Facilitation Afterthoughts

As a part of this class, we were to design and deliver one learning task within our program plan to our peers. Out of the almost three years I’ve been in this program, I had the hardest time selecting an appropriate learning task and designing a learning activity that fit my audience and allotted time. I gathered valuable feedback from other students in the field prior to the facilitation exercise. I also questioned my coworkers to gain guidance and input on the best way to deliver a learning task about the importance of academic advising and complexity of university policy. I had no issues about facilitating an exercise. In fact, I was looking forward to engaging my peers in an activity. I love the art of interactive teaching and training. Looking back, I think the exercise was difficult for me for several reasons:

  1. Time – I only had 20 minutes (yikes!)
  2. Audience – my peers are not in the advising field
  3. Takeaway – integrating what they learned and applying it in their own context

The feedback validated my insecurities about this facilitation assignment. I chose to do a scenario-based learning activity surrounding university policy and procedure in advising meetings; therefore, my slides consisted of links to several important policies and resources around campus. My power-point was content-heavy for obvious reasons. Added to that, I clearly ran over time. I felt rushed toward the end and told my audience the takeaway rather than asking them. Overall, I learned that scenario based learning is an excellent activity with a high potential for learning (which I plan to keep in my program); however, I want to break down each policy in more depth for my new hires – perhaps using a scenario per policy/resource.

I love the fact that I’m constantly learning as a result of this class and program, especially from my peers. This class is truly representative of dialogue education in action – we are a community of learners each time we enter the classroom. As a result, I’m a better program designer and trainer. Thank you!

 

The Four I’s: Applying Jane Vella’s 4 Step Model of a Learning Task

After reading Jane Vella’s four step process in creating a learning task this week, I decided to apply it to my UNIV 101 course. I wanted to offer an opportunity to have a mid-semester check-in assignment to better grasp what they like, what they are struggling in, and how they are applying what we have learned thusfar in the course. The following assignment follows the 4-I’s model:

Learning Task: Mid Semester Check-In

Who: First year students enrolled in UNIV 101: Introduction to the University

Inductive: Write a paragraph about what you like about the class and how it applies to your college experience thusfar? What are you struggling in at this point? What topics would you like addressed for the remaining 6 weeks that are not listed?

*This was assigned as homework prior to class

Input: Read pages 75-79 in your textbook and watch my PowerPoint on Successful Study Skills in College, make a list of the types of study skills have you utilized thusfar? What study skills have you not used that you would like to try out before the end of this semester? We will hear from each student in class.

Implementation: Working in your time management groups (these were pre-assigned at the beginning of class), please update your Google calendar, paper planner, or smart phone app with assignments, study times, meeting times, job schedule, and anything else you have going on next week. Write down at least 1 new study strategy for each assignment that you want to practice.

Integration: Now that you have a more detailed plan going into next week, what are the positive implications of trying out new study habits? How will this impact your long term goal?

I’m open to feedback on how I applied the four steps since I totally buy-in to Vella’s dialogue education model. The more feedback I get from students along the way, the more focused I feel as an instructor and the more connected learners feel to the material.