Workshops: Designing and Facilitating Experiential Learning

 

Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Susan R. Stock-Ward (1999).

 

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

 


Available here on the internet:

Book Description
Table of Contents
Introduction
About the Authors

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Workshops: Designing and Facilitating

Experiential Learning

Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Susan R. Stock-Ward (1999).

Book Description

Workshops: Designing and Facilitating Experiential Learning is designed to present a practical approach to workshop development, facilitation, and direction. Workshops will introduce novice facilitators as well as those with much experience to an integrated model of workshop design and development. Grounded in learning theory, this model will be used to demonstrate to readers how to design, facilitate, and direct workshops, as well as how to identify and improve upon existing skills. Practical, how-to sections will assist readers in creating specific experiential activities designed to facilitate different types of learning. Readers will also learn how to understand and attend to individual differences as well as take all workshop participants through a universal cycle of learning. Workshops: Designing and Facilitating Experiential Learning can be useful to anyone who facilitates workshops in higher education, adult education, business, health care, and/or other educational settings.

 

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Workshops: Designing and Facilitating

Experiential Learning

Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Susan R. Stock-Ward (1999).

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1. Toward an Integrated Model of Workshop Design and Facilitation

2. Using Learning Styles to Understand Participants and Guide Workshop Design

3. Preparing for Workshop Design: Gathering Information and Setting Goals

4. Creating a Comprehensive Workshop Design

5. Designing Effective Workshop Learning Activities

6. Directing the Workshop and Creating a Learning Environment

7. Facilitation Skills for Different Types of Learning

8. Workshop Evaluations: Strategies, Variables, and Plans

9. Improving Your Workshop Design, Directing, and Facilitation Skills

References

Index

About the Authors

 

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Workshops: Designing and Facilitating

Experiential Learning

Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Susan R. Stock-Ward (1999).

Introduction

THREE LESSONS FROM THE WIZARD OF OZ

Reflect with us on a movie with which most of us are familiar--The Wizard of Oz (LeRoy and Fleming, 1939). We think 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 him to grant their wishes 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 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 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 lessons 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 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

This book presents 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. This model will give you 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 which has been tested by experience. The model has been very useful to the practice of the authors, 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 being 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 One, in Chapter Two (participants), Chapters Four and Five (design), and Chapter Seven (facilitation). 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 One 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 Five after Chapter One.

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 before, you will be able to reflect on your experience teaching or presenting in other educational contexts or on your experience as a learner. At the end of each chapter, we ask you to think about applying the ideas to workshop design or facilitation.

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 that we are describing. Other chapters have questions italicized within the text to encourage you to pause and think about how the information presented can be related to your own situation. Planning for application is encouraged at the end of each chapter.

Both of the authors 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 that 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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Workshops: Designing and Facilitating

Experiential Learning

Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Susan R. Stock-Ward (1999).

About the Authors

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 Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The Ohio State University in 1990. Dr. Brooks-Harris 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. Dr. Brooks-Harris has coordinated the outreach activities for two university counseling centers and has trained professionals, interns, and graduate students on workshop design and facilitation. Dr. Brooks-Harris recently has begun to coordinate a world wide web site called Workshop Central 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. He is the coauthor of an instructor's manual entitled Teaching Men's Lives (with Michael Messina-Yauchzy and Douglas 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 services. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Iowa State University in 1995. Dr. Stock-Ward has several years of workshop design and facilitation experience dating back to an undergraduate position as a learning center program advisor. Most of her workshop experience has been on the five university campuses where she has worked. Since 1994, she has had the responsibility for training undergraduate paraprofessionals, doctoral students and psychology interns in workshop design and facilitation. This book has grown out of the two authors' collaboration on convention presentations and other projects related to workshop development. This is Dr. Stock-Ward's first book.

 

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