Workshops: Designing and Facilitating Experiential Learning
Clarifying the fine art of workshop design and facilitation, this book - aimed particularly at social workers - is the ultimate guide to setting up and running a workshop. The authors' model takes account of experiential learning and individual learning styles. Numerous examples and exercises are provided.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Toward an Integrated Model of Workshop Design and Facilitation
- Reflecting on Workshop Learning
- Workshop Definitions and Emphases
- Historical Definitions
- Workshop Emphases
- A New Definition
- When is a Workshop not a Workshop?
- The Facilitator Role
- Experiential Learning
- Applying Kolb's Model to Workshop Development
- Workshop Development Tasks
- Using Learning Styles to Understand Workshop Participants
- Using Experiential Learning Processes to Design Workshops
- Using Workshop Facilitation Skills to Encourage Experiential Learning
- An Integrated Model of Workshop Development
- Planning for Application
- Chapter 2: Using Learning Styles to Understand Participants and Guide Workshop Design
- Reflecting on your Own Learning Needs
- Understanding Workshop Participants: Two Design Strategies
- Something for Everyone
- Measure and Match
- Kolb's Model of Learning Styles
- Application to Workshops
- Dunn and Dunn's Model of Learning Styles
- Application to Workshops
- Jung's Model of Psychological Type
- Application to Workshops
- Other Factors That Impact Workshop Learning
- Planning for Application
- Chapter 3: Preparing for Workshop Design: Gathering Information and Setting Goals
- Reflecting on Preparation
- Preparation Time and Effort
- Gathering Preliminary Information
- Who is Initiating This Workshop?
- Who Else is Invested in the Workshop?
- Who will Be Attending the Workshop?
- What are the Topic, Title, and Content of the Workshop?
- Why is the Workshop Being Requested or Offered?
- When will the Workshop Be Offered?
- How Long will the Workshop Last?
- Where will the Workshop Take Place?
- What Arrangements will Be Made? By Whom?
- Negotiating a Workshop Agreement
- Determining the Needs of Workshop Participants
- Formal Needs Assessment
- Needs Prediction
- Assessment within Workshops
- Determining the Needs of the Requester and Other Stakeholders
- Customizing Learning to the Needs of a Group
- What Kinds of Needs Should Be Determined?
- Setting Goals and Learning Objectives
- Learning Objectives
- Content versus Learning Process Objectives
- Choosing Additional Resources
- Types of Resources
- Using Resources to Promote Experiential Learning
- Planning for Application
- Chapter 4: Creating a Comprehensive Workshop Design
- Reflecting on Workshop Design
- Choosing a Consistent Theme
- Beginning and Ending your Workshop
- Including Different Types of Learning Activities
- Reflecting-on-Experience Activities
- Assimilating and Conceptualizing Activities
- Experimenting and Practicing Activities
- Planning-for-Application Activities
- Sequencing Learning Activities
- Kolb's Cycle of Learning
- Alternate Workshop Sequences
- Other Strategies for Sequencing Activities
- Designing Workshops of Different Lengths
- Sample Workshop Outline
- Planning for Application
- Chapter 5: Designing Effective Workshop Learning Activities
- Reflecting on Workshop Activities
- What are Learning Activities?
