Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ways to facilitate workshops with illiterate or low educated people



Give your photocamera to a group of students and ask them to make a photoserie of the most attractive touristic places in town. This is what my teacher did when I attended a language school in the South of Spain. When we came back we had a fantastic conversation about the most appealing touristic places in Cadiz, seen through the eyes of foreign students.

Imagine you work in a context with illiterate or low educated people. You are asked to facilitate an evaluation assessing what has changed in people’s lifes?  Behavioural  changes which have been taking place with the different stakeholders in the project. While working with illiterate or low educated people there are various ways to share insights and perspectives ensuring equitable participation:
1.       Conduct a workshop using visuals
Instruct people to build a story based on photos or pictures. Or ask people to visualize their ideas by drawing. Discuss the visuals afterwards on an interactive way.

2.       Participate by using oral exchange
Story telling is an universal tool to share knowledge and experiences. Focused group conversations under a relaxed and safe atmosphere enable people, who can not read or write, to participate orally on an equitable way.                                                                           
3.       Learning by doing and working together
Working together and learning by doing enables people to understand the situations when dealing with complex issues. Asking questions of inquiry and verbal exchange and working on the same activities are ways to evaluate on an informal way.

4.       Adapt yourself to the local way of communication
Many countries with a high number of low educated and illiterate people have a culture of strong hierarichal differences. In these contexts communication is mostly very structured. Questions and instructions are very short and simple. Repetition is a necessity to follow-up on how information is used and shared.
5.       Create conditions that fit to the physical environment of communication
Fit to the local physical conditions on how people communicate. If people discuss their matters under the tree or outside in the field, create situations as a facilitator that match the local physical conditions of communication. Young people prefer to do their activities with music on the background.  So try to match their world of doing things and create an evironment with feels comfortable for them.

Challenge yourself as facilitator!
Photos, visuals and audio are increasingly influencing our way of communication. The way on how illiterate/ low educated people and well educated people communicate will become closer and more universal. So challenge yourself as a falitator to use non-written means of communication in your workshops. It brings people in a different mindset and helps to build bridges between people with different educational backgrounds.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Evaluation is an opportunity for transformation!

'Provide a voice to the most marginalised groups in society.’  ‘As an evaluator you have a role to play in transforming perspectives.  Clearifying your values, and in my case using participative approaches in promoting equity and equal participation in change’,  is one of the most important lessons I gained from the e-learning course ‘Equity-Focused Evaluations’.      This distance learning course is conducted by MyMandE  an initiative of UNICEF, the Rockeveller Foundation, Claremont Graduate University and IOCE.    The main goal is to support evaluation expert’s to update their knowledge and skills in conducting evaluations and providing them with the latest developments in evaluations. For more information watch the video:  My MandE – E-learning on Development Evaluation.

What is an equity-focused evaluation?
An Equity-focused evaluation is a judgement made of the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. It provides assessments of what works and what does not work to reduce inequity, and it highlights intended and unintended results for worst-off groups as well as the gaps between best-off, average and worst-off groups. It provides strategic lessons to guide decision-makers and to inform stakeholders.  Equity-focused evaluations provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful, enabling the timely incorporation of findings, recommendations and lessons into the decision-making process.  Read more about >>>> Defining Equity Focused Evaluations.

The design of the course and lesson learned
Starting from September 2012 I participate weekly in a distance learning class. Every week two experts present and share their expertise on a specific topic related to equity-focused evaluations.  Each lesson is composed of a 30-minute video lecture,  15 page reading of literature, completed with conducting a multiple-choice test.  Read more about >>>> the program.  After each lesson the participants share their feelings, views and questions as a Linked-in platform.
Sofar the lessons about values, program theories and logframes, system thinking, case study approach and developmental evaluations were most helpful for me.  Some of the lessons and eye-openers I gained;

  • Communicate your values at the start of your evaluation and integrate them in your evaluation plan and approach;
  • Ensure that the marginalised groups integrated in the programme get an equitable voice in the evaluation process;
  • Focus on understanding how change comes and do not just focus on what happened.  Change does not come by logical relationships, it is much more complex.  Focus your approach as an evaluator in understanding the local context and understand the intervention as embedded in its environment;
  • Ensure that your evaluation team has a broad cultural and gender based diversity which is representing the demands and perspectives in the evaluation;
  • Test your own assumptions continously during the evaluation process and get all the perspectives and assumptions from the stakeholders involved outside the box;
  • The case study approach is a very helpful tool in getting the relationships clear between policy makers, implementing organisations and beneficiaries  and how the context is influencing them. A case study about an educational program involving ministries, municipalities, school directors, teachers, students and their parents provided new insights for me on how lessons can be shared and gained amongst stakeholders;
  • The developmental evaluation approach is a continuous evaluation process which permanently deals with changes in the context. This approach allows the program to be flexible. It is effective in contexts where innovation, complexity, changing demands play an important role.
  • Evaluation is an opportunity for transformation!  Evaluation is not just an assessment, but it is a process involving the main stakeholders in guiding them in leading their own development process.

