As educators, we are often advised to use “facilitation” skills to promote student learning. If you are not quite sure what this means, nor how to “do” facilitation in your teaching, we invite you to join us in this session.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- define facilitation and briefly describe its role in teaching
- contrast facilitation and facilitative teaching
- discuss facilitation techniques, approaches, and skills for classroom situations
- This session is for instructors who are new to using facilitation skills in their teaching. The focus will be on facilitation skills that are used when teaching in-person (vs online teaching). Please note that we use the term 'instructor' broadly and welcome anyone who self-identifies as an educator.
Facilitating Teaching: Approaches and Skills - handout describing introduction to facilitation
Group Brainstorm Activities with Purpose - handout for brainstorming activities with purpose
Leading Effective Discussions - handout for leading effective discussion activities.
Resources and References
Bens, I. (2017). Facilitating with ease!: Core skills for facilitators, team leaders and members, managers, consultants and trainers. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Brooks-Harris, C. N., & Brooks-Harris, J. E. (2005, November). Enhancing educational effectiveness: Group facilitation skills and experiential learning. Pre-conference Workshop for the 12th National Conference on Students in Transition. Costa Mesa, California.
Facilitation Fundamentals, INDC 1377 (2018). Justice Institute of British Columbia. New Westminster, BC.
Howell Major, C., Harris, M., Zakrajsek, T. (2016). Teaching for Learning. New York: Routledge.
Kember, D., & Kwan, K. P. (2000). Lecturers' approaches to teaching and their relationship to conceptions of good teaching. Instructional science, 28(5), 469-490
McCanles K., & Lipmanowicz (2015) Liberating Structures Resources, Retrieved from http://www.liberatingstructures.com/
Ruete, E. (2000). Facilitation 101. Presented at The Art and Mastery of Facilitation - Worlds of Change. Toronto, Ontario. International Association of Facilitators. Retrieved from: http://amauta-international.com/iaf2000/Ruete.PDF
Wiggins, G. & J. McTighe. (2007). Schooling by Design. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD
Chairs in circle when people come in
Participant introductions: Name and affiliation - whatever you feel you belong to (Lucas to model
agenda and objectives
Speed friending - 2 lines (see here for Speed Friending questions to project on screen for this activity.)
Room rearrangement together.
Section 1: Introduction to Facilitation
What is facilitation?
Facilitate: Make (an action or process) easy or easier.
(pass out the handout here)
Modified Placemat activity
Get into groups of 3-4
Silently respond to the prompt your group has been given by legibly noting down your responses in “your” section of the placemat (2 minutes). Use thick markers.
Share your responses with your group.
Come to consensus on the responses you want to report out. Write these in the rectangle.
Select a spokesperson to report out to the large group
Each group presents information they wrote in their rectangle.
Slide: A facilitator is one who contributes structure and process to interactions so groups are able to function effectively and make high-quality decisions.
Pass out handout
|Planning for success||Preparing for successful activity
Bridge: Show quote from Learner Centred about the requirement for more time up front in terms of facilitative teaching. Ask the participants to identify what might need to be done before a session or workshop to lay the ground work for a successful session. Show the participants a slide showing some of the suggestions forom the faculuation guide
Each group shares what they have come up with – and whole group shares what’s missing
Setting up and organizing the space
Developing Rapport with Participants
Preparing learners to construct (work with content)
Getting to know about the participants/learners
|Activities with Purpose||Resources needed include:
- Group brainstorm
- Think-pair share
- One minute paper
This next activity invites you to look at the purpose behind a few common active learning approaches. We recognize this is not a workshop on active learning. So, the point isn’t to spend time on the ‘what’ of these approaches, but rather to examine the how.
The how is the application of your facilitation skills. The how flows from your purpose.
Present my sample as a way of describing what they’ll be doing next (see later in this document for the text to include in the sample)
Get into pairs (or trios if necessary). Someone new.
You are going to be given a topic.
See Activities with Purpose worksheets.
End by asking pairs to swap papers. Pair reads what is on paper and adds sheets. Then original pair reads their colleagues’ comments.
|Leading Great Discussions||Now let’s change gears and discuss leading discussion within a workshop, course or section. To begin with - let’s use the Triz liberating structure to unpack good discussion. To do this let’s work through this question:
What approaches, techniques and strategies would you use to ensure that there was low and unequal participation in a group discussion.
Effective Practices activity
See the best practice document
Set up flip charts throughout the room with the following space - prepare - setup - Facilitate - Climate
|NAFD (Non-astounding facilitation device)
It’s easy to slip into using the same facilitation activities/approaches over and over. One of the things I love is learning new techniques or activities. For fun, we’ve built in some time to share a NAFD at this workshop.
Explain what it is.
Take a minute to think of a facilitation technique that you can share and easily explain in less than 2 minutes.
|Close and thank you||Thank participants, evaluation form
1. The best part of this workshop was...because
2. One thing I'd like to say/observe is...