- Beginning to Design Learning Activities
- Designing Reflecting-on-Experience Activities
- Designing Assimilating and Conceptualizing Activities
- Designing Experimenting and Practicing Activities
- Designing Planning-for-Application Activities
- Specific Examples of Learning Activities
- Examples of Reflecting Activities
- Dyadic or Small-Group Sharing
- Stimulus Role-Plays
- Gallery Exercises
- Guided Fantasies
- Examples of Assimilating Activities
- Group Surveys
- Values Clarification
- Modeling Role-Plays
- Case Studies
- Fishbowl Discussions
- Examples of Experimenting Activities
- Practice Role-Plays
- Card Sorting
- Open Discussions
- Structured Discussions
- Time Lines
- Examples of Planning Activities
- Personal Practice of Skills Learned in Role-Plays
- Action Plans
- Goal Setting
- Brainstorming Solutions
- Adaptation of Activities
- Planning for Application
- Chapter 6: Directing the Workshop and Creating a Learning Environment
- Reflecting on Workshop Direction
- The Workshop Learning Environment
- Arranging the Physical Environment
- Creating Relationships
- Multidirectional Communication
- Building Trust and Acceptance
- Providing Encouragement
- Beginning the Workshop
- Introduction and Welcome
- Overview of the Workshop
- Maintaining a Coherent Workshop Message
- Pacing and Timing
- Concluding the Workshop
- Reviewing Content to Consolidate Learning
- Planning for the Future
- Planning for Application
- Chapter 7: Facilitation Skills for Different Types of Experiential Learning
- Assessing your Facilitation Skills
- Four Types of Facilitation Skills
- Engaging Facilitation Skills
- Informing Facilitation Skills
- Involving Facilitation Skills
- Applying Facilitation Skills
- Your Facilitation Preferences
- Experimenting with Facilitation Skills
- Cofacilitation Skills
- Examples of Facilitation Skills
- Examples of Engaging Facilitation Skills
- Previewing Workshop Content or Goals
- Setting Ground Rules or Group Norms
- Asking for More Information
- Challenging Assumptions
- Bouncing Questions Back to the Group
- Encouraging Brainstorming
- Self-Disclosure That Increases Motivation
- Examples of Informing Facilitation Skills
- Clarifying Assumptions
- Giving Information
- Answering Questions
- Pointing Out What was not Mentioned
- Identifying Themes
- Modeling New Behavior
- Punch Lines
- Self-Disclosure That Provides Information
- Examples of Involving Facilitation Skills
- Prompting Participation
- Encouraging New Behavior within the Workshop
- Encouraging Direct Interaction/“Directing Traffic”
- Connecting One Person's Ideas with Another's
- Process Observation
- Asking for Feedback
- Encouraging Interpersonal Feedback
- Asking for Reactions to an Activity
- Focusing/Getting Back on Track
- Examples of Applying Facilitation Skills
- Encouraging New Behavior Outside the Workshop
- Generalizing from One Environment to Another
- Exploring the Future
- Pointing Out Opportunities for Application
- Encouraging Action
- Encouraging Goal Setting
- Assigning Homework
- Brainstorming Solutions
- Self-Disclosure That Models Application
- Planning for Application
- Chapter 8: Workshop Evaluations: Strategies, Variables, and Plans
- Reflecting on Workshop Evaluation
- Why Should you Evaluate your Workshops?
- Choosing an Evaluation Strategy
- Formative or Summative Strategies
- Quantitative or Qualitative Strategies
- Formal or Informal Strategies
- Combining Strategies
- Deciding Which Variables to Measure
- Evaluating Satisfaction
- Objective-Based Evaluation
- Developing an Evaluation Plan
- Formulating Questions and Standards
- Selecting a Research Design
- Collecting Information
- Analyzing Information
- Reporting Information
- Planning for Application
- Chapter 9: Improving your Workshop Design, Directing, and Facilitation Skills
- Reflecting on your Workshop Skills
- Sources of Information
- Your Cofacilitator
- Ask a Peer to Observe
- Ask for Feedback from the Requester
- Attend Other Workshops
- Improving your Workshop Skills
- Improving your Workshop Design Skills
- Reviewing Design Skills
- Rating your Workshop Design Skills
- Experimenting with Design Skills
- Using New Design Skills
- Improving your Workshop Directing Skills
- Reviewing Directing Skills
- Rating your Directing Skills
- Experimenting with Directing Skills
- Improving your Facilitation Skills
- Reviewing Facilitation Skills
- Rating your Facilitation Skills
- Experimenting with Facilitation Skills
- Planning for Application
Copyright © 1999 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Brooks-Harris, Jeff E.
Workshops: Designing and facilitating experiential learning/by Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Susan R. Stock-Ward.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-7619-1020-6 (cloth: acid-free paper)
ISBN 978-0-7619-1021-3 (paper: acid-free paper)
1. Forums (Discussion and debate)—Planning. 2. Active learning. 3. Experiential learning. I. Stock-Ward, Susan R. II. Title. III. Title: Designing and facilitating experiential learning.
10 09 08 9 8 7
Acquiring Editor: Jim Nageotte
Editorial Assistant: Heidi Van Middlesworth
Production Editor: Wendy Westgate
Editorial Assistant: Nevair Kabakian
Typesetter/Designer: Marion Warren
Cover Designer: Candice Harman
To my mother, Jeanne, and to the memory of my father, Dewey, who taught me to feel deeply and think critically; and to my wife Carolyn and my daughter Genevieve, who fill my life with joy.—J. B.-H.
To Mike and to my family, for their encouragement and tolerance of me during the process of writing this book.—S. R. S.