Moving forward
Some of these major lessons I will integrate in my next evaluation promoting ‘the participative approach’ as my most important value.  Evaluation is an opportunty for transformation!  The e-learning training about ‘Equity-Focused evaluations’ will continue up to 16th December 2012.  A new course about ‘National Evaluation Capacity Development for country led evaluations’ will start in January 2013.  Read more about >>> e-learning courses on Development Evaluation.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Digital storytelling by video

'Ask yourself a question and make yourself to be followed by a videocamera'.  This is what one of the participants did at the bookpresentation  'Omdat het Werkt! - 11 casestudies about learning with social media'.  This day, organised by the Losmakers on the 28th September 2012,  was aiming to exchange knowledge and experiences about successful application of social media in learning- and educational trajectories. This videoproduction was applied as an experiment to test the effects on the person who was followed and the responses it generated from the fellow participants at this seminar. It was an example of experimenting with 'Digital Storytelling'.

The videostory
The story of the video was focused at following one of the twenty-five participants during the workshops. Through a Linkedin group, that was started prior to the event, one enthousiastic participant was identified and selected.  The story board of the video was developed by the filmmaker and the participant with a key learning question as point of departure. Between the workshops during the breaks moments of filming were planned to ask reflective questions.  What insights did you gain? What new questions did arise? And as final question ; What are you going to do next monday?   See video:   'The new way of learning'  (in Dutch): 
The result
The process of videomaking stimulated the participant to work actively with the learning question. 'It stimulated me to stay close connected to the core part of the question,  expressing myself in short and powerful answers.  Through this approach I was stimulated to gain the maximum result out off the workshops!'    After the seminar the video was shared at the Linkedin group. A number of participants recognised a number of lessons, but also indicated they had gained new insights by watching the video.

Interactive video, digital story telling and participatory videomaking  enhance learning
This experiment was applied at a small scale basis. Two persons (the filmer and the participant) developed the story. However, with an active participation of a wider group of participants, the result could have been much bigger.  From research it has been demonstrated, that the application of interactive video in classroom situations enhances learning. However, if video is applied as a one-day information carrier it doesn't improve learning results. In 2005 Elsevier published an article, that interaction and active participation of the students is an essential prĂ©-condition for applying video as a successful tool for learning.  Read article >>> Instructional video in e-learning.

The phenomenon of 'Digital Story Telling' is gaining increasing popularity in primary- en secundary education in Great Brittain and the US. Young people in the classroom get opportunities to respond interactively at presentations, photos and videos and develop their own digital stories. Read article: Digital Storytelling A Powerful Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom.
Voice thread is a popular online tool that is applied in primary and secundary eduation where students respond interactively by text, audio- or video messages at a presentation or an exercise. This interactivity helps the students to process knowledge and to link it to concrete exercises.  These help the students to actively apply new information in another form.  This finally leads to better learning results.
Cartoons and drawings are another means to tell digital stories online. With Story bird and Glogster-    you can create your own cartoon characters to vizualize a story. An overview of online digital story telling tools can be found at >>>>> Sites for digital story telling.
Participatory videomaking (PV) engages people actively in telling their story. Research, developing the story (story boarding), the filming and editing are the phases of videomaking that appeal people's capacities on exchange, co-operation and communication. Practical experience has shown that PV fosters the contact of students, teachers and outsiders who are engaged in the story. So was I involved in a participatory videomaking workshop with youth, who made a film about eldery people in their village to ask them about their childhood experiences.  See >>> PV in Ulmu.

