, sit back and watch this space develop :)

Leighblackall (talk)12:16, 3 July 2008

Dear Leigh,

I would like to join in. I am new to providing online courses. I have created a platform on moodle and I think this course may help!

Thank you.

Vroopun (talk)00:19, 9 July 2008

Hello Vishal, pleased to hear from you. I will add your email to the email forum when we get started. Thanks for your interest.

Leighblackall (talk)02:16, 10 July 2008
Edited by author.
Last edit: 01:59, 29 July 2008

How could I possibly miss this opportunity? :-) My name is Sylvia Currie and I have been facilitating online communities for the past 10 years. A few months ago I started a new job as manager of online community services for, and more than ever I'm helping others to become comfortable in an online facilitation role. There's always so much to learn and I'm thrilled to be part of this course. I'm taking some mini holidays in July and August but hope to be active throughout the 10 (17? - even better!) weeks. Leigh, feel free to throw some jobs my way if you need any help!

I will be using my Webbed Feat blog for the course since it already is primarily related to online communities. As suggested I'm using the tag FOC08 for posts related to this course.

Sylvia.currie (talk)07:36, 15 July 2008

Hi Sylvia! You might regret that offer :) See how we go.. great to have such experience in the mix! This might turn out to be a very thorough course :)

Leighblackall (talk)21:41, 17 July 2008
Edited by author.
Last edit: 07:42, 30 July 2008

My name is Shane Roberts. I am a secondary teacher in Australia exploring as much "tech" teaching and learning as I can. In my school context I am a Health and Physical Education teacher, with an attraction to all things tech. The best way to describe myself is somewhere between jock and geek. Within my school I'm seen as an ICT innovator and leader, and I assume responsibility for developing the ICT integration skills of other teachers. Within our system, I've recently been appointed a Regional Facilitator for ICTs in Learning which sees me working in a small team of three to provide workshops throughout our region. I have recently started a blog, so will post items relevant to this course there using the agreed tag FOC08. The address is [1].

I'll apologise now for what may seem at times like a "lurking" presence. I am attempting to join this course around my work schedule which will result in my attention to it early in my mornings or late at my nights. I hope my contribution can be productive.

Shane-tech-teach (talk)09:20, 18 July 2008

Welcome Shane :)

Leighblackall (talk)23:47, 24 July 2008

Hi all, my name is Chris Haller and I'm working as an eParticipation consultant. I've facilitated a couple of online dialogues while I was at Zebralog in Berlin, Germany and am looking forward to new insights. Great list of folks in this course! challer at eparticipation dot com

Challer (talk)07:54, 22 July 2008

Hello Challer, and welcome. Sure is a great list! :)

Leighblackall (talk)23:48, 24 July 2008

Dear Leigh,

Apologies for the late introduction (I thought I had already posted). I seem to have gotten this course confused with a course on wikis running also from wikieducator next week (which I am also enrolled on).

My name is Andrew Chambers. I work at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Austraia, in the area of elearning as a trainer of staff for Learning & Teaching @ UNSW (yes I work with Mike Bogle). I presently teach academic, support and admin staff the Blackboard Vista Learning Management System via a series of workshops.

I have been working in eLearning since 1995 and have now used learning management systems since 1997 (Working also at University of Waikato and Massey University in New Zealand).

I also teach elearning to pre-service high school teachers for the school of education here at UNSW. This has been a very valuable experience. The enthusiasm shown by the prospective high school teachers in applying technology to student activities has taught me a thing or two.

LMS systems are one thing but the range of new web 2 tools has re-excited me and I can see many opportunities for their introduction to the learning process...

BTW I have recently started using facebook, ning, delicious (atscatsc), twitter (atsc), skype (atscatsc), blogging ([1]) and a few other tools just to keep in touch with other professionals working in this area but don't as yet use them for the elearning course I teach (I used the "traditional" LMS.

I am interested in this course as I need to pick up new skills in the technologies and new ideas that I can pass on to staff and students.

I look forward to the course (assuming you will accept me!). I appreciate the efort you need to put in to organise us all!

With Regards, Andrew Chambers

Atsc (talk)15:23, 25 July 2008

Hello Andrew,

I found your blog to be (I think your link above left off the 's') - must be the rush you had getting in here :) I see though, with your experience, blog and connection with Mike, you (and he) should make a formidable team in this course. Looking forward to seeing your enthusiasm come through for the things we'll discuss and look at. I'll need your email address Andrew.. so I can add you to the course email forum:

Leighblackall (talk)11:34, 28 July 2008

Hi Leigh, My name is Lynn MacEachern and I have worked as a face to face facilitator for many years. I am excited to learn more about the opportunities and challenges of facilitating interactions via the internet. My e-mail is Thanks for letting me join the class at this late date. I just learned about it a few minutes ago.

LadyMac (talk)17:22, 25 July 2008

Hello Lynn! I was hoping a professional facilitator would be joining us. Evidently this course attracts professional educators - mostly teachers, so it is good that we have at least one voice to offer prespectives on the differences between teaching and facilitating. I'm hoping some day that this course will attract journalists, talk back hosts, and more professional facilitators such as your self.

Leighblackall (talk)11:39, 28 July 2008

Hi Leigh,

This is ben. A development worker for the past 12 years with experience working with various donor and humanitarian organizations in the Island of Mindanao, Philippines. In most part I worked and stayed in the more culturally diverse, politically unstable conflicted affected areas of the island. While engaged in (independent) consultancy work to earn a living, at least during the last eight years, I was also involved in volunteer work, most specifically in helping develop the capacity of local-home grown NGOs and peoples organizations (POs) working with marginalized farmers, fisherfolks, IPs and Moro (local Muslim) communities in different parts of Mindanao.

This is a personal crusade that I intend to sustain, as I also intend to continue my journey and hand-holding with the organizations and communities I have been working with and working for in the past years. This volunteer work is mostly carried out through coaching and mentoring through leadership and membership development, setting up organizational systems and procedures, helping local organizations participate in local governance, project development, linking local organizations with regional and national service providers and to some extent assisting local organizations and communities mobilize resources.

“Facilitation of Online Communities” is a new concept to me. I still do not fully understand the concept and mechanics, but it seems (in may initial understanding) that this learning facility can help me provide and extend a more organized and programmatic capacity building interventions. While all of these NGOs and POs are in rural areas, most if not all have already access to the internet.

This is the social context and the situation that I am in – this is also the motivation why I intend to participate and avail of this course. I would appreciate receiving advice and guidance from you. THANK SO MUCH.

