Whenever I have the option to take a workshop, I generally jump at the chance. This workshop was offered by the University of Phoenix, entitled “Creating an Engaging Online Classroom,” facilitated by John D. Clift. This 3 day workshop, which I took on April 19-21, 2016, definitely helped me remember and learn new skills for facilitating an engaging classroom.
Of course, on Day 1, the class emphasized the ABC approach to facilitation, which I always try to use, and discussed the differences in working with adult learners – how important it is to emphasize active learning, collaboration, application of concepts, and the relevance of the concepts.
However, the ABC method is always something I like to refresh myself on, and this first day helped a lot with that. Essentially, this method means Acknowledge, Build, and Conclude. In my work with students, I have noticed that this is one of the most effective ways to respond to students in discussion.
First, it is important to address what the student has said, either by acknowledging a key point they have made, correcting a misconception, or answering a question they have asked. Next, I want to build upon what the student has said so far by pulling the conversation towards a key concept in the class. Here is where I might bring in another resource, identify pages or a passage from the textbook, or share an example from my own life that relates to the concept. Showing these connections can really help the student remember the concept and use it in the future. Lastly, the response to the student needs a conclusion – but not just any conclusion! The conclusion should help the student and/or the other students reflect upon the concept discussed. This can be in the form of a reflective question or an invitation for students to share their own experiences. It could also ask students to look for other examples of this concept and show how these other examples connect back to the classroom, or even on to their future careers.
This entire facilitation method is definitely a favorite of mine and I try to incorporate it with my students whenever possible.
For a Recap of Day 2, Creating an Engaging Online Classroom Workshop Wrap Up, Day 2
For a Recap of Day 3, Creating an Engaging Online Classroom Workshop Wrap Up, Day 3