Activity Packet - 5 Steps / 5 Days

Listen to a facilitator read this page:  


This Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) MicroCourse 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

Step 1 - Get Started with Liberating Structures (Monday)

What are Liberating Structures, how do you use them and what makes them effective? Liberating Structures (LS) are tools for engaging and including groups working and learning together. They 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. Liberating Structures can be used face-to-face, or synchronously or asynchronously online.

There are two parts to today's activities:

Step 1 Part 1 - There's an introduction activity waiting for you in the Introductions Forum to kick things off.

Step 1 Part 2 - To begin your journey learning about Liberating Structures, review resources within the Research section of the Tips & Resources page.

Please complete the Step 1 activities by Tuesday morning.

Step 2 - Clarify Your Purpose (Tuesday)

Every group that gathers face-to-face or online for a meeting or learning event should start with getting clear on purpose. Think about your work with groups, whether they be student or staff groups, or other types of groups. What group are you thinking about using Liberating Structures with? What is the key purpose for the group gathering? What are you trying to achieve?

Think about where your meetings and facilitated learning events could use some enhanced interaction between participants and opportunities to be more inclusive. Are you interested in distributing control among those present? Involving everyone in the room? (If so, we think you are saying YES to trying Liberating Structures!)

Each LS activity has been designed with a purpose in mind. They are stated in gold-coloured font after the title of each structure in the LS menu online. For example, the purpose of the Liberating Structure called Impromptu Networking is "Rapidly share challenges and expectations, build new connections".

If you would like to see all the purpose statements for all the 33 original Liberating Structures at the same time, use the LS Matchmaker (link is on our Tips & Resources page). Does one of them seem to match the purpose you have stated for your gathering?

Post in the Sharing & Feedback Forum if you'd like to ask any questions as you think about this step.

Step 3 - Consult Your Colleagues (Wednesday)

There is a synchronous online session today! We invite you to join us if you can.

[Insert meeting details here]

For those who can join the synchronous online session

You will be participating in Troika Consulting online with your course colleagues. This is a triad-based Liberating Structure in which each of you will take on the role of Client to share the context and purpose that you're mulling over for your potential LS activity. Be prepared to take notes!

In this session, each of you will also take on a role as a Consultant to provide feedback and advice to two others in your triad about what you are learning about Liberating Structures that might assist them in their situation.

Feel free to post in the Sharing & Feedback Forum after the session today if you have more questions you'd like to ask the group as you think about the advice the consultants gave you.

For those who can't join the synchronous online session

While you won't have been able to participate in the Troika Consulting activity with your course peers, feel free to watch the recording to catch up a little if you can. (Note: the breakout rooms for the actual triads won't be recorded but you will be able to watch and listen to main room happenings).

Please post in the Sharing & Feedback Forum to share your emerging ideas and questions around your purpose/context for your group gathering and what Liberating Structures you're thinking of using. Others of us will chime in to try to assist.

Step 4 - Design Your Liberating Structures Activity (Thursday)

Design your LS activity! If you haven't already, check out the Design Tips section of the Tips & Resources page as you plan your activity.

Then, create a post to share with us the following:

  • the purpose of what you're hoping to do with your group
  • what you learned from your consultant partners in the synchronous online session, via any forum discussion, or from your own research and reading that you took into consideration
  • what Liberating Structure(s) you're planning on using for your group's gathering. Include draft invitation(s) if you have them.

Please use your name in the Subject field e.g "Leva's LS Activity". Post in the Sharing & Feedback Forum by Thursday evening.

Step 5 - Give Feedback to Colleagues and Look Back at Learning LS (Friday)

There are actually two parts to this last step:

Part 1 - Review at least one other person's post about their Liberating Structures activity and provide insights and feedback.

Part 2 - Go to the Final Reflections Forum and post a response in each of the three pinned threads. Please respond to the prompts in sequence, starting with "What", then proceeding to "So What" and lastly "Now What". This activity will help us look back together and talk about what we've learned or noticed about Liberating Structures.