Beda (talk)21:25, 25 July 2008

Oh by the way, my email address is



Beda (talk)21:27, 25 July 2008

Hello Ben! Impressive, and you will bring a valuable perspective to this course relating to access and relavence to people in rural/regional, if not marginalised society. Here in NZ, connectivity is still a very big issue with as much as 67% of homes not connected to broadband Internet. 33% are not even connected to dial up Internet! My first response to your thinking about how this might be useful for the sort of work you do would be that an online community might be useful for other people that do the sorts of work you do. So less for the people you work for, but more for the people that do work like you. I wonder if you would benefit from being connected to an online community like this? We'll see hey :)

Leighblackall (talk)11:47, 28 July 2008

As Salaam-o-Alykum, Hi, Gutan Tag, Bonjour...

Hope You and family are fine.

I am Syed Tanvir Ali from Karachi Pakistan. I am working in the field of IT since 1989. My teaching experience is more then 10 years now. I want to learn from this course whatever I could and then use that information well in my teaching sessions.

Take care,

Warm regards,

Tanvir. tanvirlodiATyahooDOTcom

Tanvir (talk)03:43, 26 July 2008

Hello Syed Tanvir Ali, it is great to have you with us - the second person from Pakistan. I hope you will get a lot from this course, certainly as much as we stand to gain from you being with us.

Leighblackall (talk)11:50, 28 July 2008

Hi everyone... I just found out about this course via Nancy White. A few years ago I participated in Etienne Wenger's "Foundations of Communities of Practice" online course and shortly after I facilitated an online community for service providers interested in health literacy. I'm very interested in the challenges and joys of the online experience.

I'm a librarian and have worked for the past 10 years as a program director in health and wellness for a cross-disability non-profit organization in Vancouver Canada. In addition I have a business and offer workshops and coaching on issues relating to change, creativity and resilience. My email address is I look forward to meeting everyone.

ShelleyHourston (talk)08:22, 26 July 2008

Hi Shelly, I reckon Nancy's post might explain a lot of the sudden popularity of this course (Thanks Nancy :)

Shelly, I trust you will use your blog to journal this course? That's a nice website you having rolling there.

I'm glad we have someone with experience in Etienne Wenger's thinking, as well as Nancy's work. These two are pretty much the foundation of our question over weeks 2 and 3, What is an online community. So I hope you will help us with that.


Leighblackall (talk)11:57, 28 July 2008

I cannot resist. I have tried, but the force is strong. I'll be on the road for 2.5 weeks of this workshop, so I'll be more a lurker than anything else, but hey, who can resist and facilitator's party?

My blog/site is

Currently finishing up a book w/ Etienne Wenger and John Smith on Stewarding Technologies for Communities of Practice - and that means technology and social practices! ;-)

I'm addicted to figuring out how we make the most of this magical and often overwhelming "online world!"

(Plus for those of you in NZ, I arrive there on August 8 - 23rd! )

Choconancy (talk)17:24, 30 July 2008

My name is emad ghaeni.there are a lot of e-learning courses in my country but unfortunatly none of the facilitators know how to manage an online community. i want to learn this skill and teach them. my email: emad.ghaeni [AT] yahoo [DOT] com

Emad115 (talk)19:33, 27 July 2008

Hello Emad Ghaeni, actually I think the world is full of people who don't know how to manage online community... such a recent phanominon, I can safely say I am still learning myself. The thing about this course is, that I'm hoping to make an opportunity for us to share our insights and experiences around a certain range of topics that I think (from my experiences) are important to understand in terms of online communities. I hope we can all learn how to better participate in and develop better facilitation techniques along the way.

Leighblackall (talk)12:02, 28 July 2008

Hi Leigh, Randy and everyone in the community!
I am Greg Barcelon with postal address in Mission, BC, Canada but works as a Management Consultant and part-time Missionary in Asia. I am new to Wiki and have joined to learn how I can integrate this great technology into my activities.
Looking forward to learning, contributing and collaborating with all of you!
Greg B.

Servant02 (talk)22:31, 27 July 2008

Hello Greg,

It sounds as if you might be confused between this course: Facilitating Online Communities, and the one Randy and I are facilitating: Learning4Content - in which a large number of people are learning how to edit Wikieducator.. ? If it IS this course you are interested in, I will need your email address :)

Leighblackall (talk)12:05, 28 July 2008

Hello Leigh,

Yeah, I guess I was. In any case, do include me in this course - Facilitating Online Communities. My e-mail address is


Greg B.

Servant02 (talk)14:54, 28 July 2008

ok, gotcha

Leighblackall (talk)17:35, 28 July 2008
Edited by author.
Last edit: 10:19, 6 August 2008

Hi everyone,

I'm Stephanie Razmjou, a freelance education consultant working in the UK. I have had some experience with online faciliatation over the last three years, both at a course level (Moodle based) and for a national programme for teachers which was an attempt to build an online community to help improve teaching and learning practice. But I'm by no means an expert and I I know I still have a lot to learn. I'm sure I'll do that here and hope I can contribute something too. :) email: razzATairtimeDOTcoDOTuk

Razz (talk)10:32, 28 July 2008

Hello Stephanie, I Googled your name to see if I could find your email address, but I can't be sure.. I hope you will come back to find this message. If you do, please contact me by email

Leighblackall (talk)12:08, 28 July 2008

Hi Leigh

My name is Bronwyn Collins and I work as an Educational Officer at TAFE NSW, Riverina Institute.

I would like to be part of this group. I have been working with eLearning since the start of this year (although I have been in TAFE in various roles for over 14 years). I am also involved in formal studies this year so hope that I have time to fit everything in.

My email address is: bronwynDOTcollinsATtafenswDOTeduDOTau

My blog [1]

Bronwyncollins (talk)12:59, 28 July 2008

Hello Leigh, I am Sue Wolff in Seattle, WA and learned of your course through Nancy White's blog. I consider myself primarily a researcher, but also an online community facilitator when the occasion presents itself.

My online facilitation experience has involved both secondary students in career and technical coursework and adults associating for a variety of organizational learning purposes. I'm very interested in the design of community learning environments, particularly how the interactive tools help and hinder, and how the participant interaction ebbs and flows in informal or formal contexts.

I want to always be improving my facilitation skills by learning from/with others. By putting ourselves in the very situations we espouse, we get a great feel for what people will experience. You have such an interesting mix planned, so this seems like a great opportunity.

The best email for this course will be suewolff at learning hubs (all one word) dot net.

Suewolff (talk)16:42, 28 July 2008

Hi Leigh I'm Carole Hunter, an educational designer from Charles Sturt University in Bathurst. I work mainly with the academics in the School of Communications, though also work on other projects, mostly related to eportfolios at the moment. I've been involved in educational design for about 8 or so years now, both in Australia and Fiji. Looking forward to exploring some new strategies for effectively facilitiating online collaboration.


