Identify the purpose of the session based on the needs and goals that you have identified with your learning team.


As with most skills, the best way to become an effective facilitator is to practice. This week, you will apply your learning by planning and facilitating a professional development session with your learning team. You should plan to conduct about an hour-long session.

Plan the session:

Identify the purpose of the session based on the needs and goals that you have identified with your learning team. Possible topics might include the following:

Working on a school-wide initiative

Cross-curricular unit planning

Analyzing student work

Working on a specific school improvement goal

Addressing an issue or problem that is widely acknowledged at your school

Working on a specific content strategy or research practice

Engaging in dialogue to gain understanding of an issue or problem

Working on an action research initiative

Once you have determined a topic, ask yourself the following questions:

Why is this professional development occurring? What is the ultimate purpose in terms of student learning?

Who will be affected by this event?

What is the background knowledge of the adult learners in the group?

What change do I expect from the participants? (Include intended changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills, aspirations, and behaviors-KASABs)

How can I infuse appropriate technologies into this presentation and the assessment process?

How will I measure the impact of this change?

Review the planning and evaluating criteria provided in this week’s “Weighing the Workshop” article and address each in your planning:

Coherence

Climate

Instructional strategies

Participant engagement

Logistical considerations for participant learning

Assessment and feedback

Prepare an agenda. (Use the guidelines provided in the “Designing Time-Efficient and Effective Meetings” chapter of the course text, The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Developing Collaborative Groups). Select one or more strategies from Appendix A of the Adaptive School that you will use to facilitate the session. Provide a rationale for the strategy or strategies that you choose.

Use the “Top Ten Facilitation Skills” list that you created in this week’s Discussion to create a Facilitation Skills Checklist. Plan how you will practice these skills during the session.

Icon of group around a table

Conduct the session:

Arrange to have someone videotape the session so that you can review and evaluate your facilitation skills after the session. Alternately, you may invite an additional participant, provide them with your Facilitation Skills Checklist and have him/her observe and record your performance during the session.

In closing the session, elicit feedback from participants.

Reflect on the session:

Review the videotape of the session and use your Facilitation Skills Checklist to evaluate your performance. If you did not videotape the session, debrief with the participant who observed and recorded your performance. Identify areas of strength and areas for improvement in your facilitation skills.

Reflect on your facilitation of the session, the participants’ engagement and involvement, and the degree to which you were able to effectively accomplish the goals of the session. What went particularly well? What might you do differently next time?

How did technology improve/enhance the presentation?

Note: Practicing your facilitation skills in an authentic context with your learning team is the ideal scenario for this assignment and will produce the most benefit for you and your learning team. The main goal of this assignment, however, is for you to practice the skills that you will need to be an effective facilitator. If you are unable to convene a session with your learning team, you may explore other options with your Instructor.

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