Using Storytelling in the Facilitation of Online Groups

  • Thorpe S
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Eighteen facilitators from the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) came together to collectively research the effectiveness of storytelling in the facilitation of online groups. The group undertook a Co-operative Inquiry (Heron, 1996) investigating storytelling across a variety of online media including: email, audio, telephone, video and web conferencing, instant messaging, chat, blogging and in the 3D interactive world of Second Life™. The research revealed a number of ways that story can be a useful means for aiding groups in identity creation, sharing perspectives on conflict, the recall of significant learning situations, and in articulating personal learning edges. The inquiry further confirmed that software tool selection was critical for ensuring full participation and buy-in to online group decisions, while the 3D, avatar-based medium of Second Life™ assisted with emotional connections between participants and provided a strong sense of place online

Author-supplied keywords

  • co-operative inquiry
  • computer supported cooperative work
  • online facilitation
  • online groups
  • storytelling
  • virtual teams

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  • Stephen Thorpe

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