Thursday, November 03, 2005

Technology: post-it exercise to introduce the dynamics of asynchronous online communication

Today I could not get into my own blog :( and I really wanted to get my experiences out so I felt frustrated. Already addicted?

Yesterday we had a full day on e-collaboration for Dutch development organisations (organised by PSO/ICCO/IICD). In my 'round' we used an idea that I picked from my recent workshop facilitating online interaction : to use post-its for simulating the experience of asynchronous online communication in a face-to-face group. It really worked well!! When the 'facilitator' started to ask questions, they also started to ask each other questions. Amazing how a really short experience can draw out so many of the aspects of online communication (eg. the speed of communication, importance of clarity, no interruptions in your communication, the excitement when you post leads to a thread (or the reverse), the insecurity when you don't get response, etiquette, role of moderator in asking good questions and modeling behaviour, difference in defining and monitoring participation, etc.). We used it as an introductory exercise, but if you make it longer, you could probably use it to go much deeper into some of the aspects of asynchronous communication. I can think of using it with different groups in the south to get people to talk about how it feels for discuss online (for instance this group did not mention the fact that it is difficult to express your thoughts in writing as they may be used to doing so).


Lindsy said...
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Nancy White said...

I love it! It is great to see the picture as well. Your assessment really rings true to the experiences I had when running this exercise.

I've also been thinking about how you can do something similar with a wiki metaphor. So you do this on a white board and people can erase, etc. :-)

Beth Kanter said...

I loved the photo too - helped see how you did it! Addicted .. you? No!

Dorine Ruter said...

Hi Joitske, I overlooked this blog post when you wrote it, but now that it was marked on it caught my eye! (So it works!)

I loved that post-it exercise and the 'insight' it gave us. And I really digg the idea Nancy has on using a white board to simulate wiki experiences. Can we use this for our upcoming e-collaboration workshop?