Pathways Guide Reflections!
Stage One: September self-paced learning
During September I focused on my preparations and learning for my new role as Pathways Guide. Found the process quite time consuming and unnecessarily complex – I do not agree with the enforced step-by-step sequential method of training that is used – it seeks to force the exact same learning process on each Pathways Guide, regardless of their technological or self-directed learning skills. I forged on anyway as a self-directed learner and gained some insights for the task of engaging members of my assigned clubs in the Pathways Education. It felt like I was learning in isolation, but I knew that all other PGs in Region 12 would be doing the same, so I suggested that each District in which my assigned clubs live, provide a social media group for cooperative learning opportunities.
Once I had access to the forum for sharing and networking the process seemed less isolated and I could ask my questions of others who may be a few steps ahead of me.
Key Learning #1:
Provide access to an online community (Facebook Group) for each Area.
Area North 29 already exists as a group – this I setup when I was Area Director.
Action #1: liaise with Area Director to setup a group for Area M 34.
Next I sent my Club Visit Planners to all 9 of my assigned clubs to alert them to my proposed visits and requested a one hour presentation time on their agendas. The dates were carefully aligned to their fortnightly club meetings and to my available time during October and November. With a bit of careful scheduling I realised I could fit one visit in each week. No more than that as my visits involve quite a bit of travel and overnight stays, as many of my assigned clubs are regionally located in Northern Victoria and Southern New South Wales. Now I felt a little more in control, as I could schedule and complete this process in my own manner. It was extremely helpful to have the details of club executives sent by the PDQs (Program Quality Directors) from each District. I also valued the pre-contact with clubs in Area M34 made by the Chief Ambassador from District 70 to introduce me.
In my emails to the executives, I also included some early dates for the Virtual Support Sessions that I was to provide for the VPEs in the assigned clubs during my six month project as Pathways Guide. These could begin once the Rollout of Pathways for District 12, happens in December 2017, giving all members access to Base Camp.
Key Learning #2:
Provide a clear communication with the executives to emphasise the importance of the introductory presentations and the follow up support.
Action: Keep copies of emails sent out for reference!
Key Learning #3:
Provide a schedule of virtual support sessions that established a pattern for me and flexibility of dates and times for the VPEs.
Action: Use the Virtual Support Sessions template to list my Zoom sessions.
I completed my Pathways Guide tasks in Base Camp and also reviewed one of the pre-recorded webinars from WHQ on Navigating in a Path – this gave me a more detailed view of what the learners will be expected to do at Base Camp. These recordings are accessible in the Master Q & A Document as links to GoToWebinar sessions conducted by WHQ.
Key Learning #4:
In my opinion these webinar recordings provide added opportunities to move ahead in the PG learning experience, even before Pathways has actually launched. They showcase a presenter navigating through the Paths and Levels, Transcripts and Profiles as a learner in Base Camp.
Action: Plan to incorporate that advice into the Zoom Training for PGs on October 21.
By completing the PG Quiz, I was able to reflect on the learning acquired and apply my new knowledge to answer all questions. A couple of questions gave me pause for thought – and I realised my own need for comprehension of question and need for thorough reading of resources.
I note that there is quite a glossary of new terms for learners to understand in Pathways and I will prepare a print out of those in preparation for my club visits.
When I accessed or ‘launched’ the Glossary I found that it did not include any explanation of this selection of ‘navigation terms’ used throughout the Base Camp.
- Open Curriculum
- View Training Details
Key Learning #5:
More anecdotal assistance will be required for clubs to understand the terminology of Pathways. Need to be able to put the terms into context for our presentation audiences.
Action: prepare to utilise some terminology games as part of motivational Base Camp Scavenger Hunts for those who join me in the Virtual Support Sessions.
Currently I am looking at ways to add value to the standard Pathways Presentation by considering the needs of the learners in understanding:
- navigation in Base Camp,
- the differences between Pathways and traditional Toastmasters education,
- the enhanced sets of 10 learning paths (options), and
- the requirements for each of the 5 levels (completions).
My preparation for the Presentations will include practice with the slides and scripts, as well as attention to structuring the one hour training for maximising impact and enabling retention through participatory activities. For example chunking the presentation into 4 x 15 minute segments with activities in each.
- Slideset 1 pages 1-15 – provide the rationale and background to the change to Pathways
- Slideset 1 pages 16-27 – provide the overview of what Pathways is and includes reference to the changes in Evaluation resources and encouragement to pursue the Pathways Mentor program
- Slideset 2 pages 1-20 – provide an overview of getting started with login, navigator resource, choices of paths, and self-assessment process for Recommended paths.
- Slideset 2 pages 21-30 focusses on what changes and what stays the same for Meetings and DCP; as well as the local support team
Key Learning #6:
There is too much content in the presentation to provide comfortable and memorable training in one hour.
Action: plan to continue to use the slide decks above during the Virtual Support Sessions.
For the use of the PowerPoint Presentations, I am keen to ensure that the Pathways videos:
- Members Share Their Pathways Experience
- Introducing Pathways
are both available to play during my club visits without relying on Internet connection to play from YouTube. Noted: the Title of these in the Scripts for PGs vary from what is actually shown as their title in YouTube.
For this preparation I reached out to another PG who had already mastered the art of downloading the videos as MP4 files and storing those in the same folder as the PowerPoint Presentation file. By creating a new slide with links to the MP4 files resident on my computer, I can be assured that they will play without the need for Internet connection.
Key Learning #7:
Think ahead to the situations in which the presentations will be made and consider the following:
- technology restraints
- learning retention and concentration spans
Action: check after each presentation what could be used to improve the impact on learners – need to provide a feedback sheet. Q. Is there one supplied for the PGs? If not suggest that it be added.
There is still much to do! But I do feel more organised for my first club visit presentations.