Ten ideas for applying video in training- or classroom environments
Dr. Alex Couros, expert in the area of educational videomaking,  shares at his site ten ideas about how you can engage students to tell their stories by video.  Read >>>>>> 10 ideas for classroom video projects.
 Four examples, which fascinated me the most and which are easily to be created:
1. A video interview by skype, where two people from  two different backgrounds meet each other by webcam. Through Tin - Tin you can obtain the software that enables the creation of a webcam interview.
2. A life story in one minute - Forrest Gump in One Minute
3. An audio story told by children  and filmed and executed by adults,  see Kid Snippets - Salesman
4. Social commentary and critique - children make a documentary about the quality and the meals in the schoolcantine.  See video from the  Neverseconds daily foodblog.

The most interesting part of these video's is the creativity, the diversity and the co-operation between the different groups and the discussions that are accelerated by these video's.  For me, video is a very powerful tool, that contributes to enhanced learning, interaction and understanding between people!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Video as a tool to explore strategic priorities

'Personal Branding'  through social media is becoming more and more important in today's society. How does your self-perception match with the perception of others?  Through your website and social media such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube you can build and develop your personal profile in the virtual world.  Developing a video presenting myself was one of my key activities, I facilitated last month.

Discovering strategic priorities in the preparation process
The process of making a short video message about yourself is an interesting journey of self-searching and reformulating the strategic priorities of your business. During the last two months of my summerholidays, I went through a process for reformulating my strategies, key activities and target groups. Key questions that helped me in this process were:
  • How is the current situation of the business?  What is successfull? What gives energy? What does not go well? Which activities are frustrating and lurking energy?
  • How is the context developing?  Where are the opportunities in the market, which fits my interests and qualities?
  • What are my key values?
  • What are my hopes and dreams for the future?
  • Where would I like to develop?  What competencies would I like to gain in a changing context?
  • What new products and ventures do I want to create?  Which ventures do I want to continue? Which ventures do I want to stop or exit?
  • With whom would I like to co-operate? Who are my favourable partners who match with my values, who create synergy and who create the best conditions for the development of my qualities?
Setting strategic priorities, planning and establishing new relationships
After going through the process of self discovery, I formulated my strategic priorities and the products/ services that will meet the demands of my (potential) clients.  For the coming years I will focus on 1. Facilitation,  2. Evaluation, 3. Support of capacity development of organisations and 4. (Participatory) Video as a tool for learning and transformation.  My clients will be actors active in International Development Co-operation, Education and Social Infrastructure Development. 

Developing the story and video presentation
Based on my strategic planning process  I developed my video story vizualising my values, key strategic activities and my main motivation for doing my work.  It took me two hours to do the filming and three hours to do the editing.  I collected input from 5 colleagues to improve and re-edit the video.  The final product of this video presentation you can watch the video at: 


In the coming months I will actively engage and  inform new and existing clients about my ventures and activities.  In this process I will further develop strategic partnerships with colleagues or agencies who will match my values and strategic priorities.  The development of the video accelerated the process of exploring and defining the strategic priorities.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why video is so powerful to evaluate!?

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure - Colin Powell

This quote triggered my interest while reading 'Making documentary films and videos - a practical guide to planning, filming and editing documentaries' -  author Barry Hampe.  The publication is a practical handbook giving some useful hints and tips on how to make a video production.  Practise, practise, practise, ask for feedback, reflect and practise again. Applying video is a process of hard work and learning.

Video versus a report
As a facilitator and evaluator of organisations, projects and multi-stakeholder processes, I am triggered by the fact that  video can express much more in a shorter time space than a report.
A video is about visual evidence.  It shows behavior, people expressing emotions and attitudes. It also shows results and physical accomplishments.  A video interview not only communicates the content, but also people's behavior towards the process and the results they achieved in a project.  Video is also an excellent tool to be applied for organisational and institutional (multi-stakeholder) learning. The process of video making stimulates people to meet and get acquainted with other people. This helps to build linkages which might not be built through other means of communication. Video is also an excellent medium to disseminate information and experiences to a broad public. A video dissiminated by youtube will not only reach the donor or the project management, but will also reach beneficiairies and other relevant stakeholders.
One of the pitfals of video is that people are careful expressing their critisism. Video is an excellent tool for appreciative learning.  Therefore video can go hand in hand with reporting, while doing organisational assessments or project evaluations.

Do you also feel video is a powerful tool for evaluation? please let me know in the comments page of this blog?  If you disagree, please also respond in the comments page.

