Someone asked me a question this week about skills for facilitating online discussion forums. He specifically mentioned two areas:
- Preventing discussions from disintegrating into flames and nastiness
- Helping discussions become more effective learning tools
Our company includes some training on guiding online discussions as part of the required training for everyone who teaches online. However, it’s proprietary internal training, and therefore not really of help for this particular situation.
Does anyone know of any training materials designed to help prepare discussion leaders and moderators? Ideally, I’m hoping for something that’s open and free or low-cost (this would be for a nonprofit organization). Short of formal training materials, a support forum for moderators where a good community exists might work. This could be something about managing online groups in general and not only in a learning setting.
I’d appreciate hearing any ideas you might have.