Academic journal article Organization Development Journal

How to Create an Effective Online Seminar Using Organization Development

Academic journal article Organization Development Journal

How to Create an Effective Online Seminar Using Organization Development

Article excerpt

Convenience for participants and efficiency for instructors continue to drive the online learning model. Research has found that participants equate synchronous delivery to a positive, more engaging experience because of immediate feedback and connection to other participants in the classroom (Falloon, 2011; Hrastinski, 2008; Stein, Wanstreet & Calvin, 2009; Strang, 2013). This article will serve as a case study for facilitators who are expected to expand the learning environment across multiple sites and are apprehensive of the idea. Readers will be able to understand the impacts of the environment on the learning process. Additionally, facilitators can reflect on their online presence and how to build learning relationships within the learning community. This paper includes reflection on the community of inquiry theory tied to Schein's active inquiry and focuses primarily on the relational and social factors of online facilitation.

In the online environment, there should be a substantial focus on facilitating interactive discussion to power the achievement of learning objectives combined with course room content, lecture, and feedback (Berge, 1995). Online instructor roles can be categorized as pedagogical, managerial, social and technical. How an instructor views his or her role in the four categories can set the tone for the effectiveness of the learning experience (Liu, Bonk, Magjuka, Lee, & Su, 2005). The author focuses on the process and social dimensions in this case study, not that the other dimensions are not important, but she had experience in conversation weaving and support on the technology of the delivery of the class. In terms of process, the roles of profession-inspirer, interaction-facilitator, and feedback-giver were vital. The author found it crucial to provide a professional experience during the online discussion that encouraged peer interaction. Real-time feedback in a highly facilitated discussion allows participants to connect work and life experiences and feel comfortable discussing those connections with their peers.

Blended facilitation in a synchronous environment

First, we must define the terms blended learning, synchronous delivery, and online seminar. Blended or hybrid learning, is a mix of face-to-face learning time along with online activities. Synchronous interactions are live. The synchronous model consists of a majority of the time being spent with the instructor and peers in an online meeting room or breakout room working in groups. Combined, the two learning methods can be impactful for both the facilitator and the class.

The online seminar consists of a combination of asynchronous and synchronous delivery methods (blended learning) with the instructor and participants all working from separate remote sites. The seminar scenario has the capability to build an effective online learning community to span geographical boundaries. A learning community depends on hospitable social relationships, positive instructor presence and effective group work.

Elements for Online Training Delivery

Online Community of Inquiry Framework

The community of inquiry framework (COI) includes social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000). Social presence is the ability to use his or her self to establish genuine, trust-based relationships in a social environment (Garrison et al., 2000). Cognitive presence can be defined as the actions and collaborative efforts inside the community of inquiry. Garrison et al. (2000) explains the key elements of teaching presence include design, facilitation, and direct instruction (Garrison et al., 2000). One way facilitators can build community in the classroom is by inviting participants to participate-make them feel comfortable using the technology as a tool to establish his or her presence in the classroom. The ultimate goal with social presence is to build relationships. Garrison et al. …

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