Monday, March 12, 2012

The Practical Side of E-Moderation

Our third synchronous meeting was about the practical side of the job and this is the summary of what we discussed.

Challenges implied
  • managing intercultural differences
  • managing different personalities of participants
  • managing different levels of tolerance
  • creating a link between cultures
  • encouraging lurkers
  • help CPs overcome their anxieties of participating in an online community
  • manage impolite behavior
  • be open and welcoming yourself
  • establish rules of interaction
  • keep in touch with CPs whenever they stop participating or their behavior changes
  • encourage CPs to participate by assigning them small roles to carry out
  • provide a lot of support – “be there” for your CPs
  • be accepting
  • when dealing with “misbehavior” be firm yet kind
  • assign tasks to encourage participants to share
  • keeping up with posts and tasks
  • keeping discussions on-topic
  • communicating effectively with participants
  • providing feedback in time
  • following up participants´activity
  • motivating and stimulating CPs

  • facilitating CPs' learning

  • keeping the group threaded discussion flowing and communicating ideas
  • reformulating questions 
  • use a variety of activities : small group discussion, debates, polling activities,one-on-one message exchanges...

  • provide some helpful pointers when necessary
  • offer sufficient support, give simple,short and clear instructions/guidelines
  • summarise and weave texts
  • keep track of CPs' confusion, concern for the topic being discussed 
  • Using Moodle or any new VLE can seem daunting to CPs not familiar with e-learning - TE courses may be their first experience with a VLE
  • CPs have a limited amount of time - they need to focus on learning, and technology can't be their main focus
  • CPs might lose motivation if they feel technology isn't working as it should - and even withdraw from the course
  • It might not be clear whether certain problems can be fixed by E-moderators - or whether they ought to be referred to the development team
  • Familiarise yourself with the site you're working in and the different Moodle tools is good for Moodle 1.9 (the version we're using now) and for Moodle 2.1 (the next version TE courses will be using)
  • Refer to the Help & Support section in your course
  • Use tools such as screencasts and screenshots to make the technology transparent to CPs
  • Share concerns with other moderators in the E-moderators' forum, and read other people's posts on it
  • Tell the wonderful people on the TE development team if something isn't working as it should - they'll be able to make the course even better for other groups smile
  • Remember, even as an E-moderator, it's impossible to break anything smile

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