A field experience
In March 2010 I interviewed one of the youth leaders of a Youth Club in a youth development program in Moldova.  Through my participation in a training, informal talks during the coffee breaks and discussions at lunch, I was able to prepare my story. During one of the in-between sessions I conducted an interview with the youth leader of the club.  Before and after the interview I was enabled to make video shots of the youth group, the physical meeting place and the youth leader communicating with their peer members.   This video expressed how far the youth group and their leader had grown in their development.  Watch video:  Youth leader in the Center:


Steps and hints for making an interesting video story
Barry Hampe gives in his book some useful hints on how to develop and make an interesting 'life story video' in each phase of the process.

Based on Barry Hampe's publication and my own experience in videomaking,  hereby some useful hints and tips in each stage of the videomaking process while doing an evaluation:

Research: 
Prepare your story.  Discover who you want to interview.  Interesting people are interesting!  So, identify them!  Find out what keeps them engaged. What is important for them? Try to develop a good contact.  Building contact is key for bringing your interviewee at ease. Check in advance if people are sure they want to be filmed. Inform them about your goals and how you are planning to disseminate. So ask for people's  permission.  If you are doing an evaluation, make sure you have permission from the key stakeholders involved.
Make sure you have the right equipment (read more at:  Storyboard as a key for videomaking) and inspect the locations where you would like to do the videotaping.  

Story boarding:
Develop your story. Formulate your goals, what is it you want to communicate?  What is the relation of your story with the evaluation you are conducting?  Who will be the audience watching the video after it will be completed? Who are you going to interview? Where would you like to interview these people? Which questions are you going to ask?  The Most Significant Change Technique might be a helpful tool to do your interviews. Keep the number of questions limited. Which other video shots do you want to take?  How many minutes will you video take?  The ratio for taping and the final product is 10:1 average.  Serendipity happens. So plan time for flexibility.

Filming:
Be focused during the filming.  Have a tripod available to ensure your camera doesn't shake. Commit yourself to your story board plan, but leave time for flexibility.  Take time after each interview  to have your interviewee to check the video.  Sometimes retaping might be necessary. Carry an extra camera battery in case the filming takes a whole day.

Editing:
Now it is time to order your video shots. Develop your story.  The most common software used for video editing is Adobe Premiera Elements or Final Cut Pro. Make sure you have laptop that has a fast processor. In most cases you need an external hard disk for storing your videoshots.  Make sure that you keep the video shots in the same file and NEVER move this file again!
Feedback is key for developing your story.  So organize  a group of people who can give you feedback. If you are conducting an evaluation involve a team from your stakeholders or if appropriate your interviewees. Most of the feedback can be collected online by sharing your first draft at broadcasting channel (Vimeo or Youtube).
The opening is one of the most important parts of your production. It should catch and trigger people's attention.  Mostly you select the opening, when you almost finalized the first draft.  Your best video tapes might not fit in the story. So accept you have to kill your darlings if they do not fit in the story.
After the first draft, challenge yourself to make the video 10 - 25 % shorter. And after the second draft, again another 10 - 25 %. Short video's can have a powerful impact on your audience.
The final part of your editing is to add the titles and the music. Ensure that the names are correct and that the music carries your story instead of taking away your focus and attention.  Feedback from your peergroup will be of added value in this process.

Dissemination:
The video is completed. Now it is time to disseminate. Key question is 'How will it be disseminated?'  Who will be the audience?   And where and when will it be broadcasted?  Will it be shown at a key event?  or will it be broadcasted at a broadcasting channel (Vimeo or Youtube)? And afterwards be promoted through social media such as Facebook, Yammer or Linkedin? Or will it be used for organisational learning?  and will it only be available for network learning partners?   Or will it only be communicated to the contractholder of the evaluation?  Make sure, before you even start to do the filming, that the dissemination strategy is clear. Incorporate this dissemination strategy in the Terms of Reference or Contract before doing the evaluation.  

Video meets the future demands of stakeholders
Video as a tool for evaluation is powerful, but is a process that the contractholder and the stakeholders involved, have to feel comfortable with. Sofar, not many projects or organisations use video for evaluations. However, times and demands from stakeholders are changing. In a global world were stakeholders (both beneficiaries, investors and related parties)  ask for more transparency and accountability,  video can be a building bridge in meeting these demands. So there is still a new world to be conquered if it is about video and evaluation.  For me a challenge to be part of  the group of frontrunners in promoting video as a tool for project- and programme evaluations.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Certified Professional Facilitator for another 4 years!

