On e-moderation

One thing that only a few people know about me is that I am a professionally trained E-Democracy Coordinator (Ahem!), through a programme developped by the Hansard Society in 2005. It’s not a secret or anything, but I haven’t had a much chance to put the skills that I developed to use since. Also, I was a big believer in the political potential of informal and spontaneous discussions happening online, and therefore was a little sceptical about the need for the presence of a moderator, at that time I was completing the programme.

Recently, I am participating in another e-moderator training course, designed for those who would be working as Associate Tutors on our MOOC this summer. Online environments have changed considerably since 2005, so have some of my ideas about them. So, I thought I would have a reflective look at what we covered at that time – and even compare it with how it’s approached to now. I am afraid I can’t find any records of that programme on the Web, including the group blog that our cohort set up on the side, I thought I’d do my own documenting here, which would fit the category, based on my notes, memories, and more importantly the help of the Wayback Machine.

Course Curriculum
Week 1 — Access and motivation

  • Recruiting and motivating people to participate
  • Sending a message to a forum
  • Sending a message to an individual
  • Getting & using help
  • Navigation in the online world
  • Expressing expectations and needs
  • Accommodating late arrivals and rolling starts
  • Personal and group reflection

Week 2 — Socialisation

  • Equality and diversity
  • Exploring asynchronous online working in the service of democracy
  • Establishing online identities and perspectives
  • Principles of online communication
  • Personal and group reflection

Week 3 — Exchanging information

  • Invitations
  • Weaving
  • Interventions
  • Exchanging information
  • Using electronic information
  • Validity of information
  • Understanding the process of democratic deliberation
  • Archiving
  • Feedback
  • Closing
  • Personal and group reflection

Week 4 — Constructing knowledge

  • Promoting participation
  • Designing for participation
  • Dealing with emotions
  • Managing time
  • Dealing with volume
  • Personal and group reflection

Week 5 — Development

  • Being heard
  • Understanding the impact of contributions
  • Synthesising & conveying
  • Giving feedback
  • Personal development plans
  • Footprints
  • Overview and reflection
  • Course evaluation
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