Facilitating an Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Connect Collaboration group
Today Keith and I will start facilitating online in Connect Collaborate Program for the EU Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange, organized by Soliya, New York. It uses an unique facilitated dialogue model to connect young people globally and to learn how to collaborate, negotiate and we make decisions where the vote of the minority counts.This semester we will work with students and graduates from Tunisia, Syria, Palestina, UK, France and Germany on the topic “Migration”. I am looking forward to the process of online collaboration with different cultures.
The group will work on an awareness campaign about migration. Group task consists of:
- inquiry on the topic; first they will search for their own relationship with the topic “Migration”,
- then they will do interviews in their own community,
- then they have to decide on what they want to tell the world about “Migration” it and
- what they want to share on an infographic.
The process is very structured by Soliya. Keith and I decided that participants have the lead during dialogues and discussions, so they can take ownership. Keith and I will support them with questions.
For the first session we have made a plan.
- Technical support. We will have huge challenges because of the Corona crisis students from the Middle East are also at home where the internet connection is not as good as at the Universities.
- Socializing and getting to know each other. “Is your community affected by Corona restrictions?”
- We will explain the facilitators role: which is neutral and multipartial
- We talk about what is expected of the participants: That they will drive the dialogues and discussions forward and take leadership.
- I will do “Collaboration identity activities” to make a base for the collaboration process.
These “Collaboration identity activities” are fundamental for a good collaboration process. They lead to insights for the participants on their identity markers and they are useful when emotions are crossing the collaboration process. When participants are able to identify their triggers they probably are able to talk about them in a later state.
We also will discuss how these personal identity markers are affecting our collaborative work.
At the end we will talk about “power dynamics”. I will ask them if they have experiences with it. And we will make explicit when power dynamics occur, how it feels and you can collaborate in an inclusive way. I will ask the question:
“Have you ever felt ignored, or not taken seriously, because the majority of the groups is different? How did it feel and are you able to identify the majority and the minority points of view and different identity markers?”
Except for identity markers I will include my experience and knowledge of “Human dynamics” in the process and learn participants to ask the question to each other:
“What do you need to join the collaboration process”? Because this question solves problems with a dominant way of working in the group. power dynamics
I will also bring my experience as an online facilitator for Open Networked Learning, where I facilitated Problem Based Learning groups (teachers of Higher Education and Universities) during a collaboration process of three months.