How much time does it really take to facilitate a learning circle?

Learning circles usually meet for 90 minutes/week for 6-8 weeks with between 4-15 participants, though this model is flexible. Facilitating a learning circle will require between 2 -3 hours hours/week, most of which is spent with participants.

But the actual time commitment varies depending on what exactly what you want to do. What have other folks found?

For me, the 2 most time-intensive parts of each learning circle have been:1) finding the right online course to use for our curriculum, and 2) outlining each class in the weeks leading up to the first meeting. Though I know that my role as facilitator is not to be a content expert, I like to be familiar with the curriculum that we’re using before the learning circle begins. I would estimate that in the 2 or 3 weeks before my learning circle begins, I spend 2-3 hours a week reviewing the tutorials and outlining each class. Once the learning circle begins, it’s been pretty smooth sailing, and I don’t spend much time at all outside of class time prepping. I am interested in hearing about other people’s experiences.

@Susannah_Borysthen-T, how do you go about outlining each class? Would you be willing to share your outlines with other people facilitating the same course?

I imagine that if we could do a better job highlighting the experience of past facilitators, it would both make it simpler to prepare, and also easier to identify a good course!

@grif As I go through the course myself, I keep track of how much time it takes me to complete each unit so that I can divide the course material into segments that can be completed in one meeting. Sometimes there are units in the course that I think we can skip, so I omit those from my outline. I would be happy to share any/all of my outlines. I would upload my outline here, but it looks like I can’t upload a .pdf here.

Hi @Susannah_Borysthen-T - you should be able to upload a PDF now. Discourse prevents new users from uploading files to try and curb spam, but since we know you, I manually overrode that, so now you can upload :slight_smile:

I am attaching the outline for week 1 of my “Introduction to 3D Printing” Learning Circle. If we did not make it through the Lynda chapters in the agenda, I would add them to the next week’s agenda. I found that learners really liked being given a time-stamped outline at the beginning of each meeting so that they knew what to expect and so that the course was broken up into digestible chunks. Of course, I kept the time stamps flexible if we needed to spend more time on a certain topic, but overall they helped to keep us on task.

I would be happy to share other outlines with anyone facilitating the same courses. I have outlines for the following Lynda courses: Essential Traning, Learning Tinkercad (which I called Introduction to 3D Printing), and HTML Essential Training.3D Week 1.pdf (89.6 KB)

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