Recently I graduated and was recertified as Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) for another 4 years with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). In 2008 I passed my first assessment, when I was judged by 2 senior CPF Assessors.

Background
IAF's aim of the certification process, started in 2003, is to ensure that Certified IAF members meet the standards of dealing with different and complex situations as facilitator. Through this program IAF wants to ensure and maintain high quality standards for the profession of Facilitation. Facilitation is an Art and experience as must!.

The certification process
As part of the assessment, I was asked to select 7 workshops with different clients in different situations over the last 4 years. I selected a mix of face-to-face workshops and trajectories with civil servants, social workers and international development workers. I also presented an online facilitation trajectorie involving young professionals and a participatory workshop event with youth. Based on these 7 workshops I was asked to the development of my professional compenties based on 6 Facilitator Compentence Criteria;
A. Creating partnerships with the client
B. Planning the appropriate group processes
C. Creating and maintaining the right atmosphere for active participation
D. Guiding the group to results
E. Developing and maintaining professional expertise
F. Developing a positive and professional attitude.

Feedback from the assessor
Four years ago I had to pass a process of defending and explaining my assessment in front of a commission of 2 senior assessors. Followed by a practical of half an hour on stage facilitating a workshop with real participants, followed by a feedback meeting with my assessors. This time the certification was written and judged by one assessor.
My senior assessor complimented me about the following strengthes:
The facilitator leads and guides intensive processes from intake up to evaluation. He makes a link with the context and supports the client to embed the results in the long term context;
The facilitator knows his own shortcomings and tries to identify a co-facilitator compensating his weaknesses;
The facilitator is experimenting with new media (virtual tools and video) and reflects critically on his own learning process;
The facilitator is open for new developments and participates enthousiastcally in networks, events and conferences to share his experience and learn from others.

Possible areas for improvement
The senior assessor provided me with the following suggestions for future development;

  • Continue with the process of combining facilitation events with organisational development. Focus at embedding results into the contextual changes of the organisation. Read more literature about organisational development to help to improve the quality of the intakes;
  • Continue the experiments and applications of online facilitation processes. There is still a whole new world to be developed in the area of online facilitation;
  • Consider to take bids and facilitation assignments in the business sector;
  • Challenge yourself to further deal with resistance in groups. Think of creating new solutions dealing with resistance or develop processes where resistance doesn't show up.
A final hartwarming remark from the assessor. 'I am impressed in the professional way you develop. You experiment with new modes of facilitation, take responsibility, share and contribute your expertise to other colleagues!'

Conclusion
CPF (Certified Professional Facilitator) is a valuable process. It has created new insights on how to challenge myself in my professional development as Facilitator!  Read more about the IAF CPF Certification process.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Measuring performance online: How can you evaluate online learning?

  • Savings  of €  20,000. - per year and €  1,500. -  per participant;
  • A course attendee who  experiments with virtual tools in team collaboration and who contributes to shorter and more effective meetings in the organisation  and contributes to cost  savings in travelling;
  • Satisfied participants
Three practical examples as a result of an evaluation of a 'blended learning' course at a training agency. One of the major challenges in online learning, is to visualize the development of a participant or organization. To what extent  contributes online learning  to improvement in efficiency? And to what extent does it contribute  to improving the competence of the individual or the team  in the organization? How can you monitor and evaluate online?
Practical models
As general practise  the following 3 models are commonly applied in monitoring and evaluating online performance:
1. The 8-Fields model
The 8-fields model (Kessels, Smit, Keursten) examines the effects of a  training on an individual or group.  With a  goal or problem as a point of departure,  the development of knowledge, skills and attitude are followed over a fixed period of time. The process and outcomes are benchmarks, which help to measure effects and impact on the long term in the organisation and in service delivery with the target group. Read more about the  8-Field Model.
See presentation: How can you monitor and evaluate online?


2. Value creation in communities and networks
The Value creation model (Wenger, Trayner, the Late) goes through 5 phases, in which the development  of online learning is followed. Phase 1; Direct value, phase 2;  Potential value, phase 3; Applied value, phase 4; Realized Benefits  and finally Phase  5; Custom value at the level of the target group and the strategy of the organisation.    Read more about the Value creation model.

