A discussion about learning styles has sparked off another train of thought about learning and the role of the facilitator. There are some questions around technical and knowledge heavy training/learning that have sprung to mind.
- Can you facilitate when you have to give a lot of information?
- Does it all rely on you, knowing your stuff?
- Is lecture/presentation the only option?
So here are some of my thoughts…..
- Facilitate means to “make easier” so even as a lecturer, you can always make the learning easier for your learners. Use memory techniques to aid retention. Watch this short video for some ideas:
- You need to know your stuff but you also need to know, more than that……how to inspire learners to learn more. Leave some questions unanswered and challenge them to find the answers. Get them to guess…pose thought-provoking questions. If you just talk, their minds can wander anywhere…but if you ask a question, the brain just has to look for an answer, even if it does not know it. Be wary of asking too many rhetorical questions though…that can be a switch off…
- To “present” new knowledge here are some alternatives to lecturing or “presenting”: book research, online research, teach back, an activity where they guess the structure/process/model from the components given, jigsaw, quiz and there are more….
For me the key thing is, that even if you have to present a lot of information….seeing yourself as the font of all knowledge puts a lot of pressure on you and no shared responsibility with the learner. Open them up to the possibility that the quality of the learning experience is down to them, you and also anyone else that supports them (manager, tutor etc).