FACILITATION WORKSHOP RESOURCE KIT

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1 PROJECT OVERSEAS Teachers Teaching Teachers FACILITATION WORKSHOP RESOURCE KIT Canadian Teachers Federation International Cooperation Programs 2490 Don Reid Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1H 1E

2 PROJECT OVERSEAS Teachers Teaching Teachers FACILITATION WORKSHOP RESOURCE KIT TABLE OF CONTENTS Workshop Facilitation Basics... 1 Workshop Facilitation Preparation Tips... 1 Workshop Facilitation Strategies... 2 Adult Learning Background information... 5 Sample Workshop on Facilitation... 6

3 Workshop Facilitation Basics The most powerful form of learning, the most sophisticated form of staff development, comes not from listening to the good words of others, but from sharing what we know with others. Learning comes more from giving than from receiving. By reflecting on what we do, by giving it coherence, and by sharing and articulating our craft knowledge, we make meaning, we learn. Roland Barth Try to create a workshop that you and participants will find both enjoyable and worthwhile! To do this you will need to know your audience, have a clear goal and objective(s) in mind, and be well prepared. Workshop Facilitation Preparation Tips a) Know your Audience What does the group want to know? Is attendance voluntary or mandatory? What range of experiences and backgrounds do participants bring? What are the major concerns related to this topic and session? Is there anything going on in the group that I should know about? How many people will be attending? b) Think about the Setting consider the room and general environment for the session. Determine how you will arrange seating, equipment, breaks, etcetera. If necessary, book the room and equipment you will need. c) Consider the Context is the workshop part of a larger workshop or series or a stand-alone session? d) Keep the Goal and Objective(s) in Mind build your workshop plan around a clear goal and objective(s). Check each strategy and all material you plan to incorporate to ensure they relate to the overall goal and objective(s). e) Include Variety participants will have different learning styles, interests, and needs. Try to include a variety of strategies and approaches and different groupings. Include icebreakers and transitions and be sure to build in one or more breaks if the session spans more than 90 minutes. f) Mind the Time carefully consider the timing of each part of your session and respect the overall timeline given. g) Prepare all Materials in Advance if you plan to use any props (from handouts to PowerPoint or games), be sure to prepare them ahead of time and organize them for easy use. h) Confirm Guest Speakers if you will be working with anyone else, be sure to confirm time, date, location, and session details in advance and again closer to the date. i) Have a Plan B in the event that a speaker is unavailable at the last minute, or a piece of equipment fails, it is best to be prepared with some alternative. 1

4 Workshop Facilitation Strategies It is helpful to be able to draw on several presentation methods when designing learning experiences for others. As a teacher you probably know quite a few strategies already. To jog your memory or add to your repertoire, we have listed some of the most popular methods that have proven effective in adult learning situations. a) Audiovisual Aids overheads or PowerPoint slides, video-tapes or DVDs, cassettes or CDs, posters, etc. These can add variety to a presentation while making or reinforcing a particular topic. b) Brainstorming a good way to generate many ideas or a lot of information quickly. All you need is a chalk-board, white-board, or chart paper to record participants contributions on, a facilitator and a recorder. Brainstorming encourages free-flowing, spontaneous, and creative ideas. Remember to record all ideas and refrain from providing any commentary until after the brainstorming session. When all ideas have been exhausted, then solutions or options can be narrowed down to those most favoured by the group. c) Case Studies these are usually descriptions of situations that are unresolved and are based on real or imaginary situations. They are used to encourage participants to apply what they are learning. Discussion of possible solutions and debriefing are the key elements when using case studies. Individuals, pairs, or small groups. They should be distributed to participants so that they can be reviewed as necessary during discussion and debriefing. d) Circle Check a circle check is a method used to involve all the participants of a group in sharing of ideas and opinions, and to conduct an assessment of needs at the same time. A question or topic is presented to the group and each participant responds or passes, in turn. Circle checks are most effective with groups of under 25 participants. e) Demonstration used to illustrate a point. Demonstrations can be done by the presenter, participants, a special guest, or video to allow participants the opportunity to see and experience an idea that has been conveyed to them. They are most effective when rehearsed and applicable to the learning situation. f) Discussion provides participants with opportunities to explore and internalize information that is presented or that they have prepared. Discussions should be focussed and related to the overall workshop topic. Discussions need clear introductions and ample time for both the discussion and processing of the discussion. Small or large groups can benefit from time for discussion. It can be helpful to provide a discussion guide with questions or points to consider. g) Exercises anything from checklists and questionnaires to games or simulations qualifies as an exercise. Exercises engage participants in actively doing something during the workshop. 2

