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Advice_from_Former_Moderators

Page history last edited by Nina Liakos 3 years ago

Q: What are your suggestions or recommendation to future EVO moderators?

(from the final moderators' surveys of previous EVO sessions beginning in 2014)

 

A:

 

Preparing the Session

  • Make sure to plan your syllabus as much as possible in advance and of course have great moderators who can easily adapt and be flexible to help with work that can come up during the session.
  • My advice is to plan carefully all the details of the session: the tasks for the participants in terms of the workload for every co-moderator because five weeks are a long period and volunteers should be aware of how much time moderating is going to take and be ok with it, especially when we include the factor of larger numbers of participants every year.
  • Plan everything before starting but be ready to adapt to how the session evolves.
  • Dividing the tasks into steps and setting the deadlines for all tasks can help the participants. Also, motivating the participants by giving them badges for a number of completed tasks every week helps the group keep the rhythm.
  • Keep it as simple as possible because it's already complicated enough.
  • To look for ways to get to know what participants are looking for at the beginning of the session, to then get more engagement and participation.
  • Craft sessions with achievements that offer something for every level participant (which ranges from lurkers to active week to week participants)
  • Timing -- curriculum-wise everything needs to be in place by the end of the EV training -- we weren't close to that and it caused undue stress and some incompleteness in our session. 
  • Simplify and don't expect too much from the participants
  • Avoid to make last minute changes. Have detailed plans ready prior to the sessions.
  • Think of an an easier and clearer way to join the session 

 

The Moderators' Training Session

  • Do the moderator training! I know it's required, but active participation will really help you, your co-moderators, and your session.
  • get well organized during the training month in Oct
  • The training is very important. 

 

Creating and Working with Your Moderating Team

  • Find others.
  • Look for passionate moderators
  • keep an inter moderator hotline open for your team
  • try to form a happy working team who get on with each other
  • Keep collaborating with the rest of your team. It's never one person's session and can never be. Do your best to learn from the experience as you're helping others. Be patient and enjoy it !!
  • I can only say that moderating together (helping each other) is a good idea, keep it that way.
  • Take advantage of past participants in future years as TA's/co-moderators, etc. 
  • Make sure you work well as a team and you have a similar understanding of what moderating a session is about. Communicate, listen to each other and use everybody's strengths.
  • Have a team of at least three moderators. Many hands make work light!
  • Have enough moderators to cover each other. I think that having at least 3-5 moderators (one to lead each week, especially the middle three weeks) might be a useful recommendation, but I wouldn't make it an absolute requirement as orchestrating newbies can be a challenge too.
  • Make sure your co-moderators realize that it's a full time job for 5 weeks or don't commit.
  • Make sure that EVERY moderator is involved in developing the programme and are aware of the key aspects and objectives. Build your team well before the event.
  • Have more than 3 moderators - it just wasn't enough. Commitments meant that there were chunks in which we were not able to support participants
  • moderators should share the plan long (as far as possible) before the session, even when there might be modifications, this would allow co moderators to decide if they will really feel comfortable during the session
  • For this particular EVO, we need at least ten moderators, so that at least two can be on board each week, and nobody needs to be on board more than one week. Also, each week needs to be relatively self-contained, so that the participants can feel comfortable with the 'changing of the guard' each week.
  • Get help and make sure your co-moderators are committed. In my case the past couple of years my co-moderators did not go through the training and I think that was a serious deficiency. If they don't have time for that they are not likely to understand the process of moderation.
  • Remain in constant communication with each other and triple check all time differences! 

 

Communication

  • Engage with the participants is really important for creating/building a learning community.
  • To start up a Facebook group, it can help a lot!
  • Always be supportive and try to offer constructive feedback on projects
  • Actively engage both moderators and participants, regardless of the week, content, etc. 

 

Time Management

  • Do not take on more than one session if you're serious in the task at hand then it will soak up most of your free time if you also work.
  • Allow plenty of time - EVO takes over your life for 5 weeks.
  • Take the time you plan to devote to the EVO and add half.
  • Hang in there. Allocate sufficient time.
  • Always reserve a regular set time to moderate the session, and maybe fix a time limit, ie 30 mins - 1 hour a day, depending on other commitments.
  • It is a voluntary allotment of time and energy ~ do it the way YOU want to do it.
  • Clear your diary of everything else!
  • Don't fall behind or it can get overwhelming trying to catch up.
  • Make sure you have enough time at your hands.
  • Really put your life on hold for a month! 
  • Just be aware of the time commitment, it is huge 

 

Platforms and Tools

  • do your best to generate spaces for communication and sharing
  • Keep the technology manageable for those learning both the content and the technology
  • Have a virtual space for meeting.
  • Look for new tools and files to help the participants. Dig deeper.
  • Keep experimenting with the tools and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Participants need to see that you are learning alongside with them. 
  • Don't have more than 2 platforms for correspondence, so participants cannot get lost.
  • I would suggest choosing a platform for issuing badges that is user friendly.

 

During the Session

  • To enjoy the experience
  • Enjoy the experience and go with the flow.
  • Announce criteria to receive Certificate of Completion & design tasks to foster collaboration between participants 
  • Don't be over-impressed by the numbers of people that enthusiastically sign up and the small proportion that attend regularly and attend the course.In my experience tis is the way things go.
  • Set aside a regular time for commenting and giving feedback to participants in the community Keep a special EVO notebook and jot down the name of each of the participants you comment on / interact with. Write down any useful info, so this will help you if you are inundated with lots of members joining, then you can refer back to your notes, so you don't repeat yourself!  
  • I think that it is important to encourage participants to ask questions....more and more. 

 

Synchronous (Live) Sessions

  • I would survey our participants before picking a date/time for the live session. Scheduling in advance did not work for us.
  • Try to join in with the live sessions if possible, it brings you closer to the participants  

 

General Advice 

  • Be prepared to work a lot, and be prepared for lurkers and drop outs, which shouldn't be taken seriously!
  • Just go for it. You will learn so much from the participants and you will get invaluable practice in online moderation.
  • Dive in! It's an extraordinary experience, and very well worth the effort it takes.
  • Important to stick to one session and do it well.
  • Be ready to help, enthusiastic, collaborative, but above all, be ready to learn.
  • Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy. It is a wonderful experience.

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