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Facilitation Strategies to Moderate Synchronous Virtual Discussion Groups in Teacher Training

Facilitation Strategies to Moderate Synchronous Virtual Discussion Groups in Teacher Training
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Author(s): Kevin Oh (University of San Francisco, USA), Natalie Nussli (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland), Melisa Kaye (San Jose State University, USA) and Nicole Michele Cuadro (University of San Francisco, USA)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 22
Source title: Current and Prospective Applications of Virtual Reality in Higher Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Dong Hwa Choi (Park University, USA), Amber Dailey-Hebert (Park University, USA) and Judi Simmons Estes (Park University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4960-5.ch005

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Abstract

This chapter reports on an exploratory case study investigating strategies to facilitate group discussions in Second Life, a three-dimensional virtual world. The purpose was to identify best practices for discussion facilitation in-world from the perspective of a virtual host and a discussion facilitator. A host and a facilitator moderated four virtual group discussions with 16 in-service teachers enrolled in a graduate technology class. The chapter discusses several themes that emerged from the host's and the facilitator's debriefings. Key themes include the need for a careful selection of the communication modality (text or voice or a combination), strategies to promote interactivity among the participants, the critical need for at least one facilitator in addition to the host, the need for clear ground rules for the participants, and clear guidelines for the host and the facilitator. Several challenges experienced during the process of facilitating these virtual events are discussed and recommendations are made to address these difficulties. This chapter is of interest to educators who are planning to substitute in-class group discussions with synchronous group discussions in-world.

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