3. Valid Metrics Framework
The Valid Metrics Framework is based on current learning models (eg Kolb, Bloom's learning domains) where the process and developments in awareness, knowledge, skills and attitude of the student are followed. Support from the organization, changes in behavior and ultimately changes in actions and service delivery are followed on  organizational level and customer value at the target group level. The challenge in this model is to measure the attribution. To what extent has changed behavior in human behaviour in the organization contributed to change in the target population and the consumer? Not all the changes in consumers or the target can be directly attributed to changes from the service provider. Read more about the Valid Metrics Framework.

Tools for monitoring and evaluation
Online learning can be followed both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Quantitative
Most mailing lists have a function that measures the number of hits and visitors. Yammer have leaderboards and response pages, where the  participation of the most active members can be followed.  The Poll function of  Yammer is an excellent tool to do an in between poll about member's opinions on a topic. With google analytics, the number of visitors and intensity of the visits are quantified over de defined period of time.
Quantitative data can also be collected through online survey's. Both SurveyMonkey and Free Online Survey  offer features where statistics  can be collected.
Google docs is a convenient tool to do time tracking and in keeping and analyzing financial records.

Qualitative
At the level of activities (eg training or an event), Twitter, Mood Panda and Poll Everywhere are appropriate tools to gather feedback from participants. Mood Panda assesses  the feelings  and experience of participants by a score of 1 to 10. Both Twitter and Poll Everywhere offer opportunities to ask open ended questions and sharing at the same time.  Wordle is a creative tool to collect one-word impressions of people.
Storytelling is an excellent tool to measure impact and development on the long term.   A good example is Zaitun's story, a compilation of pictures which vizualises the outcomes of the training and coaching activity with a local farmer.

Getting Started:  Choose a model and a mix of tools,  keep it simple! "
Are you a supervisor of an online or blended learning course  and looking for a model to monitor the development of your participtants or a group,  get started  by selecting a practical model for monitoring and evaluation. Then choose the appropriate tools, through which you can collect data at each of the monitoring levels.
Consider using the  following questions in helping to develop your M & E system:
  • What are the targets that need to be accomplished?  Set challenging targets which are a departure point for monitoring and evaluation.  Dare to define targets in cost savings and improved learning capacity.
  • What is the purpose of monitoring and evaluation system? To what does it contribute?
  • What information is needed (the questions) ?
  • From whom is the information obtained?
  • When is the data collected and how often?
  • How and with which tool is the information collected?
  •  Who collects the information?
  • How is the information analyzed, recorded and shared?
  • How much time needs to  be invested?
  • How much should it cost?
A tip; Keep it simple!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Course Online facilitation for organisational learning and change - A combination of theory and practice

On the 21st June 2012 En Nu Online completed the first course 'Online facilitation with social media for organisational change and learning'.  Over a period of eight months participants gained knowledge and skills on how to apply social media and virtual tools for organisational learning and change. Each participant applied lessons in a practical case in their work.

Immediate application of lessons learned
One of the participants working with a big training company applied virtual exchange as part of a training about Leadership.  Questions and practical assignments were disseminated through a Yammer group, where participants already were challenged to think about issues they encountered in their role as leaders. This experiment gained a lot of useful feedback for 'collective learning'.  Both participants and the training company gained useful lessons.
A large international company invited representatives from various parts of the world as preparation for a  workconference, to share  learning issues  and urgent questions. It generated a lot of momentum and contributed to good quality discussions on the f2f gathering.
In a famous Dutch bank  a webinar was organised on the application and integration of Yammer in the workprocesses of the organisation.  It generated a lot of new insights on how virtual exchange processes can be embedded in the project teams in the bank.
 Another participant  created a number of screencasts in a non-profit organisation. Through the screencasts the target groups were informed  step by step  about new developments in housing.
On the final day of the course 'Online Facilitation for organisational learning and change'  the participants  (a mix of trainers, coaches, trainers and HRD professionals)  presented  the results about the application of virtual tools in their workprocesses.
A few comments from participants:
"I have never learned so much, in such a short time!"
"The course was a  good combination of theory and practice. The lessons learned can be directly applied in our  own work."
"This course gives you the opportunity to experiment with various social media and  you can apply them directly in the worksituation"

See video "En Nu Online Evaluation"  for Impressions (in Dutch):


Advantages of virtual exchange
The integration of social media tools and virtual processes in work processes helps organisations:

  • To save costs in trainings and educational programs;
  • To accelerate learning in the organisation, through efficient and effective access to knowledge networks;
  • To apply lessons learned directly in workprocesses in the organisation.  This eventually contributes to performance improvement of individuals in organisations, teams and the organisation as a whole;
  • To adapt quickly and flexible  to changes and to meet the today's demands and needs of customers.

