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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
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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
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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