Liberating Structures (LS) are tools for engaging and including groups working and learning together. They are a collection of 33 + powerful strategies that are purposeful and fun.
This Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) MicroCourses takes place over 5 days with the goal of providing you with a supportive environment to ask questions, take risks, offer advice, and enjoy exploring Liberating Structures.
It is designed to be a short, single-topic, hands-on and free course. In one week, you will dip into the FLO experience, and leave with something practical and useful for your own teaching practice.
In this MicroCourse you will:
- Learn how to access the resources and worldwide community for Liberating Structures
- Pick a structure from the Liberating Structures “menu” and customize it for a teaching and learning or meeting situation you have in mind
- Invite others to give feedback (and suggest riffs and variations!) to help you make it work even better for your purposes
You should expect to spend at least 5 hours for course activities during the week. If you don't have prior online teaching and learning experience you might need to invest more time. Active participation will make this course successful for everyone!
Suggested timeframe for completion: by Tuesday morning
Step 1 - What are Liberating Structures? How do you use them? What makes them effective?
Liberating Structures are a collection of 33 + powerful activities that will help you to increase engagement and inclusiveness in your classroom, meetings, planning sessions, team days and workshops. Each activity has been designed with a purpose in mind.
To begin your journey for using Liberating Structures, review the Tips & Resources page for research, ideas, and tips.
Learn by doing! There's an introduction activity waiting for you in the Open Forum to kick things off. Please complete the Step 1 activity by Tuesday morning.
Suggested timeframe for completion: by end of day Tuesday
Step 2 - Design your Liberating Structures Activity!
Design an activity using Liberating Structures for your group gathering, meeting or class.
Things you need to think about are:
- What is the group scenario you are considering for Liberating Structures? What is the key purpose for the group gathering?
- Select a Liberating Structure that you think might work for your purpose. For help in which Liberating Structures are suited to what purpose, use the LS Matchmaker.
- Create a draft invitation for the LS you are using.
Review and Feedback Phase
Suggested timeframe for completion: by Friday morning.
Step 3 - Get into groups and post your Liberating Structures Activity
This step begins with a triad activity. You will take on the role of Client to post about and receive feedback and advice on your LS activity, as well as take on a role as a Consultant and provide feedback and advice to two others in your triad.
First you need to signup to a group of three by using this Google Document. Please signup by Tuesday evening.
When the Sharing & Feedback forum is revealed on Wednesday morning, each of you should start a discussion thread as a Client. Please use your name in the Subject field e.g "Leva's LS Activity". Post information on your scenario, purpose, choice of LS and draft invitation by Wednesday evening.
Step 4 - Review, receive and give feedback on LS Activities
After making your post as a Client put on your Consultant hat and provide feedback for each of the other two individuals in your triad by replying to the threads that they have started as Clients. When you are in the Consultant role, provide feedback and advice with "fresh eyes", highlighting approaches or aspects that may have been missed or a different perspective for the Client to consider.
Consultants are encouraged to have a conversation with each other providing help and advice about the Client's LS activity. Use the MicroCourse feedback rubric to guide your feedback if it helps. As Clients,
focus on receiving your feedback. Don't engage in the Consultants'
conversation. Try to simply "overhear" what they are discussing about
your LS activity. Keep an open mind to all feedback.
After feedback is provided, Clients can post a response on what they found helpful and thank their Consultants.
This activity is completed when everyone has signed up to a group, posted their LS activity/plan, responded with feedback and advice to the two others in their group and everyone has commented on what they found helpful, and thanked their Consultants
for their advice. This step should be completed by Thursday evening.
Please note forums are viewable by all course participants and external viewers. There is a visual in the Sharing & Feedback forum if you need it!
Review and Feedback Phase
Suggested timeframe for completion: by Friday evening.
Step 5 - Give and receive feedback on learning Liberating Structures
This activity will help us look back together and talk about what we've learned or noticed about Liberating Structures.