September 29, 2023

From instructor to designer & facilitator

Author: Clark
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While I posted an answer there, I thought I’d post it here too:

I see two major roles in that of the ‘teacher’: the designer of learning experiences (pre), and the facilitator of same (during/post). I think the design changes by returning to natural learning approaches, an apprenticeship model (c.f. Cognitive Apprenticeship). Our wetware hasn’t changed, so we want to use technology as an augment. Tech can make it easier to follow such a design paradigm.

The in-class role moves from presentation to facilitation. Ideally we have content and check, as well as any preliminary experiences, done in a ‘flipped model’. Leveling-up learners to a baseline happens before engaging in the key learning activities. Major activities can be solo if the material is more dedicated to training, but ideally are social particularly when complex understandings are required (mostly).

The role of teacher is to check in on group discussions and projects, and bring out important lessons from the report-backs. We extend the learning with efforts to either or both of expand understandings into more contexts, or document the resulting applied understandings, to create a unified understanding.

Application-based instruction is the focus, having learners do things with the learning, not just recite it. The design role is to create a sequence of preparation, meaningful engagement, and knowledge consolidation that’s a learning experience. The facilitation role is to help bring out misconceptions and important hints and tips to lead to learner success.

This really is true face-to-face as well, but technology offers us tools to take the drudge work out of the experience and end up having the facilitation role be focused on the most valuable aspects. That’s my take, at any rate.

And what’s your take?

(And this may be my only post this week; happy holidays everyone!)

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