The ideas in this book were developed over the past several years through attempts to clarify for ourselves and to teach others the fine art of workshop design and facilitation. The central concept of using a theory of learning styles to classify and organize workshop activities and facilitation skills felt more like a discovery than an invention. What had previously been a loose collection of ideas was suddenly transformed into a coherent model just a few weeks before a presentation at a national conference.
Jeff is thankful for all he learned from numerous workshop teachers, cofacilitators, participants, and trainees with whom he has collaborated at Ohio State University, the University of Utah, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Hawai'i. Jeff gives special thanks to Robbie Geist and Lori Davis, who copresented an early version of this approach, and to Sharon Nance, who added the crucial element of learning styles and began the process of writing the book with him. Jeff's mother, Jeanne Harris, and his wife, Carolyn Brooks-Harris, both provided valuable editing, for which he is grateful. Jeff is most greatly indebted to his friend and colleague Sue for coming aboard as co-captain when this extroverted author almost let the boat sink for lack of companionship.
Sue thanks the supervisors of her early workshop efforts, Howie Schein and Pat Robinson, for helping her begin her interest in this area. She also thanks her colleagues at Marquette University and especially those at the University of Akron for their support of the concepts within the book as well as the writing of the book itself. Sue is grateful to Jeff for inviting her to coauthor this project, for learning with her how to work on such a joint [Page xvi]effort, and especially for his colleagueship and friendship. Lastly, she thanks the workshop trainees and participants with whom she has had the good fortune to work over the past decade.
Both of our editors, Armand Lauffer and Jim Nageotte, have been very supportive and helped us through the tricky waters of writing our first book. Our spouses, families, colleagues, and friends have been patient and supportive and still asked about the book's progress even when it took so long to complete.
Introduction: Three Lessons from The Wizard of Oz[Page xvii]
Reflect with us on a movie with which most of you are familiar—The Wizard of Oz (LeRoy & Fleming, 1939). It offers three lessons that have direct application to workshop design and facilitation. In one of the final scenes, Dorothy and her three friends return to the Wizard after defeating the Wicked Witch of the West and ask that their wishes be granted as he had promised. Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas; the Scarecrow wants a brain; the Tin Woodsman wants a heart; and the Cowardly Lion wants courage. Therein lies our first lesson: “Although they may all participate in a shared activity, individuals are likely to have different needs.” Workshop participants are likely to have different learning styles.
Dorothy and her friends soon discover that the Wizard, rather than being all-powerful, is a mere mortal with a great multimedia projection system. Luckily, he's also a great improviser. Reaching into his carpetbag, he presents each of the characters with symbols of their learning that represent the fulfillment of their wishes. The Tin Woodsman is given a pocket watch in the shape of a heart to honor his compassion. The Scarecrow receives a diploma to recognize his intelligence. The Wizard awards the Cowardly Lion with a medal of courage. He even offers to take Dorothy back to [Page xviii]Kansas in a balloon. Here's our second lesson: If you are not an all-powerful wizard, it helps to have a bag of useful items to help you out in a bind. When applied to workshop planning, this lesson suggests that it is important to offer individually designed rewards to meet the needs of different individuals. In a workshop environment, these rewards come in the form of appropriate learning experiences that stimulate different types of learners.
