Facilitating the Understand Step – Lessons Learned

Briefly describe/review how you decided to apply and use the Understand step in the project you selected. Include how you used diagnostic model and what challenges you experienced.

I decided to use the Understand step to help me better understand the purpose of the PCT workshop and the facilitators’ expected outcomes.  It allowed me to ask questions that helped identify the presence, or not, of specific learning elements in the workshop.  For example, asking how students get to demonstrate what they know or practice what they have learned was an important question to address. I didn’t experience any specific challenge using this step, but I suspect that there could be some potential challenges when this step is used to diagnose a course that someone has been teaching for several years.

Next, explain the “lessons learned” you have gained from conducting the Understanding step. This might include insights about your project or the facilitation process of working with others. Be sure to describe the role you played as the architect and facilitator during the Understand step.

The Understand step allows the conversation to shift way from the “personal (instructor)” aspect of a project and fosters a focused dialog on the outcomes, activities, and learner experience.  I think people are more open to conversations around student learning than conversations about what needs to change in their instruction.  That discussion can come later when the redesign calls for that shift to meet the needs of the learning environment or learner outcomes.  I felt like my role was to foster conversations, ask questions to gain clarification, and guide others to think more critically about what they were trying to accomplish.