Reflections of a Pathways Guide
I have been in planning mode for the Virtual Support Sessions!
These are a whole new learning curve for me and for those who attend! I wanted to approach this with all of my knowledge and strategies for preparing the learner for the learning process. It is a journey! The beginnings are an important part of the journey – just as we do for any travel – we gather our maps, prepare out itinerary, and pack our items to take with us. The following is a set of preparation tasks for my journey into VSS!
1. How to prepare for sessions
First, communicate with the Base Camp Managers about their needs for support for themselves and their club members. This can be done immediately after the club visit presentations, or at a scheduled time separate to the visits.
Second, schedule the Virtual Support Sessions with attention to our own time availability, the likely best days and times for attendees, and in a sequential manner. Prepare the schedule and send to the Base Camp Managers.
My VSS schedule is now in place, with capacity for flexibility. Some Base Camp Managers and club members who want to attend will want to know in advance and plan their own availability.
My followup after the club visit presentations has been to email out to the Base Camp Managers in each of the clubs in my Area. This emails contains the invitation to attend, details of online location and support for new users of Zoom, along with instructions on where to find and RSVP to the events in a Facebook Group for the Area.
I prefer to use an existing Facebook group that I setup some years back when I was the Area Director. Many of the Club Base Camp Managers were already members of this group.
I simply added the rest and notified them all by Messenger.
Note: not all are on Facebook, so Google calendars and emails are also necessary for sheduling and notifying.
2. What to include in sessions
I have also begun to map out the content for a series of VSS, that are sequential in content and focus! These are for the moment under the banner of Base Camp Exploration and Base Camp Management!
I am keeping this process flexible and enable ‘user choice’ – I want to ensure that the Base Camp Managers want to attend – being mindful of the What’s In It for Me approach!
Base Camp Exploration is a series of five sessions focused on Base Camp Mastery:
- Getting Started in Base Camp
- Gaining Confidence with Education Transcripts
- Navigating a Path
- Completing a Level
- Completing a Path
This segment is intended for their own learning within their chosen path and levels prior to helping others.
Base Camp Management is a series of five sessions focused on Base Camp Management:
- Base Camp Manager responsibilities overview
- Evaluations and Eportfolios unpacked
- Base Camp Dashboards explored
- Projects and Level Completion verification
- Materials and Support strategies
This segment is intended as a train the trainer to empower them to help members in their own clubs.
3. How to facilitate the sessions
During the open segment of your VSS, do the following:
- be the logistics manager and
- steer attendees through use of on screen tools
eg chat panel, video, microphone, hand raiser
Some strategies to keep in mind for the actual facilitation within a VSS include attention to engagement for the attendees. These are:
- Prepare your virtual meeting “room” – have your slides open on the desktop ready to share
- Keep your participants involved – ask questions of them and pause for their responses
- Manage common dysfunctions in virtual meetings – ensure that attendees know when and how to use chat panel and microphone (eg: use the tools and permissions afforded to the Host to Mute All)
- Focus your meeting with virtual engagement strategies – provide stimuli for interactions in voice eg Q & A, Panel Discussions, Round Robins, Table Topics.
4. Follow up process
Each of the VSS will be recorded and links provided in the Facebook group as well as emailed out for others!
Some sets of slides already seen by those club members who were in attendance at club visit presentations, will be narrated and stored in my Slideshare account. Notification of those will be sent out to the Base Camp Managers for sharing with those members who were unable to attend.
You comments are welcomed!