Facilitator Forum

Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups

 
 
Picture of Astrid Liden
Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups
by Astrid Liden - Tuesday, 12 August 2008, 12:17 PM
 

Hello Collective Intelligence Group Facilitators,

Thank you so much for stepping forward to facilitate these new sessions and for all of the work you put into making them a success!  I hope you enjoyed the experience and felt that your group was able to generate "collective intelligence".  While things are still fresh in our minds, I'd like to get some feedback from all of you about your experience as CI facilitators.  Your input will help us identify what worked well and decide how we may want to modify our approach to CI groups in the future.  Please take a few minutes to respond to the following questions.  Also, please feel free to start additional conversations with the other facilitators by starting a new posting.

1) What worked well in your CI group?

2) What would you do differently next time?

3) How did participants respond to the idea of using the online discussion boards?

4) Other than the online discussion boards, did your group come up with ideas for continuing "collective intelligence" throughout the year?

5) Do you think we should include CI groups at regional events?  Why or why not?

Picture of Karen Wolters
Re: Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups
by Karen Wolters - Tuesday, 12 August 2008, 1:58 PM
 

Hello Astrid, (and everyone else!)

I'm going to respond to Astrid's Questions in RED.  I really enjoyed facilitating the Transitioning to Post Secondary group with Tamra Sieve. 

1) What worked well in your CI group?  We had about 40 people, so we split into about 8 groups of five and they worked on the questions we gave them.  They worked on three different discussion questions, and then we came back to the large group to share in a 3 minute summary from each group.  We did have time to put together a "what we need from State ABE" feedback form at the end.  So I guess what I'm saying is that breaking into the small groups was effective and the large group sharing was helpful to pull out the big ideas.

2) What would you do differently next time?  Since it went so well, I don't know that we'd change the format, but maybe just change the content of the questions, or dig deeper into the initiative.  The format worked very well.  I could have followed up more with the discussion board part, and maybe should have pulled up the website and given a quick "how to" demonstration regarding the discussion boards.

3) How did participants respond to the idea of using the online discussion boards?  To be honest, most of them just sat there with the "deer in the headlights" look.  I did point out that a step by step guide was in the folder and we pulled it out and looked at it.  This is the first time I myself have done anything on a discussion board for ABE, and I'm relieved that it is very simple, so I'm hopeful they'll participate. Bella Hanson volunteered to maintain our discussion board (thank you Bella!).

4) Other than the online discussion boards, did your group come up with ideas for continuing "collective intelligence" throughout the year?  No we really didn't get to that point, however it was brought up in our "Use it or lose it" session that it was well received and should be continued in some form at the regionals this year.

5) Do you think we should include CI groups at regional events?  Why or why not?  Yes, for two reasons:

1)  We will be able to meet in smaller groups to discuss things that are relevant to our subject area in our LOCAL setting (maybe a common issue that is relevant to only our rural setting, etc)

2)  Taking this regionally will provide the continuity that is necessary for this "Collective Intelligence" phenomenon to work....once a year at the state-wide conference is not enough to promote the discussion board idea.  We need to spread the word and document this networking that is happening.

Picture of Jessica Jones
Re: Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups
by Jessica Jones - Tuesday, 12 August 2008, 2:38 PM
 

1) What worked well in your CI group?

I facilitated the low-literacy group.  We started off the meeting with a quick intro to the collective intelligence idea and then quickly got started listing off "burning questions."

Probably one of the most popular parts of the meeting was a time following small group discussions when everyone posted ideas for favorite materials and activities on the blackboards throughout the room.

2) What would you do differently next time?

I think everyone could have benefited from more experience with the online discussion boards.  Thanks to Susan W-B of the MLC we did have a brief intro to the website at the end of our session.  But about 25% of the group still indicated that they were unsure about using the message boards.

3) How did participants respond to the idea of using the online discussion boards?

Many were very enthusiastic.  Especially because we promised to post the popular list of activities and materials on the message board.  As I said, some were still unsure about actually getting started.  Perhaps step-by-step instructions with screen shots would reassure people?

4) Other than the online discussion boards, did your group come up with ideas for continuing "collective intelligence" throughout the year? No, we did not discuss this.

