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Methods of delivery

Facilitated learning

What is facilitated learning?

Facilitated learning is where the students are encouraged to take more control of their learning process. The trainer's role becomes that of a facilitator and organiser providing resources and support to learners. In turn the participants learn with and from each other as they identify and implement solutions to challenges, problems or other developmental issues. They might also set their own objectives and be responsible for learning assessment.

The technique is used most frequently in university education and more formal study. It is probably not a methodology that trainers in the archive field will be able to use exclusively, but it offers some techniques and approaches that can be incorporated into training courses that run over several days. For example having participants work independently to develop an action plan, related to the course content but tailored to their needs.

In contrast to individual learning where the trainer becomes very involved and responsive to each participant's individual needs, with facilitated learning the trainer supports and facilitates the participants who develop and shape their own learning goals and achievements.

Advantages and disadvantages of facilitated learning

Facilitated learning is based on the premise that the more responsibility a student takes for his/her own learning, the more effective the training or education will be. The advantages are:

There are some disadvantages:

Delivery of facilitated learning

As already noted, the teacher’s role in facilitated learning is to create and manage collaborative learning experiences, or group learning in which exchanges between instructors and learners and among learners occur over a period of time.

Facilitated courses and learning experiences usually take place over a series of weeks and may include:

Facilitated learning in its purist form is likely to occur in a well-resourced environment with participants who are highly motivated and pro-active. Most training environments are unlikely to be able to offer the necessary conditions. However, elements of facilitated learning can be combined effectively with other styles of training to provide many of the benefits inherent in the methodology.

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Last updated: 20 December 2005