Carole.hunter (talk)19:22, 28 July 2008

My name is Sean McKee and I am working as online trainer and community facility on a freelance basis. As I regularly find myself relocating among overseas locations, I am working on developing skills that can be more "portable" in nature. I believe this course would be valuable in this regard. Although I am replying on the start date of the course, I hope to be included in the roster of participants. My email is seanpmckeeATgmailDOTcom. UPDATE: I have set up a category for posts and trackbacks related to FOC08 at Sean McKee's blog.

SPMcKee (talk)10:45, 29 July 2008

Hi there, my name is Russell Thorp. I am academic manager and distance co-ordinator at a College in Auckland, New Zealand. I am foremost an educationalist who wants to use the facilities of web 2 to enhance learning for all students. I am a novice at the technical aspects of this subject and look forward to trying new things and learning togther with you all. My blog for this course (I couldn't think of a better name) is found at

Russte (talk)15:12, 29 July 2008

Hi Leigh, Sorry I missed the meeting this morning but have just returned from leave. For the benefit of the other participants I am Vida Thompson and I work at Otago Polytechnic in the Community Learning Centre in Alexandra, Central Otago. We facilitate computing training and our students range in age from 16 to 80+, with a variety of skill levels. I am looking forward to participating in this course to improve my facilitating skills and to improve my knowledge of online resources which could be useful for both online and face-to-face facilitating. I have set up a blog:http// I am looking forward to exchanging ideas with everyone. Cheers, Vida

Vidathompson (talk)17:28, 29 July 2008

hi vida the blog address you gave http// diverts to a site called hypertext protocol. It works if you write it as


Bronwynh (talk)17:30, 3 August 2008

Hi Leigh at all,

Sorry for late arrival, I only heard about this last night. (28th) Hope I can still be included.

I live in South Africa, where from time to time I faciltate a number of very different workshops.

One is a hands on introduction to Sacred Geometry where participants study patterns in nature and how these have been used over millenia in the construction of sacred sites and buildings. (My previous website used to promote this and promised a web course on it - but I never created it. Maybe now, with new skills, I will!)

Another is self-awareness through group work and examination of the games the mind plays - particularly in projecting our own issues onto others..

It's been a while since I did any of these as I've been struggling with Chronic Fatigue Syndrom, but

now I seem to have mastered that one (through candida diet and very careful eating from then on) with renewed energy and a new focus (a podcast on positive thinking and ones relationship

with creating a positive world) ...I look forward to new facilitation skills to put into creative practice!

Thanks for putting this course together and sharing it freely....what a gift!

Rob H oneheartATimaginetDOTcoDOTza

Oneheart (talk)09:54, 30 July 2008

Hi Rob,

Welcome, and glad you could make it....I hope that WE can help encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas on WikiEd, and perhaps even develop that web course, or even a module that you were thinking of...

Randy Fisher 21:11, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Wikirandy (talk)10:11, 30 July 2008

Hi, My name is Cristina Costa and I am an EFL teacher and a learning technologies development officer. I used to involve students in ICT activities. Currently I am working at the University of Salford, helping academic staff in the efficient use of edu-technology. I believe in the power of learning technologies to involve learners in collaborative learning opportunities. CoPs has been on of my research areas and I see one's activie involvement in it as a relevant way to pursue lifelong learning....being my observation that participation in CoPs often bears more fruits than enrollment in official, formalized courses. I like interacting , learning and help others learning online. :-) More about me here:

Cristinacost (talk)21:57, 1 August 2008

hello Leigh I have decided that although I am supposed to be on leave working on my thesis it would be intriguing to see how this iteration of the course goes now that it is truly open. I am having a hard time keeping my fingers off the keyboard and not participating - yeah cos distractions such as FOC will kill my study leave get a draft of the thesis finished.

I am absolutely intrigued by the numbers who have registered in the FOC08 course now it is openly advertised. Last year we ran the course for the first time using wikiEd, however students were given access via Blackboard and a formal enrolment process. This year we got the go ahead to have informal it is proof of the open concept and evidence of the need for people to keep increasing their skills in facilitating online many experienced people.

So my way to manage having meager participation will be to check in on key blogs so I can get a sense of how it is all going...for the next time I get to facilitate the course. Also so I can keep the debate about teaching versus facilitation going with you Leigh. :)

my blog: --bron 05:01, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Bronwynh (talk)18:01, 3 August 2008

My name is Lily. I am a friend of Joy, who introduced me this course. I'd like to join and catch up with some modern technology.

Lilyc (talk)15:47, 7 August 2008

Hi All,

I am a teacher out on Groote Eylandt, a small island in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia. My learning journey is taking me towards investigating the use of social learning and CoPs to facilitate professional learning. I am also a facilitator of a Professional Learning Community of mathematics teachers, whose vision it is to enhance the competence and confidence of maths educators with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes. I have taken up the challenge of creating an online community, and would love to discuss this venture with anyone who has an interest/expertise in this area. Participation may be sporadic as influenced by my work, coursework (completing a masters on the use of PLCs to promote PD); and being dad to a 3 year old and 1 week old (hence the late start here :-) ). My blog is here: [1]

Marcel (talk)18:40, 8 August 2008

Hello My name is Mireille said like (me-ray). I just noticed this wonderful opportunity. I look forward to contributing as much as I can

Mireille Toronto, Canada

Mireillem10 (talk)09:59, 20 August 2008
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Last edit: 01:00, 6 August 2008

Dear Leigh,

I have been facilitating online courses for a number of years via Moodle. I am also an online doctoral student at the University of Phoenix scheduled to complete the program and dissertation in August 2009. I don't have any formal accreditation for online facilitation, but I do for face-to-face instruction. I have been teaching English as a foreign and second language for 32 years. I have facilitated a 3 week session on e-learning in developing countries at SCoPE and Knowplace. I would love to join the course and/or co-moderate with you.

Thank you.

Nellie Deutsch

Full profile

Blog (for this course): Blended Learning and Instuction .

email: nellie.muller.deutsch at gmail dot com

Nelliemuller (talk)22:34, 4 July 2008

Hello Nellie, it is great to have you on board. Having experienced people like yourself is very important for the course in general because I think it helps keep the course authentic and relevant for people new to the topic. So I appreciate your involvement. I hope the course will take you into new territory too, as you can see we are boldly exploring a lot in a very short period. This is because it is impossible to generalise "online" these days, and so we are aiming to experience online-s :)

Leighblackall (talk)23:58, 4 July 2008

Thank you, Leigh. I appreciate your feedback and kind words.

Nelliemuller (talk)03:19, 29 July 2008

Hi Leigh,

I'm going to join you as a more casual participant ( time willing ) and in doing so I'd like to think that what I'm entering here is an opportunity to model to others whom I work with, ways in which to engage in knowledge acquisition and learning beyond the confines of the almighty LMS.

