What will I take with me through the rest of the program and beyond?
- The idea of a charter. This has been a particularly prescient topic at work lately, as I have witnessed a terribly ineffective group try to complete a very important task. There was no set time table, even though there is certainly a deadline, and the leader, who has never been on a committee like this before, is having difficulty getting people to make decisions. I floated the idea of a charter to my supervisor, who works closely with these committees and ALSO went through the Adult Learning program. She agreed that maybe a formal charter is not the best idea for these folks but maybe completion of a task timeline that everyone agrees will help streamline the process. There have been many arguments that my supervisor has had to facilitate over email that probably wouldn’t have happened if there was something in writing.
- Going to Abilene. I know this essay affected other classmates as much as it did me. I think that sometimes going to Abilene is necessary, especially if you are not a risk-taker and stay firmly in your comfort zone all the time. Maybe I’m an insane optimist, but I like to think that you can learn from even the worst life experiences, so being open to Abilene is a positive trait. I will definitely look at my choices differently and ask how it will affect my life and the lives of others before I do it.
- Group life in general. I have discussed ad nauseum how much I’ve loved working in groups in the Adult Learning program, however, this class put theories and words to all the things I have learned. I like how the program works in that way–you get a bunch of practical experience about groups and teams before you actually learn the theory behind it. It helps make sense of all the readings (even the paradoxes!).
- Presentation skills. While the focus of our facilitations was to work with our group, I also learned so much about presenting and teaching. I really enjoyed that each presentation and learning activity was different. One of the things I’m learning in Adult 642, Design & Delivery of Online Programs, is that the best group activities in instructional design are ones you’ve done yourself. You know they work. I have been out of school for a while and I do not train (with activities) at work, so I have trouble imagining learning activities. I am now more conscious of the activities we do with Dr. Hurst and the ones we did with our groups. I’m filing all of them away for perhaps my future career.
A few of these things I covered in my last paper (in different words) but I did want to share them on my blog. What did you learn in class that you will take with you?