Course 41: DISCUSSION METHODS
A planned discussion led by a trained discussion group leader can be an extremely effective tool for instructing or teaching others how to perform a given set of tasks. However, discussions also can be very useful tools for: gathering data and information; problem-solving; testing comprehension; setting policy and strategy; and of course, changing opinions and individual points of view.
Facilitating or leading a planned discussion touches many skill domains, including: group dynamics; team building; interpersonal communications; active listening; and presentation methods. From the outset, it is important to note that leading an effective discussion involves preparation and advanced planning. For example, initial topic selection and handling is critical to a successful discussion and quite often, requires detailed research into the background of the topic. Another key component of a successful discussion involves preparing solid, thought-provoking questions. Effective discussion leaders recognize the importance of preparing themselves to ask good questions; not only as a means of encouraging group interaction, but also as a tool for keeping the discussion moving and on track.
The intent of this course is to equip all participants with a solid working knowledge of discussion leadership methods and techniques. This course is highly experiential and interactive. In particular, all participants will have multiple opportunities to practice leading discussion groups, as well as functioning as a discussion group participant. Professional educators for this course will focus on instructing participants in the fine points of discussion leadership; but just as important, demonstrate and model these methods and techniques.
Course 42: CREATING AN ACTIVE TRAINING ENVIRONMENT
This course takes the instructor deeper into the instructional design processes that make training more successful. Students will learn to apply adult learning principles to the electrical training ALLIANCE curriculum materials. Students will also learn about the instructional design process and will be able to design effective instructional strategies for a variety of training situations. Special emphasis will be placed on the design and use of “Active Learning Strategies” in both the classroom and laboratory settings.