As always my thoughts are primarily authored at my blog

Alexanderhayes (talk)13:54, 6 July 2008

It will be good to have you Alex. I'll add you to the email forum. Can you try to identify posts to your blog that are to do with this course, so we can easily tell what is meant for this course.. will cover this in more detail in the orientation week.

Leighblackall (talk)02:19, 10 July 2008
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Last edit: 22:14, 30 July 2008

Kia ora koutou My name is Naketa Ferguson. I am a Regional ICT Facilitator with a great passion for OLC's as a way of supporting teachers in professional learning. Looking forward to participating in a less formal capacity i.e. not assessments just yet. Although I have heard that once you start engaging in this course you kind of want to participate in the assessments.

Naku noa na, Naketa You can access my blog here[]

Naketa (talk)14:29, 6 July 2008

Hello Naketa, :) that's partly the idea. To get you feeling so good in this dress that you want to buy it! No worries if you choose not to get formal recognition however.

Leighblackall (talk)02:22, 10 July 2008
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Last edit: 09:30, 29 July 2008

Hi Leigh, We met each other at the Etienne Wenger workshop. I'd like to join the course as an informal learner (although like Naketa I may get more formal as we go!) I'm currently facilitating a wee on-line community for NZ media teachers through TKI.It can be found at: I'd like to learn more about the facilitation process. My address is Cheers - Deb p.s a question!!! I'm reasonably au fait with the wiki editing system but I couldn't get the external links to work here - what am I doing wrong! D

thanks for the advice Leigh. time to try it out: My blog, where i'll be posting my course comments is mediateachspace blog I won't be able to make the conference this morning as I'm visiting a teacher, but Jan from Australia and I had a great chat yesterday when we got the time wrong! Will tune in when I get back to the office cheers deb

Debthompson (talk)13:02, 14 July 2008

Hi Deb, nice to see follow up from conference meetings. Doesn't happen to me very often :) external links require a single square bracket around the link. Following the link (but inside the bracket) include a space and then the text you want to be clicked. [ example]

It will be interesting to explore the notion of online facilitation while at the same time many of the different platforms that make up vastly different online experience. Its going to be a doozy, but I'm sure we'll all be getting good stuff out of the experience together.

Leighblackall (talk)21:48, 17 July 2008

Hi Leigh, My name is Octavio Lima. I'm from Portugal. I've been teaching English as a foreign language for 33 years now. I've been blogging for 4 years on environmental issues ( and I made two tentative approaches with Moodle this school year ( and ( I'm going to join Facilitating Online Communities as a casual participant. I'm eager to learn a lot, participate and collaborate in everything you'll present and suggest. I'm posting all my notes, ideas and comments her, in this blog at Ning:

My email is


Octavio Lima

OLima (talk)00:56, 15 July 2008

Hello Octavio. I have connected with your profile in Ning. I think we have our first nomination for a social networking platform to investigate in week 11. I hope you'll feel up to guiding us into the space :)

Leighblackall (talk)21:50, 17 July 2008

Hi Leigh,

Bronwyn Stuckey here. I would love to join you on this course. Having scanned the schedule I think it will help me fill some possible gaps in my view of community and I hope that I will be able to contribute to the knowledge sharing with the findings of my doctoral research on factors in online community development. What the heck it looks like a very cool bunch of people are assembling to hang out with you ;-)

My email address is:

My web site is: here

My personal blog is

I am running a brand new blog-based project: The activities showcase case studies of Internet-mediated communities and this might be an additional resource of interest for participants of this course.



Bronst (talk)13:29, 15 July 2008

woo hoo! its great to have you Bron. I am stoked with all the experienced people we have expressing interest. Those joining the course who have little to no experience communicating online or facilitating online will be gaining so much more because of this group dynamic forming.

Leighblackall (talk)21:53, 17 July 2008

Hi Leigh I would like to participate in the next course. I have been involved hosting and supporting on line learning activities using Blackboard and Moodle for the last 7 or 8 years. My experience is extremely varied ranging from students with intellectual disabilities, postgraduate students in education and teaching, and the support and hosting of a platform for the professional development and training for Nursing and Midwifery in a large Metropolitan Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia.

Cheers Greg Carey (

Gjpcarey (talk)15:16, 15 July 2008

Excellent Greg! I am hoping a group from the Otago Polytechnic Midwifery Department will be joining us in this course. Having you on board might assist their motivation some :)

Leighblackall (talk)21:55, 17 July 2008

I'm in. derekdotchirnside<at>gmaildotcom Peripheral participation maybe. - --Derekc 05:02, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Derekc (talk)18:02, 15 July 2008

I knew you'd come along for the ride Derek :) great to have you here.

Leighblackall (talk)21:56, 17 July 2008

My name is Mike Bogle. I work in the central Learning & Teaching department at the University of New South Wales as the eLearning Research Officer. Primarily this involves tracking and evaluating emerging technology and assessing ways they can be used to support learning and teaching. As such I've got a firm grasp on what new technologies exist or are just coming out, however there are significant gaps in what I know about facilitation and learning theory. I come primarily from a technical background and have reached the point where I really want to expand my understanding of pedagogy, learning theory, and the more practical aspects of organising courses and facilitating/supporting learning experiences.

This time around I'd like to participate in this course in an informal capacity initially (due to time constraints), but look forward to really getting my teeth into the resources and discussions that lay ahead.

My contact details are as follows:


Mike Bogle

Mikebogle (talk)03:56, 16 July 2008

Hi Mike, I am really looking forward to the first week where we get a chance to meet through web conferencing and tease out the many perspective people like yourself are bringing to this course. I hope you can keep 6 hours a week open for the course, but we all understand if you can't. I expect many here will be in the same boat.. so as long as we have you some of the time and others for other times, we should be good all the way through :)

Leighblackall (talk)22:00, 17 July 2008

Howdy, my name is Pedro Markun, i'm the director of Jornal de Debates ( ), which is a Brazilian online collaborative newspaper and online community with more than 10k members (well... barelly 2k active ones). Curiously, I'm currently in a small brazilian city called 'Cataguases' giving a four day workshop on how to facilitate online communities to 60 local cultural activists ;) Hope we can share some experiences regarding that.

my email

thx, Pedro Markun

Markun (talk)01:36, 17 July 2008

Absolutely! With all these people joining the course, it is tempting to rewrite the schedule when we meet in the web conference for the first week. Pedro, I expect you will have valuable things to contribute to the debate on teaching vs facilitation in weeks 4 - 5. It sounds to me that you come to online facilitation less from a teaching background and more from a community group background. This is great! It is sometimes difficult to shift teachers into a space purely about facilitation, so the more people we can have who will balance the number of teachers will be helpful for us all.

Leighblackall (talk)22:04, 17 July 2008

Good to see you here, Pedro and hope to hear more about your workshops and experience.

