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Holding Questions

A "thinking sheet" by Nancy White - last updated 4/2000

When a thread or "conversation" gets going, we have the issue of "recency over relevancy." We can easily loose things in the thread. This is definitely one of the downsides of linear discussion boards!

As a facilitator or participant, we can help hold ideas and questions to keep them from getting lost. Here are a few ideas...:

  • Keep a list of open or unanswered questions either in electronic form or just in a notebook by your computer.
  • Regularly recap open questions.
  • Track completed questions and save this for summaries later in the process.
  • Acknowledge questions that may be out of the current thread so the questioner knows they have been "heard" -- make sure they are re-asked at a more logical or "appropriate" time.
  • If a question that has already been answered comes up again, refer the questioner to the original answer. Sometimes the best way to do this is to build a FAQ (frequently asked questions) and post on a static web page for easy referral. This builds on group knowledge without wasting folks time. Saves on "overhead."

What other ideas do you have about "holding questions?"

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