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  • Archives for SiteFinder Ezines
    Ask for free delivery by email reviews of experiential websites the hows and whys of experiential learning tips for finding and promoting experiential sites what s new in the SiteFinder

    Original URL path: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/archives/eed/index.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Big Picture Reviewing: seeing the wood as well as the trees
    the team manager who would get the best out of your team Invisible Workmate create an ideal colleague to support help inspire and to make your work more fun and effective TURNTABLE seeing issues from unfamiliar perspectives You may already know of this as a version of Revolver Revolver began life as a kind of musical chairs format for making debates more balanced with participants spending equal time on each side of the debate But as there are often more than two sides to a debate Revolver has evolved into Turntable which allows for more than two positions encourages lateral thinking and builds up a bigger picture of the subject being discussed I have never used music with this method just the idea of moving round in a circle For Turntable let s assume a convenient group size of 12 Divide the group circle into four separate sections with spaces between each arc You now need four basic perspectives on the review topic that you want to discuss The perspectives might be off the shelf perspectives such as the SWOT model Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Or the perspectives might be perspectives that you think the group may not be paying enough attention to Customers Creative Thinking Time Constraints Past Success If you struggle to find a good fourth perspective make it a three way discussion or use the fourth position for any questions or for listening Once you have established the 3 or 4 basic positions you now facilitate a discussion in which all the normal rules or principles of good discussion apply except that when people are seated in a particular position they may only contribute comments that belong to that position To help get the discussion going give small groups a little preparation time to think of the points they could make from their starting position Every minute or so during the whole group discussion the facilitator gives a signal e g by standing up and everyone moves round one seat to the left If appropriate the facilitator also joins in as a participant After about 15 minutes everyone is back in their original seat having spent around 3 or 4 minutes experiencing each of the four positions They now have a bigger picture especially if they have found themselves speaking up from an unfamiliar perspective Variations of Turntable Revolver Revolver a revolving discussion http reviewing co uk discuss discuss2 htm Revolver when people sit still and the rope does the revolving http reviewing co uk articles ropes htm AS IF experiencing different perspectives At the east end of Loch Tay is the Scottish Crannog Centre The main focus of interest is the Crannog itself a reconstructed thatched dwelling standing on stilts in the water and connected to the shore by a long wooden bridge Inside the Crannog it was like being in a huge tepee The guide sat us around the central fireplace and spoke to us as if we ourselves were the extended family that used

    Original URL path: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/articles/big-picture-reviewing.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Doing Reviewing: article by Dr. Roger Greenaway
    enthusiastic reviewers It is likely that both believe first and foremost in the importance of the quality of the experience Both are likely to see themselves as educators who wish to provide rich and meaningful experiences to complement or compensate for other kinds of educational experience It is likely that both value doing and experiencing as the most vital elements in the kind of education which they provide Different experiences For many young people the outdoor environment and outdoor activities are different It is mainly because the experience of the outdoors is so different for many young people that it has such impact Providers of outdoor experiences frequently go to great lengths to make things as different as possible plenty of fresh air staying away from civilisation walking in the dark camping in strange places etc Even working in groups is a new and different experience for many young people The reluctant reviewer may think that sitting around talking especially if it is indoors is not particularly different adventurous or stimulating The reluctant reviewer is likely to favour maximising the time spent doing adventurous things outdoors believing that the more adventurous the programme the more impact it is likely to have The enthusiastic reviewer is likely to hold much the same beliefs but is more likely to be in touch with what is going on and will be better placed to adjust and adapt the programme to suit the needs and interests of the learners Action packed programmes Having an action packed programme is probably the first mistake if the purpose is to provide adventure education rather than simply to provide adventure According to John Dewey Experience plus Reflection equals Education 4 It follows from this that experience without reflection does not equal education Equally reflection without experience would not equal education The challenge is to get the balance and relationship right between experience and reflection if education is to be the outcome An overdose of active experience in the outdoors is not in my view an improvement on the underdose of active experience in the 15 000 hours that young people spend at school When working in the outdoors and relatively free of timetable constraints it should be much easier to get the balance right between experience and reflection such that young people have a taste of learning through adventurous experience and do not simply experience adventure Reviewing sequences Starting with a programme of activities and then fitting reviewing around the activities is not a promising start for designing a programme of adventure education Why not start with a programme of reviewing and fit the activities around the review programme Just as there are natural sequences of activities say from icebreakers through to independent expeditions so there are natural sequences for reviewing One such sequence is described by Nadler and Luckner in their processing curriculum which they describe as the thread that binds and weaves together diverse adventure activities with participants emotional experiences 5 This sequence starts with trust

