Facilitating group discussions, moderation and other practicalities
This guide is for Rehabilitation Community members that have created a group (Group Organiser) are involved in managing a group (Group Moderator) or interested in becoming more active in facilitating discussions.
Within each group of the Rehabilitation Community, there are three levels of membership each with different responsibilities, including:
Group Organisers, or Group Leaders, have total control over the contents and settings of a group. That includes all the abilities of moderators, as well as the ability to turn group forums on or off, change group status from public to private, change the group photo and manage group members.
The Group Organiser will be displayed underneath the group name and description for each group. If you are the Group Organiser, you will see “Organiser” displayed with a tick next to the group type (Public, Private, Hidden) on the right hand side of the group description.
Have the ability to edit and delete any inappropriate posts or discussions as well as delete any activity feed items, excluding those posted by the Group Organiser(s). Moderators can be members of the group that are selected by the Group Organiser to be ‘promoted’ to Moderator status.
When a Rehabilitation Community member joins a group, he or she is assigned the member role by default. Depending on the group settings, members are able to contribute to the groups discussions, activity feeds, and view profiles of other group members.
When a member creates a new group, they are automatically assigned the role of Group Organiser. To promote a member to group Moderator (or Organiser), click on ‘Manage’ in the group menu (this will only be visible to group Organisers).
Select Members from the Menu on the left hand side of the page and select the member which you would like to promote.
As well as having access to this additional functionality on the Rehabilitation Community, the role of a Group Organiser may be to:
- Represent. Be the face of the group and make themselves easily identifiable and approachable to other members.
- Host. Invite and add new members to the group. Make connections and ensure everyone is having a good time in the group.
- Moderate. monitor the conversation and encourage sharing. Invite variety within the conversations by asking questions and drawing on other members’ expertise to respond. Ensure balance within the discussions.
- Edit. create and implement clear guidelines or group objectives that all members can follow.
Through your personal contribution as the Group Organiser, we encourage you to build a positive environment so that your group members feel free to share their ideas and experiences without hesitation.
You can create a positive environment by:
- Keeping things simple and informal. Consider the level of formality and type of language your members are used to using day to day.
- Fostering trust by engaging in conversations, being positive in your comments and inviting conversations around your own personal experiences.
- Ensuring a smooth flow of communication and awareness by consistently contributing or responding to discussions.
- Increasing the shared body of knowledge developed in the group as well as the wider Rehabilitation Community.
Being a Group Organiser
A good group organiser or leader will:
- Keep an open mind and allow the group members to share their own ideas and opinions on discussion topics, even if they are contradictory to your own. If you wish to respond with your own opinions and feelings, be respectful and use language that encourages further reflection and discussion.
- Uphold the guidelines on acceptable use and inappropriate posts by acting swiftly if there are inappropriate or hurtful comments in the discussion contact the Rehabilitation Community manager for support.
- Understand that there may be members of the group who do not wish to participate or engage in regular discussion but may still feel a connection to the community. You may offer gentle nudges to encourage participation, but ultimately respect their wish to stay silent.
- Foster communal decisions. Support the group in reaching conclusions and shared decisions by consolidating ideas while upholding all points of view.
- Build a team to support in moderating discussions. Identify and invite more active and motivated members of the group to take on moderator or co-organiser roles within the group.
Above all, remember to maintain a positive attitude every time you log in!
Facilitating group discussions
Follow these tips to help facilitate group discussions and generate conversations:
- Always introduce yourself first! This is the best way to kick off a discussion. Be sure to invite any new members to introduce themselves too. Thanking members for sharing their story and asking questions is a good way to make members feel valued and welcome to the group.
- Be consistent and visible! Contribute even when you don’t have any comments or discussion topics to post. This may include liking posts or simply letting members know either on the post or through a private message when they contribute something that you find helpful or particularly positive.
- Set aside time in your schedule, ideally daily, to keep up to date and participate in discussions. This allows you to ensure conversations remain relevant and steer them back towards the group objectives and purpose when necessary. It may be helpful to re-state the group objectives in the feed or as part of the discussion post as a reminder to the group members.
