Tip #965:  Expert or Facilitator- Which is Better?

Models of Instructor-Led Education

There are two models of instructor-led adult education. The first model is the formal instructional approach that is found on most college campuses: a content expert presents his or her wisdom and experience. The learners come to be educated by the expert, so they expect to listen while the expert talks. The focus is on the expert.

The second model is a more informal adult learning approach that is found in many organizations: the instructor facilitates opportunities for the learners to discover and then practice new skills. The learners are active participants in their own learning, so they expect to offer information and demonstrate what they have learned. The focus is on the learner.

Expert Presenter

Expert Presenters are typically competent and credible, knowledgeable, and committed to their subject areas. They tend to share a lot of information, so they do most of the talking.

Master Expert Presenters are often excellent storytellers, able to verbally create imaginative and realistic scenarios that bring concepts alive and engage their listeners.

In addition, they establish a positive rapport with their audiences through their credentials, personalities, humorous anecdotes, and responses to questions.

Learning Facilitators

Learning Facilitators are also competent and credible. However, they are aware that adults can learn only so much information at one time, so they focus in on key concepts and skills.

The learners do most of the talking. This does not mean that the learners control the class.

The Learning Facilitator knows when to assign activities, how to debrief them, and how to handle questions that arise so they don’t pull the content off track.

Which Model is Better?

If the desired outcome is an awareness of and exposure to brand new knowledge, the Expert Presenter’s lecture can achieve that goal.

If the desired outcome is new learning or a change in attitude or behavior, the learners need to do something to demonstrate their understanding and ability to apply what they’ve learned. The Learning Facilitator will use a variety of learning activities to enable the learners to experience, articulate, and demonstrate their new learning.

An Expert Lecturer builds learner confidence in the expert’s competence. It does not build learner confidence in their own competence, so they are unlikely to actively implement what they’ve heard.

A Learning Facilitator uses active practice to build learner confidence in their own competence, so they are much more likely to use their new skills outside of the class.

Question: What is your position on which instructor-led method is better?

May your learning be sweet- and safe.


#learning #expertpresenter #learningfacilitator #laurelandassociatesltd #trainingeffectiveness


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