Design Patterns for Facilitation in E-Collaboration
Gwendolyn L. Kolfschoten (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands), Robert O. Briggs (University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA and University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA) and Gert-Jan de Vreede (University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA and Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2008
This article will discuss the added value of capturing and sharing facilitation techniques. Facilitation technique libraries can offer a learning source for novice facilitators, but can also function as a language among facilitators. In order to use facilitation techniques predictably, we need to capture techniques that are frequently used and that have predictable outcomes. In this research we will show research results in which collaboration patterns are identified on different levels. Patterns in collaboration can be recreated through the documentation of design patterns, scripts to capture reusable solutions to recurring problems. We will first explain what design patterns are, and how they are used in facilitation. Next we will present results from an analysis of the transcripts of 93 group support systems (GSS) sessions that took place between 2000 and 2002. In these sessions we identified patterns of facilitation interventions. We will explain these interventions and how they can be documented and used to recreate specific patterns in e-collaboration, and thus create predictable facilitation techniques.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Sequence: A specific combination of several thinkLets that is reused frequently in a variety of contexts
Pattern: A pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again and then describes the core of the solution to that problem in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice.
ThinkLet: A named, scripted collaborative activity that gives rise to a known pattern of collaboration among people working together toward a goal.
Facilitation Intervention: An action performed by a facilitator, aimed to change the group process in a specific way.
Modifier: Repeatable variation that can be applied to a set of thinkLets to create a predictable change in the patterns of collaboration that those thinkLets produce
Pattern of Collaboration: The nature of a group’s collaborative process when observed over a period of time as they move from a starting state to some end state.
Facilitation Technique: A method, used by facilitators to support a group process.