Tip #159: Designing Facilitator Guides #3

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groupgroupLast week, we indicated that we have a number of choices to answer the seventh question: 7. What format will be most useful for the facilitator? There are three different formats I have typically used: an annotated table of contents (which we described in Tip #158), an annotated lesson plan, and a scripted facilitator guide.

An annotated lesson plan provides more information and guidance to a facilitator than is possible on an annotated table of contents. While the annotated table of contents provides a snapshot of activities and timeframes, the annotated lesson plan provides more of a narrative of the activities, their purpose, and what is required (in terms of materials and directions) to facilitate the activities.

The key information that the facilitator will need is:

  • the over all focus of the session
  • the learning objectives
  • the key content points (in many cases, these are the section titles or agenda items)
  • the duration of the focus on this key content
  • the type of learning activities
  • when they occur
  • how long they should last
  • specific materials for the activity
  • the goal of the activity
  • how to introduce, facilitate and debrief the activities
  • specific notes regarding how to facilitate the activity
  • the specific handout pages and/or PowerPoint slides to which the activities relate
  • break times and durations

There are two different lesson plan formats that I have annotated. The first is in general outline format. The following example is the morning of the first day of a two- day orientation program. You will note that there is more than one facilitator, as well as guest speakers.

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