Bdieu (talk)02:48, 14 August 2008

Hi all! My name is Mike Taylor and I am a learning development consultant here in the US. (Ohio) My company is looking into some form or online learning communities and this seems like a perfect introduction. I'm very much looking forward to learning from and with everyone here. ( my email is tDOTmikeDOTtaylorATgooglemailDOTcom )

My blog for this course is located here:

Tmiket (talk)05:43, 18 July 2008

I Mike! Great to see you have a blog at the ready! :) Will be ready to go soon

Leighblackall (talk)23:50, 24 July 2008

My Name is Sarah Stewart and I am a lecturer in midwifery at Otago Polytechnic. I did this course last year and found it to be a great learning experience. Have fun everyone. Leigh: if you want any support, give me a bell.

Sarahs (talk)12:04, 18 July 2008

Many thanks Sarah. Everyone - if you have some time it is well worth checking out Sarah's blog. I like to think we created Sarah as an online facilitator, but truth be known they're made before they come to this course! lol

Leighblackall (talk)23:52, 24 July 2008
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Last edit: 16:40, 5 August 2008

Thanks, Leigh. This is a great opportunity to work with you on an educational adventure. I teach online courses at a community college, and despite my best efforts, facilitation does not always workout the way I think it might. Need some serious learning, so the timing couldn't be better.

Valerie Taylor
Instructor, CIS 2 Computers and the Internet in Society
DeAnza College
taylorvalerie at deanza dot edu


Vtaylor (talk)06:31, 19 July 2008

Hi Valerie, I hope we can work out that problem together.. it plagues us from time to time too. Good facilitation is more often than not dependent on the group asking for facilitation. We have an excellent group with us this course, so I'm expecting it to be a pretty neat learning experience for us all!

Leighblackall (talk)23:54, 24 July 2008
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Last edit: 23:54, 24 July 2008


Hi My name is andoss Tausefoki and Iam from the SOLOMON ISLANDS .I really enjoy the WE . Please include me in ths taining.

AceT (talk)21:46, 19 July 2008

Hello Andoss!! Its fantastic to have someone from the Solomon Islands! A very big welcome to you.

Leighblackall (talk)23:55, 24 July 2008


My name is Greg Szczotka. I come from Poland. I've been teaching English online for 3 years. Earlier, I was a private teacher and a teacher in school. I study psychology. I work as a translator. I'm interested in CALL and CAL and (e-)learning (2.0) and all similiar fields. I want to participate in your course! My email is:

With kindest regards, Greg

Greg606 (talk)06:15, 21 July 2008

Hello Greg. CALL and CAL.. I'm not sure I know what that stands for? I wonder if the C stands for community, and if it is something I should know about if I'm to lead the charge into this course :) Oh well, we can't know everything, and all going well we will be happy learning from each other. Welcome to you from Poland :)

Leighblackall (talk)23:58, 24 July 2008

Thanks! :) What is CALL/CAL

Greg606 (talk)02:41, 27 July 2008

Ah, good old Wikipedia. I can't believe even I didn't think of that!! How embarrassing! Thanks Greg :)

Leighblackall (talk)12:09, 28 July 2008

Oh, First time I heard about CAL(e-)L. I'm also a language teacher so I already knew what CALL was. I'm already learning!

Viovio (talk)19:08, 5 August 2008

Dzien dobry, Greg and nice to meet you. We have lots of things in common. Although I was born in Brazil, I am of Polish origin (speak, understand and read...but unfortunately have not learnt how to write it). I have been teaching English as a Foreign Language at a secondary school and have been online developing and participating in collaborative projects with my students since 1997 and also organizing and facilitating CPD online for teachers. My mail is beeonline (at) gmail (dot) com

Bdieu (talk)02:54, 14 August 2008
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Last edit: 06:19, 29 July 2008

Hi Leigh, I would very much appreciate to participate in this course. It will be a completely new experience for me since I have never participated in a course like this before. I am an EFL and German teacher in Portugal and I have already had the chance to know Wikieducator during a wiki course here at Wikieducator. Can you please tell me how long the course is going to last?

Best wishes,
Email: j.alves46ATgmailDOTcom
Twitter: joaoa

Joao (talk)12:55, 21 July 2008

Hello Joao, let me just check the course schedule... :) Officially, it lasts for 17 weeks, but its flexible. Some people might like to go through it quickly, others might like to take longer. As long as the assignments are done and you try to participate in as many of our meetings as possible, then you will be fine (in terms of assessment). Those of us who choose to go at our own pace will perhaps loose a little in terms of common communications with the rest of the participants, but it can work out quite well too. Those that go ahead can test out the new topic for the rest of us and feed back things to watch out for. Those that go slower obviously benefit from the majority of us having already been through the topic. Hopefully most of us will pace ourselves with the schedule, but we'll see :)

Leighblackall (talk)00:05, 25 July 2008

Hello my name is Wayne. I have been working in the field of instructional design for the past 6 years. I spent some time developing online courses at Intel Corporation and now develop eLearning courses in higher education. My email is - I look forward to working with everyone on the lists. It appears like a unique and interesting group.

Weanders (talk)02:33, 22 July 2008

It sure does hey Wayne, and you add to it! I will be particularly interested in your perspectives for week 4 and 5. That topic usually stirs things up a bit :)

Leighblackall (talk)00:06, 25 July 2008

Hello, My name is Karolina and I work for SWPS e-learning centre in Warsaw. I have conducted several courses online but still feel I need to broaden my knowledge and experience. I would like to join this course since 10th of August as I won't be able to use the Internet during the next three weeks. My e-mail address is:

Karo123 (talk)09:01, 22 July 2008

No problems Karolina, the first few weeks you will still be sent email.. just use them to catch up when you are back online.. you will be fine.. the schedule is a rough guide and people will inevitably go faster or slower at different points. The important thing is, that you are with us through weeks 12 and 13. At least I hope you can be.

Leighblackall (talk)00:09, 25 July 2008

My name is Olaug (Ollie) Gardener and I am working as the Global Knowledge Manager for Nemko Group, based in Norway. I have previoulsy studied "International Communication" in New Zealand and has "always" been interested in IT-assisted communication, learning and knowledge management.
In my current role, I am just about to start three pilot-groups testing the use of wiki, blog and chat for knowledge sharing between our offices in US, Europe and Asia.
The course is therefore higly timely and relevant for me right now!! ;) Ideally, I could combine what I need to do as coursework with the assistance and support I need to give the three pilot-projects.. I would also LOVE any support and guidance I could get from you and other participants as my project progresses.
Please include me in the maillist. My email is ollienorATmyfastmailDOTcom

Ollienor (talk)00:35, 24 July 2008

Excellent Ollie! In fact we could make your project a focus for some of the course. A case study and peer assist project. Look up peer assist as a concept.. you should find a nice little flash movie about it on Nancy White's blog. Perhaps you could run a peer assist session for the course mini conference in weeks 12 and 13? Just a suggestion. Good to have you with us.