A new course about 'Online facilitation with social media' will start on the 24th September, 2012 and will last up to 25 April 2013.   Read More:  'Course Online Facilitation'.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Second serie of online games for learning and facilitation


This week I came along a Ted Talk of Jane McGonigal.  According to Jane Mc Gonigal we spended in 2010  3 billion hours a week on gaming. However, we need to jump to 21 billion hours a week  in use of online gaming in 2020 to work towards  a better performing world. Jane argues that online games are positive for learning. Games create positive emotions (fun, curiosity),  it helps people to focus and to concentrate and make people creative in problem solving.  Online games foster building relationships.  According to Jane gamers are powerful, creative and optimistic people. Gamers can perform more.   If we promote gaming, we can make a better world.
Watch.  Tedtalk:   Jane Mc Gonigal - Gaming can make a better world



Find a second compilation of games, which are fun to play at training or facilitation events.  The first compilation you can read at; Ten online games for learning and  facilitation.

Language or wordgames
1.  Bookworm
2.  Slidoword
Mathematics
3.  Quick calculate
4.  Extreme maths
Abstract thinking and understanding
5.  Towerburg
6.  Rubix - Playing Island
Priortizing and decision making
7.  Buying houses
8.  Grand roulette
Observation games
9.  Old cities in the US
10.  Inspector game - searching for indications

Have fun!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How will video be used and applied in 2017?

Due to technological changes the role of video will increase in the coming years. Nowadays internet provides enormous possibilities to disseminate video messages (youtube, vimeo). The growing popularity of video making by digital camera's, mobile telephones and the availability of user friendly and low cost video editing software makes it much more easier for consultants, project staff and field workers to use video as a tool for their work. More and more video broadcasts are replacing or adding added value to written reports or publications.

It is foreseen that video will play a major role in projects and organisations in 2017. Video will be having multiple functions;

1. Video as a tool for Montioring and Evaluation in a project
Video will be increasingly used for monitoring and evaluation of projects. Video is a means to capture stories which can communicate qualitative changes. Evaluation methods, such as 'Most significant change' can be excellently be applied through video. It provides a means to give a voice to different stakeholders and beneficiaires in a project to communicate about changes.

2. Video as a tool for learning and capacity development
Video provides excellent possibilities for learning. Both the proces of videomaking as the production provide information about people's developments and changes. A concrete video project encourages people to meet people, they would not have met in a formal setting. Video helps to build bridges between different stakeholders, which indirectly enables learning. By building new contacts, people get new perspectives and ideas.
Video also is a tool to collect feedback. What did people like? And what should be improved? The rich value of feedback through video is a helpful tool in different learning processes.

Watch the video why images and video's are powerful tools for change:



3. Video as a tool for education and instructions
The availability of low cost screencasting software has made it possible to make your own video broadcast messages. The amount of video tutorials at internet is taking a rapid growth. Due to the increament of social, informal and long distance learning has contributed to the fact that video becomes an important tool for education and instruction. TedTalk has become one of the major video channels on inspirational lectures and speeches.

4. Marketing and communication
Video will become more common in marketing and communication. Not only advertisements are increasingly promoted on websites. More and more newsletters and information bulletins of organisations contain video's as a means for providing information. One minute video's increasingly grow in popularity.

5. Video as a research tool to prepare major gatherings, events or projects
Video provides excellent possibilities to gather opinions, views, trends and development which can be communicated in a short and effective way in order to provoke debates and discussions. Increasingly, organisations do research and collect information from stakeholders through video, which are broadcasted at conferences, stakeholder meetings and important decision making gatherings.


Role of video in projects in 2017?
In 2017 video will be used as one of the tools for Project Management. Video will be used for Needs identification, Project Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. Especially the domain of monitoring and evaluation provide increasing possibilities for applying video.
Increasingly organisations will use video for learning and capacity development. Short video messages, one minute video's and testimonials will be used as evidence and communication tool for organisational change and learning.

Video as a tool for the consultant in 2017?
The Consultant 2017 will be equipped with knowledge and skills on how to use video for consultancies and project- and organisational development interventions.

The Consultant 2017 will have basic knoledge about:
- video story development and design of story boards
- camera technology and how to do basic filming
- video editing
- dissemination through internet and social media.

The consultant has insight on how and when to apply video for the benefit of the client.