- Find the value for your members and take time to brainstorm and write down posts and topics that you can share with the group. Consider who is your group for and what are their key interests and motivations for joining the group? This can help guide you towards content that is useful and encourages learning.
- Use pictures and documents in your posts to grab attention and encourage participation.
Other ways of engaging group members may include
- Consider organising online or in-person events with group members
- Host structured learning activities, especially if you are an expert on a particular topic that is of interest to the group members
- Use private messages to connect with like-minded members or to connect other members that you recognise may benefit from each other and share knowledge.
Facilitating a group discussion or even generating interesting discussions can be challenging and may require time and persistence. Stay focused on the rewards and benefits to members you are creating through your group! For more ideas on getting the most out of group discussions, see the Discussion guide for all members.
Practicalities of being a Group Organiser
As a Group Organiser, it’s important to:
- Login every day. Find time in your schedule to contribute and respond to discussions and posts in your group.
- Invite new members to join your group and welcome them.
- Respond to discussion comments and posts with curiosity and open questions.
- Delete or mark unacceptable posts. Report unacceptable use to Rehabilitation Community managers
To quickly and easily access the Rehabilitation Community, be sure to save the login page in the Favourites or Bookmarks folder on your browser.
Special functions of a Group Organiser
Moderating discussions and posts
To be able to moderate discussions more effectively, take a moment to familiarise yourself with the following functions that allow you to delete or edit posts in the group feed and discussion forums.
Moderating the group feed
From the group feed, select the button with three vertical dots located on the right hand side of the post you wish to edit. This button is only visible to group Organisers and Moderators. Group members that have created the post will also be able to view the three vertical dots, but only for their own post.
This will reveal a menu where you can choose to:
- Edit. The comment will re-open to allow you to edit the post. You can also add documents or photos if needed.
- Delete. Remove the posts from the activity feed.
It’s not possible to edit comments related to the original post, but they can be deleted if necessary.
Moderating and editing discussion posts
From the Discussions section in your group, select a discussion by clicking on the discussion heading.
To edit the original discussion post, select the button with three vertical dots located on the right hand side of the post. Note that members cannot edit discussion posts, even if created by them.
This will reveal a menu where you can choose to:
- Edit. The post will re-open in editing mode, allowing you to alter the text and add attachments such as photos and documents. Once you have completed editing, click the blue “Post” button to update the discussion.
- Close. Stops members adding new comments to the discussion. The post will still be visible in the discussions section and can be re-opened anytime. To quickly open / close discussions, you can click the lock located to the left of the three vertical dots.
- Merge. Allows you to merge or move the discussion post to another discussion. This may be useful if, for example, a new discussion is posted on an existing topic; in this case the ‘merge’ option will move the discussion post to appear as a reply to another discussion in the group. Clicking ‘Merge’ opens a window where you can choose the destination (i.e. discussion that you wish to merge with). Below the “Destination” heading select the new discussion title from the dropdown menu. Select Submit to complete the merge. Also take note of the following disclaimers:
- The destination topic will remain the lead discussion, and this one will change into a reply. To keep this discussion as the lead, go to the other discussion and use the merge tool from there instead.
- All replies within both discussions will be merged chronologically. The order of the merged replies is based on the time and date they were posted. If the destination discussion was created after this one, its post date will be updated to a second earlier than this one.
- Trash. Deletes the discussion post. The background will change from white to red. You will not receive a warning to confirm this action, but you can select “Restore” from the same menu to cancel the action straight away. Note that if you navigate away from the page, you will no longer be able to restore the discussion post.
- Spam. If a post is found to be inappropriate it can be marked as ‘Spam’. This will change the background of the post and related comments from white to red and will no longer be visible to group members. Further action can then be taken by the Platform manager. If this was a mistake, you can “Unspam” the post to cancel the action, but only before navigating away from the page.
Moderating replies in the discussion forum
Replies to discussion posts can also be edited by the Group Organiser and/or Moderator.
