Week 2 Back Pocket Strategies (both teams)

3. Mini Session: Course Review Task Force

This case highlights challenges related to the topics this week: the needs of adult learners, and learning styles.

It seems clear (from the survey data) that learners' needs aren't being met. And, because this course has had bad reviews before, we can't simply blame the instructor (who is new to online teaching). Many of us "inherit" courses designed by someone else and we have to work with it. This can mean we inherit a course that doesn't match our teaching style as well.

Your participants have been asked to review the data (course evaluations, and instructor comments), consider the things to think about, and make recommendations that are specific and draw on the readings or other relevant resources.

Goals of this activity:

Your job, as facilitator(s), is to support this whole process in the time you have (including making time for them to give you feedback on your facilitation). A forum has been created to support your facilitation this week. Is this the only tool you need? If not, talk to the FLO facilitators.

Ideas for facilitating this activity

You could follow this basic four-step process:

  1. Provide a brief overview and orientation to the topic and activities you have planned, and include any information about timeline expectations.
  2. Initiate an activity aimed at engaging participants
  3. Present carefully crafted questions and facilitate the discussion, providing clarification, supplementary instruction, guidance, coaching and feedback as required. Design questions that facilitate critical thinking, application, synthesis, close and thoughtful reading
  4. Summarize and conclude your mini-session.

You may choose to be more or less directive, including things like:

  • defining (even assigning) roles and tasks to individuals (e.g., you could split the group into "course" and "instructor" and have each focus on those 2 aspects of the case)
  • providing interim deadlines (e.g., identify key issues by X date, generate draft list of recommendations by Y date, etc)
  • deciding (or not) what shape the final product (their recommendations) should take. You could tell them to present in any format that makes sense to communicate their ideas (list, table, diagram, collage, video, narrated PowerPoint), or you could assign a format.
  • When providing choice, it's a good idea to ask your learners to commit to their choice by a certain date – this keeps you in the loop, and ensures they're on track

Above all - don't forget that your participants have a limited to time to complete the activity so keep it simple!