Leighblackall (talk)00:12, 25 July 2008

That would be fantastic :)
Looking forward to it!

Ollienor (talk)03:42, 26 July 2008

Here is the URL for the peer assist flash thingie [1]

Choconancy (talk)17:30, 30 July 2008

Hello again,
Been trying to find the result of the discussion around where we should write what our blogs are.
I realize I am a little late off the mark, but my blog is now started on
Let me know if I need to add this to a list elsewhere :)
Warm regards,

Ollienor (talk)01:31, 6 August 2008
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Last edit: 03:05, 2 August 2008

My name is Maria Pophristova, and I work for Warsaw School of Social Psychology, Poland as a distance learning specialist and a lecturer. I have just started doing my PhD in the field of virtual communities. So I hope that this course would help me further my thesis and deepen the knowledge. :) My e-mail is: My blog is available at:

Maria (talk)00:55, 24 July 2008

That's at least 3 people from Poland! What's going on in Poland I wonder - that we should have so many from there? Admit it :) you all share the same office right? ;) Welcome Maria, I hope you will find this course to be helpful.

Leighblackall (talk)00:14, 25 July 2008

E-learning is taking off at last :) You are partially right, I work together with Karolina :)

Maria (talk)03:06, 2 August 2008
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Last edit: 16:48, 29 July 2008

Hello My nam is Brian Shmelonis and I would like to sign up for the Facilitating online communities course. I am looking to learn as much as I can about online communities and thought this was a good course to take :)

My email address is:

Brian Shimelonis

My Blog for this course:

Shim13 (talk)10:03, 25 July 2008

Hi Brian, you thought right :) pleased to have you.

Leighblackall (talk)11:19, 25 July 2008

Greetings, My name is Terry Yelmene (online aka tyelmene). I develop information systems; one which is used by individuals to become extremely effective finding, communicating, and structuring information for themselves to solve problems and one that organizations use to improve their innovation practices. I have been a long time observer/participant in on-line communities and welcome this course as an opportunity to broaden my own knowledge and meet others who may broaden my thinking. You can reach me at:

Tyelmene (talk)12:37, 25 July 2008

Welcome Terry.

Leighblackall (talk)12:11, 28 July 2008

Hi, This is Tom Murray ( Heard about this course through the online facilitation listserve and am eager to pick up some hints. I have worked doing R&D in computer-based learning environments, and have a more recent interest in online communities and collaborative tools. More about me at and I am traveling through much of the next several weeks but will have internet access much of the time. Thanks for offering this Leigh!

Tommurray (talk)12:45, 25 July 2008

Not at all Tom! Thanks for joining. Nice website you have Tom. A face to the name does wonders hey!

Leighblackall (talk)12:14, 28 July 2008

Hi. My name is LaDonna Coy and I am very excited to find this course (Thank you Nancy). It is, I believe, a good fit. I am doing a lot of work these days with social media and prevention (social change), especially with state providers and communities. Increasingly I find myself engaged in networks and doing more web-based meetings, courses, and workshops - all involving facilitation. Long story short I am looking to improve my online facilitation skills given the new media and collaborative methods that are emerging (like this wiki) and happy to participate and make a contribution. Please email LaDonna Coy (coyenator at gmail dot com)

Coyenator (talk)16:20, 25 July 2008

Welcome Coyenator :) LaDonna.

Leighblackall (talk)12:17, 28 July 2008
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Last edit: 13:58, 29 July 2008

Hi, I'm Daryl. I run my own consulting business as a facilitator. Most of my work is face-to-face, but having come to this work from a technology background I'd like to learn more about online facilitation and try and blend the two. Also looking forward to reconnecting with a few familiar faces here :). Contact and blog details here.

Darylcook (talk)20:10, 25 July 2008

Hello Daryl, one more professional facilitator with us.. excellent. I hope you will also share your prespectives on the differences between teaching, moderating and facilitating come week 4 and 5. Welcome

Leighblackall (talk)12:19, 28 July 2008

Tools, tools tools: Signpost

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Last edit: 07:33, 17 August 2008

Hi Leigh and everybody,

It seems like all the different places that have been set up to communicate are scattered, so I thought I'd start a thread to collect all the tools, and maybe we could even add names here as well.

I hope you all will find this a useful place of orientation. Feel free to add!

Blog feeds:

Social bookmarking:

Microblogging: (collection of twitter posts)

names: Illya Arnet: illyac

Second Life (I'll need some help here since my computer doesn't like second life. Just delete this short message and add the information)


Semantic Interests Network- TWINE Online Communities of Practice:

Illya (talk)00:53, 11 August 2008

Making a start

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Last edit: 13:16, 6 August 2008

Ok, by now everyone who has expressed interest before the 28th of July should have been added to an email forum and received an email telling you that. That email forum will become a space in which announcements will be posted and discussion can take place. However, your personal blog will become your primary objective in this course, as per the first assignment outline. By posting to your blog and reading others blogs we should achieve a deeper state of learning and personal enquirer for the topics (not to mention keeping our email sanity :) I will post announcements and summaries for the course - to the course blog, as well as copy them to the email forum as reminders. This is especially designed for those of us that live in email and might need a gentle prod now and again to come in and update themselves for the course. So.. at the very least, watch your email for new announcements, better still subscribe to the blog, best yet is to follow the instructions for week 1 and set up your own blog for the course and slowly subscribe to others in the course. Good luck, (I hope I can manage this OK) thanks for your interest, and I'll be seeing you online.

If your name does not appear below, it means I have missed you. If that's so, please email me personally leighblackall at gmail dot com

Sorry for the non order below - I'm rushing :(

Elaine Dittert

Craig Hansen

Kay Lewis: my blog:

Vida Thompson

Russell Thorp blog

Joy Zhao blogging at

Minhaaj ur Rehman:

Vishal Roopun and here is my blog

Sylvia Currie blogging at

Shane Roberts

Chris Haller

Nellie Deutsch blogging for this course at

Alexander Hayes - blogging at - FOC08 tagged foco8

Naketa Ferguson blogging at  :)

Deb Thompson blogging at

Octavio Lima

Bronwyn Stuckey blogging at FOC08 specific posts

Greg Carey

Derek Chirnside -

Mike Bogle - blogging @ All blog posts OR Just FOC08 Posts

Pedro Markun

Mike Taylor -

Sarah Stewart

Valerie Taylor -

Andoss Tausefoki

Greg Szczotka -

Joao Alves -

Wayne -


Olaug (Ollie) Gardener

Maria Pophristova

Brian Shimelonis Blogging at:

Olubodun Olufemi J:

Lynn MacEachern


Syed Tanvir Ali

Shelley Hourston Blogging at:

Emad Ghaeni

Terry Yelmene

Tom Murray

LaDonna Coy

Daryl Cook: All blog posts OR FOC08 posts only

Bernadette Harris


Sumita Johnson

Mariana Syrotiak

Bruna Ori

Gabriela Sellart (in English) (in Spanish)

Jennifer Verschoor

Tim Davies

Amy Lenzo - My Main Blog: * My Blog for this course:

Illya Arnet-Clark

Malik Richardson blogging at

Greg Barcelon:

Bronwyn Collins blogging at

Sue Wolff blogging at

Deb Hosking


Wm. Beasley

Tajalli Love

Lynne Gilliland

Stephen Powell

Jeffrey Keefer

Stephanie Burke

Carole Hunter

Robyn Honeman

Cathy Deckers changed spot (sorry)

Jan Hunter

Sean McKee

Diane Holmes

Russell Thorp

Lynn MacEachernt

Robert Hitchings

Mary Loftus - blogging at

Cristina Costa blogging @

Mary-Doug Wright blogging at

Elizabeth Crouch blog coming soon

Peter Efland - blogging for this course at:

Bronwyn Hegarty - posts about education including this course:

Leighblackall (talk)17:58, 28 July 2008

I think you will add my blog address to the list above

Ojolubodun (talk)03:11, 30 July 2008

Please add my blog against my name: Greg Barcelon -

Servant02 (talk)13:15, 1 August 2008

I leave you blogs URL for dreig: -El caparazón (spanish)[1] -The Shell (english-main blog for this course)[2]

Dreig (talk)00:27, 3 August 2008

Please add my blog address. Cheers Jan Hunter

Jan Hunter (talk)10:32, 5 August 2008

Hi Leigh please add my blog: its

Elaine (talk)14:44, 5 August 2008

Hi! This is Violeta (vcautin or viovio) I created this blog for the course:

Viovio (talk)18:46, 5 August 2008

THE Blog list

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Last edit: 14:32, 6 August 2008

Ok, the participant blog list

That's what I have in terms of who in the course has a blog set up, and therefore will be proceeding with the course. Very sorry if I missed you somehow (highly likely in fact as I was juggling many lists - will do better next time). If you do not see your name and blog here, please email me directly so that I may update my lists.

Leighblackall (talk)14:09, 6 August 2008


...from the heartlands of South Australia. Where rivers are running dry and where politics packs a punch like polly put the kettle on.

In the midst of the furore of connections and disconnections I thought I might raise some form of blog post and ellucidate a little of what's happening my way with contextual respect to this WikiEducator enterprise.

Yes.....I'm a little behind but rest assured at some stage either today or tommorow whilst on the road I'll compose a blog post to begin this interesting learning journey over at my blog--alexanderhayes 21:24, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Alexanderhayes (talk)10:24, 1 August 2008

General Questions

(Reposting these questions from an email as requested)

Hi Leigh,

I have a couple of questions I wanted to ask you.

First off regarding the blog posts, you mentioned that it's ok if we use our existing blogs for the course so long as the course-related posts are clearly defined. I was thinking of implementing a new category and/or tagging convention and thought a course code would work the best - however I don't think I've seen one. How would you like me to categorise things? I'll also mention the course at the beginning of each post.

Also, given the fact there is a fair amount of overlap between what we're covering in the course and what I write about normally I'm not sure where to draw the line with what posts I tag and what I don't. I don't want to inundate the other learners with material that hasn't been requested. Should I keep it to specific exercises and activities?

Secondly, the programme website indicates that "Most of these activities will also incorporate participation in online discussions." This is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous discussion I assume, right? Do you have any idea what a rough percentage will be? The reason I ask is I've got a huge commute to and from UNSW everyday (2 hours + each way) and had anticipated doing much of the reading and blog-writing during this period - with postings to discussion forums (etc) you peppered throughout the day.

If it's largely synchronous discussion I can find a way to work it :)



[NB: Leigh, I'm not sure if you want your response reposted so I might leave that to you to decide ;)]

Mikebogle (talk)17:12, 18 July 2008

(Hi Mike, thanks. I thought our email contained questions and suggestions that others may find useful...)

Regarding the blogging.. I think a tag or category would be fine, especially if you can generate a feed from it. That way people could simply subscribe to that feed instead of the main one.. I will subscribe to both :) Your main one for general interest, and your course feed for, well, the course :) as for where to draw the line, I think anything that is relevant to the course should be included in the course feed... I can handle it, so I'll leave it to your discretion.

As for communications.. from time to time we will be web conferencing. At the moment the two platforms pegged for that will be Elluminate and Second Life... maybe Skype as well. Any planned meetings of this nature are written in the schedule on the week they are to occur. Depending on the group preferences of course, but I'm thinking 10am NZ time (8am your time) will be the likely meeting time (as it is good for Australia, most of America as well as Western Europe). All meetings will be audio recorded of course, so if connectivity is an issue on your commute (I know that commute well) you'll be able to access the recordings. I had heard that the Blue Mountains train line is all WiFi now? I like to think I planted that seed if its true :)

Hope that covers it.. I think it would be good to have this on the wiki discussion page.. can you restart the thread there? Maybe a new thread called General questions?

Leighblackall (talk)00:19, 25 July 2008

Hi Leigh and Mike,
I'll also be using a blog I already have and maybe I'll be writing about this in English and Spanish, I think it would be a good idea to agree on a tag, so that we all use the same. I had a look at the categories used on the page, but they are too general. Any ideas?

Gabriela (talk)08:33, 26 July 2008

How about FOC08?

Leighblackall (talk)12:00, 26 July 2008

Great, Leigh, I'll start using it right now.

Gabriela (talk)13:52, 26 July 2008

Sounds great :) I'll start using it immediately. Cheers, Mike

Mikebogle (talk)23:14, 27 July 2008

What about a page that just lists participant names and blogs to make them easier to find?

Tmiket (talk)02:04, 29 July 2008

FOC Google Group

Hi All,

First off, in case you weren't aware, Leigh has created a Google Group for this course here: FOC @ Google Groups. If you have an existing Google account you can login and join the group using the same credentials, otherwise I suspect you'll need to create a new Google account first. Now on to my question...

Given the fact the wiki link for "Discussion Forum" (atop the main course page) resolves to the Google group I assume that is meant to be the primary forum. Am I right? If so, is this discussion page meant to serve as the space where we introduce ourselves and all discussion after that takes place on the Google Group?



Mikebogle (talk)11:49, 28 July 2008

Hi Mike, thanks for the pointer. My plan was to have introductions captured here on the wiki discussion page, and then use the Google group from then on. I wanted to avoid the over whelming email that can come from a round of introductions by just posting them here to begin with. What I didn't account on is the numbers of people interested (which is great) so its taking me a while to gather all the email addresses and add them to the email forum .. nearly there though.