Open the discussion of interest and select the button with three vertical dots located on the right hand side of the comment you wish to edit. This button is only visible to group Organisers and Moderators; group members can only edit their replies within 30 minutes of posting them.
This will reveal a menu where you can choose to:
- Edit. The post will re-open in editing mode, allowing you to alter the text and add attachments such as photos, documents and tags. Once you have completed editing, click the blue “Post” button to update the discussion. You can also select the tick box to notify the member via email that changes have been made to their reply.
- Move. Move the post to another discussion topic or create a new discussion thread. If creating a new discussion using the existing discussion post, you will need to enter a title for the new discussion in the first text box under “Move Method”.
- Split. Allows you to create a new discussion post, using all or parts of the reply OR split the reply into two separate replies within the same discussion post. If selecting a new discussion using your post, you can type your title and follow the instructions to create a new discussion post. If there are no other discussions in the group, the only available option will be to create a new discussion post. Note that once you click the Submit button, this process cannot be undone!
- Spam. If a post is found to be inappropriate it can be marked as ‘Spam’. This will change the background of the post from white to red indicating to the group members that it is irrelevant. Further action can then be taken by the Rehabilitation Community manager.
- Trash. Deletes your posts. If this was a mistake, you can select “Restore” from the same menu to cancel the action straight away. Note that if you navigate away from the page, you will no longer be able to restore the discussion post and it will be removed entirely from the Rehabilitation Community.
This function allows you to ”pin” any post in the group Feed so that it stays at the top of the feed. This means that all newly created posts will appear below the “pinned” post. This is useful if you want to draw attention to a particular discussion thread (e.g. introductions) or for making group announcements that you don’t want members to miss.
To pin a post all you need to do is click on the ”pin post” icon below the post you want pinned.
Posts that have been pinned will have a blue pin icon in the top right hand corner of the post. You can unpin the post any time by clicking “Unpin Post”.
This feature is only available to group organisers, so no one else in the group will be able to pin / unpin posts except for you!
Organise a Group meeting at any time and automatically invite all group members!
IMPORTANT: The Zoom function must be added to your group by the platform administrators. Please contact the Rehabilitation Community manager to access this feature.
To create a new meeting click on “Zoom” in the group menu bar, select Create new to open the Create Meeting form.
Complete the form with all the details of the meeting including the meeting title and description, the day, time and duration of the meeting. You can also:
- Select Meeting notifications for group members to be notified about the meeting on the group feed, via email and on the Rehabilitation Community site.
- Choose how participants enter the meeting (i.e. activate waiting room) and whether the meeting is recorded automatically.
When you are happy with the meeting details, click “Create Meeting”. You will see the meeting appear under the “Upcoming Meetings” tab. Note that Group members can only see Upcoming meetings and cannot create a new meeting or edit existing meetings. Zoom meetings in the Rehabilitation Community are conducted in the same way as you would usually use Zoom.
Set a recurring meeting to increase group engagement and create a stronger sense of community!
Joining a Zoom meeting
Group Members and Organisers / hosts will have different methods of joining Zoom meetings:
- Group Members
Under the “Upcoming Meetings” tab select the meeting you would like to join, and click on the Zoom link to open the call. Alternatively, you can join the meeting directly from the email invitation if you have received one.
- Group Organisers / hosts
Under the “Upcoming Meetings” tab select the meeting you would like to join / host, and click on Host meeting in Browser if you would prefer to use Zoom in your web browser or Host meeting in Zoom to use the desktop application.
Editing meeting details
Under the “Upcoming Meetings” tab select the meeting you would like to edit. Next to the meeting title, you will see three vertical dots. Click on the dots and select “Edit this Meeting”.
This will open up the meeting details and allow you to edit the title, description, change the date, time and any other details. Click “Update Meeting” to save your changes.
Canceling a scheduled meeting
Under the “Upcoming Meetings” tab select the meeting you would like to cancel. Next to the meeting title click on the three vertical dots and select “Delete this Meeting”.