Documentation:CTLT Institute/Facilitator Community/2018 Winter

From UBC Wiki

Session Description

As a facilitator, you need to stay alert, listen actively, and remain interested and engaged in the process. This sets a good example for other participants and also means you are always ready to intervene in facilitative ways. Join us to explore the art of knowing when to take a leadership role and when to take a back seat, and of facilitating a productive collaborative process where every participant feels heard and included.


Location: Rm 2.22
Time: Thursday, November 29, 2018, 2:30 PM - 4 PM


Lesson Plan

Territorial Acknowledgement, Welcome & Introductions

Our collective "gift as a facilitator".

(Time: 5min; 5:00)
Thank you for joining us for this inaugural facilitation workshop, developed as a token of thanks to your involvement and commitment to our teaching and learning community as institute facilitators.

Before we start, I’d like to acknowledge that we are gathered today on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

  • Introductions:
    • Name and role of facilitator
    • Participants: Share your name, role, and department. Share what your gift as a facilitator is.

Learning Objectives

(Time: 1 min; 6:00)
By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  1. Practice active listening skills with goals to create and maintain an inclusive learning environment,
  2. Develop comfort to facilitate group discussions,
  3. Respond thoughtfully to emerging group needs,
  4. Have fun and connect with your colleagues!


(Time: 3 min; 9:00)
Reflect on your gift, write down facilitation techniques that you use in your practice. One technique per sticky note.

Modified Fishbowl - Tap in & Tap out

Instructions & Ground Rules(5 minutes)
The inner circle will be a facilitated discussion. The outer circle will be potential facilitators; we will be tapping you in and and you will be tapping out the current facilitator to step into the facilitator role.

Ground Rules:

  • Take risk in service of learning
  • Assume good intentions
  • Bring our authentic self/perspectives into this learning space (e.g., if you’re a quiet participant) to simulate a “real” scenario

Fishbowl #1 (8 minutes)

Benefits and challenges related to providing student autonomy (having choices in their learning).

Reflection #1 (2 minutes)

Putting aside the awkwardness of transitions, take a moment to write down your reflections/first impressions of your experience.

Debrief #1 (10 minutes)


  • What worked well for you?
  • What questions/behaviours that you appreciated in your facilitator?


  • What did you notice? (e.g., group, your own reactions)
  • What are some factors that impacted the way you engaged?

Fishbowl #2 (8 minutes)

Our responsibilities to indigenize aspects of our classrooms and curriculum.

Reflection #2 (2 minutes)

Focusing on the process of this discussion, take a moment to write down your reflections/first impressions of your experience.

Debrief #2 (10 minutes)


  • What invited you to share your opinions/thoughts?
  • What questions/behaviours that you appreciated in your facilitator?


  • What did you notice? (e.g., group, your own reactions)
  • How did you park your own reactions/opinions during this process?

Other Considerations

(Time: 20min; 79:00)
In the modified fishbowl, we weren’t able to surface other common challenges related to facilitation.

Holding space to explore aspects of listen, engage and include:

How does your ‘gift’ enable you to navigate these situations?

  • Participants engaging in side conversations
  • Timing
  • Diversity of experiences and expectations
  • Unspoken influence of power dynamics

Revisiting Facilitation Strategies

(Time: 5 min; 84:00)
Reflecting on this workshop, what are your new insights around facilitation?

Feel free to add additional strategies that you are considering to the list.

Wrap-Up & Informal Networking

(Time: 5 min; 69:00)
Sharing knowledge and skills is an important part of contributing to our communities - and doing this means the wheel doesn't have to be continually reinvented and creates opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations. We will be curating this list as our community facilitator toolkit on the Institute website! Thank you again for your generosity, presence, and commitment to enhancing student learning.

Please complete the formative feedback form and place it at the back of the room when you’re done.

PD Wish list

  • How to draw quieter people into the conversation comfortably?
  • "difficult conversations"
  • Explore one's emotions when we are facilitators. How to change it? How much you conform to it, especially with difficult topics?
  • Tangible tips and tricks. What does good facilitation look like?
  • Power dynamics
  • What to do when things go wrong in the session? How to get it back on track?
  • Dealing with " difficult" learner/participants/etc.

We will work to incorporate these topics in our development of future facilitation workshops. In the meantime, please consider attending Facilitating Teaching: Approaches and Skills on January 11th, 2019 (

Sharing Permission

When re-using this resource, please attribute as follows: Developed by Drs. Judy Chan and Deb Chen of the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

Some rights reserved
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document according to the terms in Creative Commons License, Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. The full text of this license may be found here: CC by-sa 4.0