5 h) Fishbowl a fishbowl technique is used to present specific viewpoints with the purpose of creating discussion. A group of 3 to 6 individuals is asked to present a point of view, take a stance on a specific issue, or play a certain role. The remainder of the group is given the task of observing. This occurs over a period of five to ten minutes. The observations then form the basis of a discussion or questioning at the conclusion of the fishbowl activity. i) Gallery Walk an effective technique to encourage participation from everyone, even those who may be shy to speak up in front of a group. You need chart paper or many chalk/white boards and wall space (or tables). One question, quotation, or idea (related to the overall workshop topic) is pre-recorded at the top of each piece of chart *. Each participant is given a marker and encouraged to wander from chart to chart (in any order) adding responses (comments, questions, related ideas, etc.) to it. As the activity continues, participants should be encouraged to build on each other s comments. * You may wish to leave one chart blank for any miscellaneous comments from participants. j) Jigsaw a cooperative learning activity that allows for quite a lot of information to be relayed in a fairly short amount of time. You will need 4 different texts or articles. To do a jigsaw: Form home groups of 4 members each; each person in the group chooses a different article. Allow time for reading. Create small expert groups by partnering up those who have read the same text. Discuss the significant points, your perspectives, and plan how to teach your peers about the text. Develop a one-page crib sheet to use when teaching peers. Re-form original home groups and teach each other about the different texts. k) Mini Lecture used to present information to the participants in a short, precise manner (taking minutes). A mini-lecture can be an effective springboard to activities and exercises. l) Panel a useful way to present different points of view or different aspects of a topic. A panel usually consists of between 2 and 6 individuals who have been asked ahead of time to speak on a specific topic or question. Each is given a set amount of time (often 5-10 minutes), a chairperson or moderator keeps the panel focussed and following timelines, and participants usually have time to ask questions at the end of the panelists presentation. m) Participant Presentations are an effective way to increase participant engagement and ownership throughout a workshop while also instilling some variety in the session. Participants may be asked to prepare small presentations in advance or they may be asked to report back on their discussions or small group work. It is helpful to ask participants to work together to plan and present information to the entire group in an interesting or creative way. 3

6 n) Pause for seconds (at least) when seeking response from participants (especially in a group setting). While the silence may seem painful (until you adjust to it), 15 seconds really is not very long for participants to consider the question or topic presented, formulate a response, and feel confident enough to share it with the group. o) Reflection time built into the in-service presentation for participants to reflect on what they are learning is valuable. Asking participants to write down key points they have learned in an exercise or taking two minutes to think about how they might incorporate ideas are examples of reflection. It is best to limit the time and/or number of points to write down so that participants are forced to decide what is important to them. The information gained during the reflection portions of the presentation can be used for discussions, small group work, or circle checks. p) Right to Pass depending upon the nature of your group and topic(s) at hand, it can be very important to offer everyone the right to pass on any activity at the outset of the workshop. Knowing they have this right can ease the minds of participants who may be reluctant to join in on various activities. Once eased they will be more likely to actively engage in other aspects of the workshop. q) Role Play used to involve participants in situations that illustrate intended learnings. Participants can see, practice, and receive coaching on intended learning. Role plays can be done is several different formats; here are two: - demonstration role play: participant volunteers enact a situation to the entire group - modelling role play: a small group of participants is asked to model a good (or not so good) situation and then the rest of the group is asked to comment on this. A key to any role-play is to keep the activity structured toward achieving the specific learning objectives of the workshop or in-service. r) Think/Pair/Share an effective way to encourage engagement in a topic (and, if desired, work towards consensus). The presenter simply poses a question or offers a topic and asks everyone to take a few minutes to think about his/her response to it. Next, participants form pairs and share their responses and work towards agreement on key points (if possible). Then, two to three pairs get together to form groups to share their responses and come to agreement on a few key points to present or share with the whole group. 4

7 Adult Learning Background Information Like children and youth, adults are unique individuals. There can be no fool-proof methods for teaching or presenting to adults. Still, it is helpful to remember that adults tend to be people who: have a good deal of first-hand experience have set habits and strong ideas have some amount of pride have developed a reflex toward authority have preoccupations, decisions to make, and problems to solve have developed group behaviours consistent with their needs have established emotional frameworks consisting of values, attitudes, and tendencies have developed selective stimuli filters have strong feelings about learning situations need to contribute to a learning situation, to build or construct knowledge rather than just receive it are supposed to appear in control and therefore may display restricted emotional response can skip certain basics may be afraid of falling behind or failing can change have ideas to contribute 5

8 SAMPLE Workshop on FACILITATION Note to Facilitators We suggest you hold this workshop towards the end of the Project Overseas in-service program. The following plan is based on a workshop that worked very well for the CTF Team to Sierra Leone in 1996! (Yes, we do appreciate receiving your plans so that we can share them with others.) Introduction Choose a warm-up activity suitable to the group, setting, and time-frame. Body of the Workshop Review the agenda. As a whole group, brainstorm the characteristics of adult learners. Use large chart paper or a chalk/white board. Discuss the implications of these characteristics on workshop design. In small groups, have participants record the techniques used by the various tutors during the in-service sessions to date. Ask one participant to act as recorder to compile and post one comprehensive list on chart or board for all to refer to. Use think/pair/share (described in the Workshop Facilitation Strategies section of this kit) to have participants list topics they would like to work on with their staffs. (You will likely find a lot of commonality.) Use consensus to decide which ones are most important; to do this you can simply have each person initial the topic they would most like to work on and form groups accordingly. Review the key elements of a workshop: opening, body, and wrap-up as well as some of the tips and information in this kit. Use the jigsaw strategy (described in the Workshop Facilitation Strategies section of this kit) or simply distribute the information you deem relevant. Give groups time to work on a plan for their workshop; assign this as homework if necessary and appropriate. Ideally, groups will have time to present their workshop to the whole group for feedback. If time does not permit this, groups should at least be given time to share an overview of their presentation for feedback and a good exchange of ideas. 6

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