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Beth, you raise some excellent points.

I've done my share of group facilitation, online and off. I'll put together a coherent response and get back to you soon!


One of the challenges of online facilitation is knowing "who has the floor". This often happens in web board discussions where talk can get hijacked by someone new or divisive, in the midst of an important interchange.

In virtual spaces, we have the opportunity to mimic some of the real world techniques used by good facilitators. One tool might be to create a scripted "talking stick" (or teddy bear, or soapbox).

Only the moderator could give out the talking stick to participants. While they wore it, their chat would be visually distinct from other chat, and they would be obviously visible as the person "with the floor." I.e. they might float to the center of the room, glow, etc.

This is not rocket science to produce, altho its beyond my poor scripting ability.

Sylvia Currie

Interesting stuff! You and your readers might be interested in this seminar discussion at SCoPE. Gilly Salmon is inviting wide participation to revise her 5-stage e-moderating model for Second Life moderators.

February 7-16, 2008
Direct link to the forum:

SCoPE activities are free and open to the public. Invite your friends!

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