Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Webniar Facilitation Model

As the DML Commons are kicking off strong with two live seminars on Tuesday, we would like to take a moment to highlight the fantastic work of the co-facilitators. The sessions were topically so informative and inspired a whole lot of thinking, connecting and sharing.

Another aspect that stood out to us was the smooth facilitation of both webinars. This made us wonder which practices junior scholars could adapt in their development of becoming a better public speakers in the webinar format. To show one way of successfully facilitating a webinar, we highlight the structure of the first Professional Pathways webinar “Getting Started: How to Fund, Launch, and Collaborate on a Research Project.” If you have other ideas, please leave comments!


  • Matt starts by welcoming people in the hangout and those viewing.
  • He summarizes the topics that will be addressed.
  • He introduces himself (name, affiliation, interest in topic) and calls on co-facilitators and participants.
  • Cassidy and Adar, the co-facilitators, introduce themselves next.
  • Lastly, Rena and Christo, the participants, introduce themselves.
  • Matt addresses the viewers and encourages them to join the Etherpad to chat, ask questions and add resources. He explains that questions will be turned to in the last minutes of the webinar.
  • Matt presents the webinar structure. This webinar was sectioned in three topics: Funding, Methods, and Collaboration. Each topic will be discussed for 15 minutes.

Topic 1: Funding

  • The conversation is initiated by Cassidy.
  • Adar recounts her experiences first.
  • Cassidy recalls her personal experience as a shift over to Christo
  • Christo contributes to the conversation.

Topic 2: Methods
  • Matt moves the conversation forward, making this action explicit, adding that this is done in the interest of time.
  • He gives an overview of the topic and explains his personal interests in the topic
  • Matt reminds viewers to add questions to the Etherpad and the Twitter channel, which gives speakers time to think about their contribution to the conversation.
  • Christo responds first
  • Matt reflects on Christo’s response and Christo takes the conversation further.
  • Adar contributes her reflection.

Short reflection of lessons learned
  • The group shortly pauses in their established structure, recalling the sticking points that the conversation brought out.
  • Matt, Cassidy, and Adar also share their ideas on the outcomes of the unit and preview the second live event of their unit.

Topic 3: Collaboration
  • Returning back to methods, Cassidy initiates a shift to collaboration.
  • Rena picks up the conversation.
  • Christo joins in

Last thoughts
  • Close to the hour, Cassidy and Adar share their last thoughts before the webinar closes.
  • Matt transitions to conclusion, by sharing his thoughts on the idea of DML Commons.
  • He previews the date and time of next week’s live event and shares the planned content for the event.
  • He mentions activities in between, asking viewers to share ideas, questions and possible road blocks on the Etherpad explaining how this may support next week’s session and serve the viewers in crowd-sourcing.

If you have ideas for how to make the DML Commons webinars even better, please add your comments below!

– Anna & Kylie

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