Facilitation Best Practices for Online Conversations

The intent of Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John is to help participants, whether in person or online, deepen their relationship with God. The Center for the Ministry of Teaching believes that social media allows us to be present with one another in a very real and meaningful way. Below our some suggestions for best practices for moderating online groups.

 

Best Online Facilitation Practices:

  • Sign up for the SSJE daily email and link to the Brothers’ videos and prayers.
  • Modeling best sharing practices helps those who are unfamiliar with the visual aspects of online communities to be more comfortable in sharing, too.
  • Use the curriculum content to post as frequently as possible.
  • Respond to the conversation as promptly as possible. This keeps the conversation going and lets your group know that you are paying attention (and they should too)!
  • Ask follow-up questions. “What made you think that?” “Did this remind you of ____?” Try to include previous conversations in current comments, just as you would sitting around a table.
  • Tag participants who haven’t posted in a while. “@Kyle, how does this relate to your work?”
  • Address problems when they arise; don’t allow them to distort the group norms. Do refer to the group norms if they have been ignored.
  • Redirect comment threads that have gone astray. We have found that grounding comments in scripture to be very helpful in reminding participants of their reason for joining the group.
  • Address individuals by personal message rather than calling them out in the group.