Interestingly, the Wizard did not actually grant the wishes of Dorothy and her friends, yet all were able to gain what they needed. How did they attain these aspirations? Through experience! The Tin Woodsman found his heart by being in a situation that required compassion. By responding with quick thinking, the Scarecrow recognized his brain. Protecting his friends from danger allowed the Cowardly Lion to find his courage. Dorothy eventually realized that she had had the power to go home all along. Our third lesson from The Wizard of Oz is this: “Individuals learn best through experience,” If we can create an active and experiential learning environment, then it is possible to encourage workshop learners to recognize their own compassion, intelligence, and courage, and to take this learning home with them!Purpose of This Book
Our purpose is to present a model of workshop design and facilitation based on how different people think and learn. The model is organized around a theory that describes both experiential learning and individual learning styles. This model will help you understand workshop participants, design a comprehensive workshop, and use effective facilitation skills. We describe a systematic approach to workshop design and provide dozens of examples of activities that can be applied to virtually any topic. You will be given tools that will allow you to recognize your strengths as a workshop presenter and to address areas of relative weakness. We believe that we are providing you with an integrated and practical approach to workshop development that you will find engaging, informative, and beneficial.Theory into Practice
The workshop model described here represents the application of learning theory to the practice of workshop design and facilitation that has been tested by experience. The model has been very useful to our practice, that [Page xix]of dozens of students and interns we've trained, and hundreds of professionals to whom we have presented at conferences. The learning theories on which we have drawn have been tested in other settings, but very little research has been conducted on the impact of workshops and other developmental interventions (Drum & Lawler, 1988). Therefore, one limitation of this model is that many of the assertions that we make are actually hypotheses rather than empirically established facts. For example, we assert throughout the book that certain types of learners will prefer and benefit from certain types of workshop activities. We want to acknowledge that this is an assumption based on theory and practice that has not been scientifically validated. We hope that practitioners will value and use what we have shared and that researchers may take an interest in the area of workshops and begin to test some of these ideas in the future.How to Use This Book
Just as different workshop participants have different learning needs, so do workshop designers and facilitators. Your learning style, level of experience, and unique interests will determine how and what you will want to learn from this book. We have written the book with the assumption that some of the readers are new to workshops and that others are experienced facilitators. If you are a new workshop presenter with little or no previous experience, then you may want to read the whole book in order to be exposed to the entire process of workshop development. If you already have workshop experience or have read other books on the subject and want to see what we have to say that is new and different, you may want to go directly to the unique aspects of our model. These are described in the last section of Chapter 1, in Chapter 2 (participants), Chapters 4 and 5 (design), and Chapter 7 (facilitation skills). If there is a particular part of workshop development that it is most important for you to learn about right away, you may want to read the overview of the model at the end of Chapter 1 and then proceed to the chapter that corresponds to your needs. For example, if you need to design a workshop next week and want new ideas for learning activities, you may want to move on to Chapter 5 after Chapter 1.
In keeping with our advocacy for active learning in workshops, we encourage your active participation in this book as well. Following the introduction of each chapter, we ask you to reflect on your own experience and to bring this learning with you as you read the chapter. We address both novice and veteran workshop presenters. If you have not presented workshops [Page xx]before, you will be able to reflect on your experience teaching or presenting in other educational contexts or on your experience as a learner. There are also times throughout the chapters that we ask you to engage in active learning. We include exercises that help you experiment with and practice the concepts and skills we describe. Other chapters have questions (beginning with arrows) within the text to encourage you to pause and think about how the information presented can be related to your own situation. At the end of each chapter, we ask you to plan to apply the ideas to your own future workshops.
We both find workshop design and facilitation an exciting and rewarding part of our professional lives. It is our desire that, through this book, we are able to communicate some of our enthusiasm. We hope that you are able to use many of the ideas we have presented and that this learning helps you become a more effective and confident workshop presenter. Thank you for your interest in our model and good luck with your workshops!
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About the Authors[Page 187]
Jeff E. Brooks-Harris is a psychologist at the Counseling and Student Development Center at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa where he coordinates outreach activities for the center. He received his PhD in Counseling Psychology from The Ohio State University in 1990. He has extensive workshop design and facilitation experience, having presented hundreds of workshops on dozens of different topics. Most of this workshop experience has been on the four university campuses where he has worked. He has coordinated the outreach activities for two university counseling centers and has trained professionals, interns, and graduate students on workshop design and facilitation. He recently has begun to coordinate a website called Workshop Central (http://www2.hawaii.edu/~jharris/workshophome.html) that allows university counseling center professionals to share workshop resources. His long-time interest in workshop design and experience in training others as facilitators naturally has led to his interest in developing the present book. Other areas of professional interest include psychotherapy integration, emotions, clinical training and supervision, multicultural issues, and gender. He is the coauthor of an instructor's manual titled Teaching Men's Lives (Messina-Yauchzy, Brooks-Harris, & Gertner, 1998).
Susan R. Stock-Ward is a psychologist at the Counseling, Testing, and Career Center at the University of Akron where she coordinates outreach and staff development activities. She received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Iowa State University in 1995. She has several years of workshop design and facilitation experience dating back to an undergraduate position as a living/learning center program advisor at the University [Page 188]of Illinois. Most of her workshop experience has been on the five university campuses where she has worked. This long-standing interest and involvement in workshops has led her to train many different groups of students and professionals in these skills, as well as to write this book. She has always found it ironic that workshop facilitation is a skill required in many professions, yet little training exists. She hopes that this book helps remedy that deficit. Other areas of professional interest include clinical training and supervision, multicultural issues, career development, and body image and disordered eating. This is her first book.