    Original URL path: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/articles/1dor.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Facilitation and Reviewing in Outdoor Education
    Sometimes the facilitator may simply be enabling a group to achieve a task in the time available But where the purpose of the activity is to generate experiences from which people will learn the facilitator may want to intervene during the activity in order to influence what is experienced This will typically involve changing the rules in some way with or without consultation with the group The Facilitator s Toolkit Thiagarajan Thiagarajan 1999 is mostly about activity facilitation The context is indoor training for adults but much of this toolkit can readily be adapted for outdoor education Outdoor educators have less control over the many variables that influence what is experienced but there are always plenty of ways in which activity facilitation can enhance the quality of the experience In Learning Through First Hand Experience Out of Doors Pat Keighley describes many ways in which activities in the outdoors can be designed and adapted to provide experience based elements of the National Curriculum in Physical Education Science Geography Maths and English Keighley 1998 Group facilitation Group Facilitation can apply to any group situations from the running of effective meetings and keeping to the agenda through to sensitivity group training where there is no agenda Like it or not the group dynamics in outdoor education can have greater impact than the outdoors If the development of group skills is not a priority it may still be necessary to use group facilitation skills to redirect attention to the outdoors If the primary aim is social development or team building group facilitation is clearly a must But whatever your main purpose you will at the very least want to ensure that the group climate is a highly favourable climate for learning and development The Zen of Groups Hunter Bailey Taylor 1992 is a good introduction to the basics of facilitating group development More advanced and drawing on much of his experience working with groups in the outdoors is Martin Ringer s Group Action Ringer 2001 which provides a psychodynamic perspective on group facilitation in experiential learning and adventure therapy Adventure programming This approach to facilitation includes such techniques as Frontloading Isomorphic Framing and Paradoxical Symptom Prescriptions Priest Gass 1997 190 221 This language implies a directive style of facilitation that leaves little to chance Their emphasis on presenting metaphors in advance of the activity puts the facilitator in the role of storyteller before participants have had the experiences to fit the story This is an interesting mixture of drama and adventure in which participants are effectively improvising within the frame provided by the facilitator s script It is a style of facilitation that has been comprehensively challenged by Johan Hovelynck who is concerned that adventure education is increasingly adopting the didactic teaching methods that it set out to be an alternative for Hovelynck 2001 Priest and Gass appreciate the drawbacks of framing This is the last of six drawbacks that they identify By narrowing the focus of a frame to a predetermined metaphoric message you are dictating what will be learned in the activity Even if you are on target with the frame by prescribing the way the experience will be interpreted other metaphors may not be available for the group to interpret Priest Gass 1997 215 Even when there is pressure to achieve particular outcomes it by no means follows that predetermined and prescribed interpretations will be the most effective facilitation strategy If interpretation precedes experience the experience is little more than an illustration in the facilitator s story This is confirming through experience rather than learning from experience Choosing A Facilitation Style Five styles of facilitation found in outdoor education have been outlined above All have their advantages and disadvantages In practice facilitators often have a home style that corresponds most closely to their values and pick and mix ideas from other sources If this sounds too haphazard you will find excellent guidance in John Heron s The Complete Facilitator s Handbook about switching between different styles according to what is most facilitative for learners at the time Heron s matrix of the dimensions and modes of facilitation can be used to help you decide when to take charge when to negotiate and when to stand back It can also be used as a self review tool Heron 1999 342 3 Does research provide any guidance about choosing a facilitation style Sivasailam Thiagarajan Thiagi spent 15 years in field research in what he admits was a futile attempt to discover the secrets of effective facilitators who were rated highly by their peers and participants Thiagi reported I did not find consistent common behaviours among these facilitators Further even the same facilitator appeared to use different behaviours with different groups even when conducting the same activity To make matters worse the same facilitator sometimes used different behaviours with the same group within the same activity at different times Thiagarajan Thiagarajan 1999 48 Inconsistency appears to be what effective facilitators have in common Thiagi eventually concluded that effective facilitators are flexible adaptive proactive responsive and resilient Stuart Wickes came to similar conclusions when he carried out a study of effective facilitation in outdoor management development Wickes study highlighted amongst other factors the importance of personal commitment the ability to work with feelings and intuition and the ability to work with clarity of intention Wickes 2000 40 Such findings are consistent with this guidance from Dale Hunter and colleagues for group facilitators Be yourself As a facilitator you will be most effective when you are being your natural self and allowing your own personality to be expressed People get permission to be themselves from the way a facilitator behaves that is through modelling If you are stiff and formal the group tends to be like that If you are relaxed and self expressed the group tends to be like that too Hunter et al 1992 54 Search hard enough and you can probably find research supporting your own preferred facilitation style Whatever that may