5) Do you think we should include CI groups at regional events?  Why or why not?  Yes. I liked it and heard very good feedback from the participants.  Teachers always like time to talk to other teachers and in this case that time was very productive.

Picture of Elizabeth Gilmore
Re: Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups
by Elizabeth Gilmore - Sunday, 17 August 2008, 1:16 PM
 
HI Astrid,
I hope this works. This is my response. Tom is out of town. He may have some different thoughts. We enjoyed the session and would love to do more.

Ibby Gilmore



1) Our timing seemed to be just about right! Groups were very engaged and enthusiastic.

2) A suggestion was made in the group that we give everyone the questions ahead of time, so they could prepare their responses-save time? Tom and I would have prepared transparencies instead of the flip charts.

3) Everyone was positive about the idea, but no one volunteered to facilitate. Hopefully they will continue.

4)$5) They all seemed to want more of the same at other conferences. It was suggested that Corrections have a separate group because their students are more difficult to motivate. However, I feel they might also learn from those of us who have previous teaching experience, especially in motivating junior high students.
Picture of Marn Frank
Re: Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups
by Marn Frank - Monday, 18 August 2008, 8:48 AM
 

Hello Everyone!

Thanks again for facilitating a CI Group. This was a pilot idea based on requests from earlier events. It was wonderful to see so many ABE people involved and now hear about their active participation.

Other related questions I have are about the CI "training." Did we give you too little or too much information about how to facilitate your group? Do you have specific suggestions for group facilitation?  Do you have other ideas for questions that will generate discussion?

Marn Frank

Picture of Clarice Esslinger
Re: Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups
by Clarice Esslinger - Thursday, 21 August 2008, 11:50 AM
 

Hi - I facilitated the intermediate ESL group with Brenda Can.

The best feedback we had from our group is that even at lunchtime no one wanted to end the discussions and everyone just kept on sharing ideas and taking notes from one another.

The sharing of resources was probably one of the best things people came away with. Sometimes the number of websites and cirriculum out there is overwelming so getting specific feedback about a certain resource and how it was used in the classroom was really helpful.

Most people said they would like to have more time for CI in the future. I think they probably should be included in regional events although on the State level there is a bigger pool dealing with the same situations as yourself.

I guess the indicator for the online discussion boards is yet to be determined. People seemed excited about it at the time.

Picture of Jane Gleason
Re: Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups
by Jane Gleason - Sunday, 24 August 2008, 10:41 PM
 
1. Breaking the group of 11 people into small groups worked well. We had veteran teachers mixed with new ones. We put the questions from the facilitators handbook on to transparencies. Two people thought we were going to be giving them ideas. When they realized that they were going to share their ideas, they needed a little prodding to go through the steps of sharing, writing and discussing. We had the participants write answers on large poster paper. They responded to the lists that were written on the poster paper by copying down ideas and discussing what they heard and saw. They seemed to really enjoy sharing what worked and didn't work for them as teachers.
2. I would have laptops in the classroom so that they could get help registering on the discussion boards right away. I tried to have them come up after the demo but none were willing to do so.
3. Several said they loved the idea of sharing ESL practices.
4. Via email was suggested.
5. I think online discussions should be repeated at regional events and other conferences so that it becomes second nature for teachers to check out this resource.
When teachers are busy they tend to put good ideas on the pile of other ideas. Being reminded to use the discussion board with a flash point (topic?) of sorts might help.
Picture of Claudia Kinville
Re: Feedback on Collective Intelligence Groups
by Claudia Kinville - Tuesday, 2 September 2008, 11:21 AM
 

1) The Workforce Education group was excited to have an opportunity to discuss Workforce Education.  We really had 3 groups as it turned out: job-seeking skills,incumbent workers with classes on-site, and career-specific education.

2) Next time, I would form sub-groups according to the 3 topics and have a facilitator ready for each group.

3) We didn't see much interest in the online discussion boards--sort of a "yeah, yeah, yeah" grumbling when we went through the handouts.

4) Ideas for continuing throughout the year included the following: More networking with ABE, Transitions, and Workforce Education; State ABE support for Workforce Education; a more WILMA-like approach to communication about Workforce Education.

5) Workforce Education as a collective intelligence group at a regional event might work in the metro area.  In general, people seemed to like the opportunity to network, but there were comments that "learning" didn't happen.