Archive for category AITD

Preparing to Facilitate Social and Collaborative Learning Essentials

Earlier this year I facilitated the Social and Collaborative Learning Essentials course for the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) for the first time.  This is an eight week online course that helps participants get more intentional with social learning.  The course is conducted using social learning approaches.  Participants engage with content, each other and the facilitator (me!) in a number of online platforms and a series of webinars.

It was the first time I had facilitated the course, which was designed and curated by Patrick Phillips in 2017.  As I start to prepare for the next session to kick off on 25 September, I’m reviewing lessons learned from last time.

The course includes an action learning project which is the critical to support participants to apply their learning.  This project asks participants to develop or update the social learning strategy for their organisation.  They can do this as a standalone strategy, or integrated in their broader organisational learning strategy.

Several participants were active in the course online platforms (Curatr and Slack) early in the program, discussing  the challenges and opportunities that they felt social learning may help address.  It was these participants who went on to create the most comprehensive and well-considered strategies.  Their ideas and approaches formed progressively throughout the course and they used each other and me as a sounding board.  I built on this by adjusting the fortnightly webinars to  be hosted discussions rather than content delivery sessions.

I was surprised by how well the participants’ strategies came together in the final two weeks as they synthesised the entire course content, their discussions and insights into their own organisational context.  Each presented their strategy in a different format and style, and emphasised approaches and techniques that suited their context.  I’m confident that the participants who actually presented their strategy in the final course webinar got the most value out of the course.

The next time I facilitate the course I shall present a summary of some of the strategies developed by previous participants in the introductory webinar (with permission of course).  My intent is to give people a sense of what is possible and motivate them to working on their action learning project.  I shall also adjust some of the discussion questions in the initial modules to help participants clarify the organisational issues or opportunities that they would like to apply social learning to address.

One aspect I’ll give more thought to in the coming week is how trust built among the participants who were more active.  I’d like to identify what factors or dynamics helped to build trust, and consider what I can do to nurture this among the next course cohort.

You do not have to be an AITD member to complete the course.  Register here for the next course.

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