    Original URL path: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/articles/facilitating-outdoor-education.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Leadership Training: 10 Tips for Programme Design
    ten possibilities Dividing a group into two subgroups doubles the number of opportunities for leadership This has the extra advantage of creating the possibility for comparing how different leaders tackle similar tasks Also feedback to leaders takes less time in smaller groups Using co leaders rather than solo leaders also doubles the number of opportunities for leadership In some cases this will more closely mirror how leadership actually happens in the workplace Using three leaders for each project triples the number of leadership opportunities This can also be a good way for participants to experiment with different leadership models if each leader takes on a specific leadership role For example if using Adair s Action Centred Leadership Model each leader can pay attention to one of the three elements of the model task team or individuals In a similar way having different leaders for the beginning middle and end of a project allows participants to experiment with different leadership styles within the Situational Leadership model Particular leadership styles may be more suited to different stages of a project Working in pairs creates five times more opportunities for leadership in a group of ten This may also mirror how leadership is performed in the workplace through one to one meetings phone conversations etc Paired exercises in which one person is blindfolded or in which pairs are not in visual contact can be used to generate a useful range of leadership challenges and experiences On programmes where there is a 50 50 split between activity time and review time you can double the opportunities for leadership if people take it in turns to lead reviews It often turns out that review discussions mirror the workplace environment more closely than do the activities which are being reviewed And many meetings at work have reviewing items on the agenda anyway Reviews provide a golden opportunity for some very relevant leadership experience You then need to review the review but even this can be led by a participant Reviewing experiences of leadership that happened prior to the course The benefit here is that you do not need course time to provide leadership experiences so it saves approximately 50 of the time if the course typically has a 50 50 split between activity and review Other group members may not have witnessed these examples of leadership but what matters most is that these examples are real experiences of leadership and they might be much more real and significant than the leadership experiences that happen within a training course The key to this strategy is adopting a suitable reviewing method Further timesaving can be achieved by reviewing in subgroups or pairs Using mini leadership projects of less than five minutes In less than an hour each member of the group can experience a whole group leadership role My favourite exercise using this strategy requires each person to use the whole group in a demonstration of what they each mean by good teamwork How they each approach this

    Original URL path: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/articles/leadership-training.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Reviewing by Doing: article by Dr. Roger Greenaway
    young people express surprise at another s position Differences are more likely to show up if participants first record a number say 10 high 0 low for particular moments or stages of the adventure Discussion can be prompted if necessary by encouraging young people to look around and ask questions if anyone else s position interests or surprises them This feature of the exercise enhances group and social development by increasing young people s awareness of the feelings of others 5 Ups and downs is a quick and easy way of allowing each individual to express their feelings These instant snapshots prompt individuals to talk more openly about their feelings These snapshots may also indicate issues that are worth examining in stage three LINE UPS Line ups are a similar concept to ups and downs People arrange themselves along an imaginary line which represents a spectrum of feelings One end can represent feeling confident out of my depth right supported influential etc The other end represents an opposite feeling It is usually better if the language used is suggested by the young people themselves It is a good idea to use a curved line so that everyone can see each other Alternatively the centre of the room or review space can represent the more positive end of the line with the walls representing the opposite end Discussion is encouraged where necessary as for ups and downs VISUAL METAPHORS Although line ups are a useful tool they are little more than warm ups for the expressive stage of a review A more three dimensional representation of an adventure can be achieved by selecting and developing suitable visual and active metaphors For example the phrase out of my depth mentioned in line ups could be part of a swimming pool metaphor Ask the group to imagine that the room or review space is a swimming pool Show them where the edges shallow end and deep end are and ask them to get in the right place for particular stages of the experience under review This is not simply a line up from shallow to deep encourage the group to use the metaphor creatively For example someone may have felt they were taking it easy floating on an air bed Someone may have felt like a pool attendant