Unlike most of the articles in this Help Centre which deal with technical/system/process aspects of Stream, this article will look at the more 'human' side of Stream, the side which involves the facilitation of courses.
Here are 10 tips based on our experience of our own Stream courses as well as assisting clients in the facilitation of theirs:
- Facilitate! Our research shows that a facilitated course has a significant increase in engagement and interaction compared to an un-facilitated course. Slide 12 shows 2 very similar courses, with similar audiences taking place at the same time. Course A is facilitated and Course B is un-facilitated. Course A had approx 500 participants, whereas Course B had approx 1200 participants!
- Use Digest emails. Digest emails will provide you with a 'tap on the shoulder' to let you know what has been happening in your Stream course, from the most recent comments to course completions. This can help you with making the best use of #3 below...
- Set time aside. If you have set up your Digest emails for 1400hrs each day, then it makes sense to block out some time in your diary from 1400hrs to review the course progress and facilitate as and when necessary.
- Try and welcome everybody. Imagine walking into a face-to-face classroom and the facilitator ignoring you/not engaging with you...... not a great experience, right? If you structure your initial level with some form of 'introductory object', then you as the facilitator have a fantastic opportunity to make a great first impression by welcoming each person as they complete that introductory object, address any concerns, make small-talk etc.
- Reply to great comments. If you see a great comment then reply to it and let them know it was a great comment and why - perhaps you could even let them know that you've 'liked' their comment. This will serve as a great boost for that individual, will provide a 'good example' for others and will also signal/remind people about using the 'Like' button.
- Use the admin dashboard / reports to identify who's doing well and try and bring them into the facilitation loop if the culture permits that. Perhaps an email to those people who are doing really well to give them a pat on the back and ask that if their time permits whether they'd have the time to revisit some earlier objects / levels to engage with others.
- Use the email feature to 'nudge' participants. Perhaps one of the single biggest impactful tool you have at your disposal is the ability to 'nudge' participants via emails. Time and time again we see a significant uptick in activity the day an email is sent/the following day. Here are some examples of email templates that we use.
- Use comment date stamps. If you see a comment that you'd like to direct others to via your nudge emails then simply click on the date/time stamp associated with that comment (in the bottom right hand corner of the comment), copy the URL of that page, paste the URL into your nudge email along with some context and then send your email. Once people click on that link they'll be taken directly to that specific comment and won't have to hunt around to locate it.
- Don't try and be Superhero. Just like a facilitator in a face-to-face environment, don't try and answer everything/solve everybody's problem/do it all yourself. Stream is a social learning platform, use the tool itself to get people talking to one another and helping each other out.
- When you're on the Course Dashboard page use the 'right facing blue arrow' to respond directly to participants. This allows you to see every interaction that has taken place and respond accordingly - a great timesaver!