Leighblackall (talk)17:33, 28 July 2008

Suggestion for evaluate a facilitation event

Is it different if someone is self-evaluating or evaluating someone else's facilitation? I believe it is. When self-evaluating the person knows the "other stuff" in their mind - it is subjective. When reviewing someone else's work you can be more objective. My suggestion is that you do one or the other not give them a choice - this is fairer in my opinion.

"Self-criticism and self-evaluation are a way to underline ones own mistakes, to notice what your weak and strong points are. It is the most effective way to learn from your mistakes, for the critique does not come from outside". See Julie Gruchy, workshop notes. In the peer review toolkit, self-evaluation is seen as a more reflective exercise which can be used to reflect on peer review.

I suggest you get them to gather peer feedback and reflect on it as well as on the facilitation event and how well they handled it.

Also, I am not sure how "Did the facilitator make efforts to ensure that all participants knew where they were supposed to be and when, and arrange technical support for people?" is different to the first item for assignment three.

Bronwynh (talk)17:55, 7 July 2008

Leigh You have some great resources for the participants to explore - it is shaping up to be a really interesting course. Some suggestions - as you have 17 weeks to run this course I would spread it out a bit more and give more time to some of the key topics & some time to explore and reflect on the different kinds of communities. check out the course descriptor sent separately. Also a 10 am first meeting is not likely to get many working participants there - perhaps offer an evening slot as well. 7 or 730 pm was popular in the course I ran this semester - it also allows the people who are working with private organisations to come in from home as many cannot get past the firewalls.

  • give them two weeks for the week three topic (Facilitating, moderating, or teaching 11 - 17 August) as this is a biggee. Perhaps the second half of the topic in week 4 - you could take a look at the skills an online facilitator needs in more depth. (course descriptor - 2. Articulate the skills required for maintaining a successful online community.)
  • after they have had a look at some of the examples of online communities - give them a week (around wk 9 or 10) to reflect on the skills needed to facilitate the different kinds of online communities & take them back to the idea you introduced in week two - how to differentiate between a community and a group etc.
  • somewhere have something about open versus closed communities
  • when are you introducing ways of communicating in a community - synchronous versus asynchronous - perhaps early after introducing the idea of community - Elluminate, Skype, instant messengering etc.
  • week four/five - Discussion forums - use Blackboard as an example of how to use closed discussion forums versus an open forum like Google Groups.
  • perhaps bring in someone from health to facilitate a discussion around confidential discussions - Sarah Stewart and Merrolee as they have different perspectives.
  • The stuff in week 9 about organising a mini conference needs to be on week 6 when they start the wiki page - or else introduce the wiki and then the week after tell them about the type of event they might facilitate. No good leaving it until the actual week - they need the info up front. Give them a couple of weeks to get the handle on wikis.

week 9 - "This week you will focus on your event that you are facilitating as part of the course mini conference. The idea is for you to organise something for the conference, such as a guest speaker or a discussion panel through webconfernece; a discussion forum on a social networking platform; or assisting with the preparation and promotion of the mini conference generally. This will be your chance to facilitate real events and communication online, and explore more dimensions to facilitating online communities."

Some extra points

  • three weeks to organise speakers for a mini conference is not long enough. I would give then 6 weeks to plan - two weeks for the mini conference and two weeks to evaluate one other and do their self-evaluation. There is 17 weeks to play with.
  • Give them a week or a way to do the following either with each topic or later on in the course (course descriptor - 3. Evaluate online communication and collaboration tools in given learning contexts.)
  • what happened to the gaming communities?
  • Make sure you get the assessment criteria up early.
  • Don't forget to put some focus on facilitations skills and ice breakers - to use or not to use?
  • And strategies to motivate people to participate.
  • as you will have newbies to online facilitation - give them more time to investigate and do activities around - Effective Online Facilitation - Australian Flexible Learning Framework guide
  • Some good strategies in this article by Zenios - Table 1: Strategies for building a sense of an online community - includes netiquette which is not covered in the course and needs to be mentioned. Remember, you will have people new to the whole concept of interacting online.

Table 2: Strategies for promoting student involvement in reflective discussion

Bronwynh (talk)09:41, 8 July 2008

Leigh because I have started getting enquiries for the course for formal enrolments I thought it was a good idea to make some changes already to help with accuracy. Of course the extra topics and re-arrangement of the timetable may not suit your I love wikis. :)--bron 00:07, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Bronwynh (talk)13:07, 9 July 2008

Hello Bron, I'm not sure why I thought it was a 10 week course! I think it had something to do with initial content structuring meetings we had early on. I hope turning it into a 17 week course will not put people off.. it is considerably more time than a nice round 10 weeks.. but your suggestion to allow more time for the preparation and running of the course mini conference is a good one. I reckon we could finish the topics before starting to plan for the conference, rather than over lapping prep with specific weekly topics.

Just took a peek at the wiki and see you have been in there and made some excellent adjustments. Thanks! This really helps me as I am on the road a bit lately and don't have a lot of access time for a few days.


Leighblackall (talk)15:09, 9 July 2008

Taking off

wow this is really taking on a life of its own. It is looking really good. when I get a breather I will have a proper look but so far it looks impressive. An excellent idea to introduce the teacher/facilitator debate right at the start. A good warm up but you may have to get out the boxing gloves. have you seen alexander hayes 2008 slide show on online facilitating? See:

I tagged it onlinecommunities in

I still think the assignments should be at the bottom of the page or on a separate page cos the eye wants to get straight to the schedule. Don't forget the criteria :)--bron 08:46, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Bronwynh (talk)21:46, 17 June 2008

Planning for FOC

Week one: Introductions - set up blog, RSS

To do

  • Post an overview about your interest in online communities, your understanding about them and a description of what you hope to get out of this course. You may include some examples of communities you are involved in or have participated in previously.
  • Attend a web conference to meet and greet the participants and facilitator.

Week two: What is an online community?


To do

  • Attend a web conference to discuss terminology and definitions relating to online communities.

Week three: Discussions open and closed.

  • base the discussions on two scenarios depicting facilitation versus teaching.

Week 4: Social presence

  • How to build a community.
  • What skills are required.

Guest speakers

  • Wayne mcIntosh - WikiEducator community
  • Beth NGO
  • Colette Blockley - HIVAIDS block course - guest speaker facilitation in f2f course ???


Kill the wiki assessment. Use the DFLP model - blogging to weekly schedule and summary under learning objectives, facilitation plan - involves class participants discussing a topic - can invite outside speakers and experts to help), reflection on facilitation event on blog.

Bronwynh (talk)16:26, 18 April 2008