Another may have felt they were bomb diving others all the time etc When everyone has found the right place they should find some way of showing what they are doing there If the mood and the metaphor are right then playing creatively with the metaphor can help young people to find a powerful means of expressing themselves Listen out for any metaphors that young people are using naturally in their conversation they may be particularly good ones to play with 6 CREATIVE ARTS The creative arts offer plenty of scope for helping people to describe their experience the art form may speak for itself and be a substitute for words the process of making creating may help people to sort out their thoughts and feelings after which they can express themselves more clearly in words the process of making creating especially if a paired or group task may require young people to communicate with each other more about the experience the art object found or made may serve as a visual aid or confidence booster in helping someone to talk about their experience Experiences can be represented creatively in many ways including a collection of objects or souvenirs finger painting a sketch or painting a collage mural cartoon poster newspaper story photographs video song play model or junk sculpture 7 3 EXAMINE What do you think The first two stages encourage people to relive and stay inside the experience This is now the stage for stepping outside the experience and looking back on it from a more detached and critical point of view THE VISITOR If a group have been making a collage representing their adventure now is the time to step back and study the collage and encourage discussion about it For example try asking If a visitor turned up and saw your collage what do you think they would notice What questions might they ask This can be followed up by finding a volunteer from the group to take the part of an interested visitor In effect the visitor will have become the facilitator of a group discussion which is based initially on observations and questions which group members will have themselves supplied 8 WHERE DO YOU STAND This review activity is best done outside as it needs plenty of space It is a similar concept to line ups except that it requires people to make assessments and judgements rather than simply asking people to recall facts and feelings as in stages one and two Everyone stands in a line as if starting a race and closes their eyes The facilitator now asks individuals to make judgements about group behaviour during the activity by asking questions one at a time For example How much encouragement did you receive from others How good was the group at making decisions How determined was the group to succeed How well did the group keep to safety requirements How successful was the group To what extent were the aims achieved The answers are silent ones After each question ask everyone to take up to x paces forward for positive answers and up to x paces backwards for negative answers After the last questions group members open their eyes turn towards each other and talk The exercise can be repeated with similar questions about individual achievement How much did you encourage others How much do you feel you achieved etc Variations are endless combinations of eyes shut and eyes open or starting off in a large circle facing inwards or outwards using questions from the group etc PERSONAL GIFTS There are many variations of this appraisal activity in which young people find make or mime gifts for

    Original URL path: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/articles/2rbd.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Reviewing Adventure Activities: article by Dr. Roger Greenaway
    challenges or difficulties next activity or back home and produce a sketch or strip cartoon including speech and thought bubbles to show how you would like things to work out COMMENTS The most important feature of this technique is the separation of the words or soundtrack from the rock face picture when the transparency is lifted It makes transfer of learning a visible concept which can be readily understood If young people have difficulty finding a similar situation then provide one or two visual examples prepared earlier to demonstrate what you mean by fitting the words to another situation A good staff to student ratio is advisable for this review as it is basically an individual activity which may need some one to one support from staff or other group members The review process outlined above is only recommended following a climbing session in which all young people experienced achievement at least in the sense that they performed better than they had expected 2 SKIING reviewing to develop learning skills BEFORE How did you learn Before setting off to the slope give each learner a record which lists different ways of learning e g watching a good demonstration receiving encouragement being told what I m doing wrong playing games experimenting without instruction being taught by another learner teaching another learner repeated practice of one exercise trying a new skill practising in more difficult conditions practising in easier conditions journeying keeping on the move other ways of learning not listed DURING The instructor should simply aim to provide a good skiing session and should not be unduly influenced by the review process which is to follow it AFTER Experience Instructions to group members Tick the learning methods which you yourself experienced during the session Express Score each learning method which you experienced on a scale 0 10 to show how helpful you found each method during that particular session Explain and discuss your scoring with a partner Examine Look at the variations between how different people like to learn to ski Do some people prefer to learn in different ways How much is this variation in how people like to learn to do with confidence skiing ability motivation etc Discuss how you like to learn other new skills How is learning to ski similar and different to learning these other skills Explore If the instructor is not involved in the review then find a suitable way of giving any useful feedback to the instructor Encourage individuals to try out different ways of improving their skiing during or outwith their lesson COMMENTS This approach to reviewing was first devised in order to make better use of the minibus journey back from regular skiing sessions the paired conversations can be carried out during the journey If individuals keep all their records it is then useful to review how their experiences and preferences changed over the whole period of their skiing lessons Where young people really want to learn to ski then it makes

    Original URL path: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/articles/3raa.htm (2016-02-10)
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  • Reviewing by Numbers: facilitating reflection in small and large groups
    key role because after observing the paired discussion they will facilitate a brief review of the paired review before everyone changes roles An example of rotating threes A group of 9 people have just carried out a group activity together They are divided into three groups of three Within each three there is a person A a person B and a person C On the first round A is the reflector B is the facilitator and C is the observer First 5 minutes B asks A to describe their role and to explain how and why it changed if at all during the activity B may ask supplementary questions about how satisfied A was with their role and performance and to consider whether there are any questions they would like to ask the whole group of 9 when they are back together Second 5 minutes C reports back on what they observed If C comments mainly on B s role as a facilitator this helps to counterbalance the focus of the previous 5 minutes on A s role in the group Both A and B should have an opportunity to respond to C s observations before moving on For A B and C to take on each role reflector facilitator and observer the whole process will take 5 5 x 3 30 minutes When the whole group of 9 meet back together at least another 10 minutes will be needed for the asking of any questions arising from this first thirty minutes Reviewing in threes is scalable for groups of 6 9 12 99 or more Any group size that is divisible by 3 can use this structure In very large groups there will be limited opportunities for useful sharing when they get back together If sharing beyond threes is important this can be achieved by meeting up with another three rather than meeting up as a huge plenary group Reviewing in threes in which there are three roles to rotate takes around 30 minutes plus any sharing time needed at the end This is true for a group of 9 or 99 REVIEWING FOR SIX including task based reviews Quiet individuals are more likely to sit back and not get much involved when groups reach five or six Groups of around six can operate well informally but some facilitation is probably necessary There may be no obvious need for a group of six to divide up into smaller units but even groups of six can benefit from some reviewing alone in pairs or in threes Some rotation of roles can help to ensure that the group does not settle into one way of operating in which the same one or two people take the lead all of the time Task based reviewing is particularly suited to groups of five or six and upwards The review can be set up as an independent task to be achieved within a given time scale just like any other group task The task can have a businesslike feel to it or it may involved creative or dramatic aspects that challenge people to extend their normal ways of reviewing and reflecting and presenting their findings Some suitable tasks for a group of six STONES Make a sequence of five arrangements of stones showing how the group dynamics have developed since the beginning of the programme Create a sixth arrangement that shows how you would like the group dynamics to be over the next few hours SKETCH MAP Create a sketch map showing the journey real or metaphorical that the group has taken since the start of the day GIFTS In two subgroups create gifts for each individual in the other subgroup These gifts should reflect the talents of that individual and should include features or items that will be of value to them in the future REPLAY Prepare to re enact five significant events in the development of your team REPLAY PLUS Prepare to re enact three events that each demonstrate how your team is progressing and three events following which you have felt wiser after the event Act out the real and improved versions of these events PERFORMANCE Write and perform a news report about your team using interviews flashbacks reading the news or any other TV inspired method to tell the story in an engaging way that reveals how and what you are learning NEW RECRUIT Create an advert and person specification for a new recruit to join your team There is plenty of scope in any of these task based methods for a more dynamic form of plenary feedback to a larger group If the main working group is a facilitated group of around 8 or 12 people you can divide the group in two and conduct the review by setting independent reviewing tasks for each half of the group If each half has an identical task it is interesting to compare similarities and differences If each half group is given a different task this creates a different kind of interest and can provide some useful time savings because it allows you to split the reviewing agenda with say one subgroup focusing on leadership while the other focuses on team development REVIEWING FOR TEN OR THEREABOUTS This is reaching the upper limits for many group reviewing processes If staying as a whole group for a review discussion people in a group of ten will on average be speaking for 10 of the time and listening for 90 High quality facilitation is needed to maintain high levels of involvement throughout the group and to ensure that reviewing is an efficient and productive process Around half the time may well be spent in smaller units alone in pairs in threes or in half groups Giving individuals or pairs some thinking time will help them to express their thoughts more clearly to the larger group How you choose the best balance between reviewing as a whole group and reviewing in smaller units depends on

    Original URL path: http://www.reviewing.co.uk/articles/reviewing-by-numbers.htm (2016-02-10)
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