Tag Archives: Training

SMART Board Essential Orientation For Your Workgroup

April 9, 2014

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Smart BoardThe following learning resources were presented during an interactive training session I delivered for Path Employment Services in Hamilton, Ontario, on using their SMART Board interactive whiteboard.

This is an introductory level orientation, designed to help workgroups and facilitators learn how to use the SMART Board to improve their client workshops.  Please feel free to copy and share with others.

About This

SMART Board Essential Orientation For Your Workgroup by John Zeus
Click on the link to access the complete Training Agenda.

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The SMART Board,  Interactive Whiteboard

Through its touch-sensitive surface, the SMART Board gives you access to all the functions of your computer while presenting to your audience, making it great for facilitators and teams to share different types of material.

Topics Include:

Setting up your hardware
Orientating the Smart Board
Configuring the SMART Board markers
Floating Tools
Typing text
Writing on Smart Board
Recognizing handwriting
Saving Work


2014 – John Zeus – SMART Board Essential Orientation For Your Workgroup
Click on the link to access the complete Training Agenda.

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Five Stages of Team Development – Training

February 15, 2013

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Set up for success: A leader is needed to provide direction and guidance throughout the development process. To ensure the leader is well-accepted, a supervisor should not appoint a team leader; instead, the team should nominate and agree upon which member should assume that role.

When planning a team training event, development plan or learning cascade the 5 Stages of Team Development is a useful tool to consider.

Teams learn, develop and progress through five different stages of development. These include forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. Here I summarize the five stages and identify the expected outcomes and challenges.

Forming

  • A group of people come together to accomplish a shared purpose.
  • High dependence on the leader for guidance and direction.
  • Little agreement on team aims other than received from leader. Individual roles and responsibilities are unclear.
  • Leader must be prepared to answer lots of questions about the team’s purpose, objectives and external relationships.
  • Members test tolerance of system and leader.
  • Little ownership that this is their group. Leader directs.

Storming

  • Disagreement about mission, vision, and approaches combined with the fact that team members are getting to know each other can cause strained relationships and conflict.
  • Decisions don’t come easily within group. Team members vie for position as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other team members and the leader, who might receive challenges from team members.
  • Clarity of purpose increases as goals and expectations are outlined, but plenty of uncertainties persist.
  • Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles.
  • Resistance to losing individuality and becoming a group.
  • The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues.
  • Compromises may be required to enable progress. Leader coaches.

Norming

  • The team has consciously or unconsciously formed working relationships that are enabling progress on the team’s objectives.
  • There is an acceptance of working in a team and the quirks of other team members.
  • Agreement and consensus forms among team, who respond well to facilitation by leader.
  • Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted.
  • Big decisions are made by group agreement.
  • Smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group.
  • Commitment and unity is strong.
  • The team may engage in fun and social activities.
  • The team discusses and develops its processes and working style and members feel that they now have a voice.
  • There is general respect for the leader and some of leadership is more shared by the team. Leader facilitates.

Performing

  • Relationships, team processes, and the team’s effectiveness in working on its objectives are synching to bring about a successfully functioning team.
  • The team is more strategically aware; the team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing.
  • The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader.
  • There is a focus on over-achieving goals, and the team makes most of the decisions against criteria agreed with the leader.
  • The team has a high degree of autonomy.
  • Disagreements occur but now they are resolved within the team positively and necessary changes to processes and structure are made by the team.
  • The team is able to work towards achieving the goal, and also to attend to relationship, style and process issues along the way. team members look after each other.
  • The team requires delegated tasks and projects from the leader.
  • The team does not need to be instructed or assisted.
  • Team members might ask for assistance from the leader with personal and interpersonal development. Leader delegates and oversees.

Adjourning

  • The team has completed its mission or purpose and it is time for team members to pursue other goals or projects.
  • Members may go through separation anxiety.
  • If the group experience has been positive there will be a letting go and grieving process.
  • Members may need help in moving on. Leader facilitates the letting go process and discusses ways to apply the learning to outside situations.

Understanding these five stages of team development and implementing these suggestions can help ensure teams have the necessary skills and tools to move through each phase, especially the storming phase, and to ensure successful outcomes and growth.

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Set up for success: The team leader must redirect the team toward the end goal, help reinforce defined roles, address unacceptable behaviors, provide feedback, and facilitate team communication.


Related Readings: Workshop Structure To Maximize Learner Engagement


Original source material: Bruce Tuckman’s 5 stages of team development. Adapted by John Zeus.

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Workshop Structure to Maximize Learner Engagement

September 24, 2012

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7 Key Components for Workshop Structure

1) Introductory Activity/Icebreaker

Start with an activity that introduces the topic – a game, physical activity or collective activity. It needs to be fun and fully engaging to learner. It brings the learner into the world of the topic while keeping them up and ready to engage in the learning. The activity introduces the topic and stimulates comments and questions.

2) Opening Discussion

Follow the intro activity with a few questions about what the learner experienced in the activity. Allow them an opportunity to express what they experienced.

  1. Lead into a series of questions asking the learner what they know about the topic.
  2. Validate their responses. Allow the learners to expand upon one another’s comments -sharing what they know.
  3. Allow all the learners to express what they know about the topic.

This is a good place to use the following strategies:

  1. Record the learners comment for later reference.
  2. Have a learner record the groups comments.
  3. Have the learners share what they know in groups and have one person be the record and another the presenter of their thoughts.
  4. Have the learners look at opposing sides of the topic: positive/negative or brainstorm all thoughts, etc

3) Introduce the topic

Use what has been gleaned from the learners to introduce the topic in terms of their readiness to learn about it – use their terms, concepts, etc., building on them.

Identify what you wish to be the outcome of the workshop – what you want them leave with at the end of the workshop – what is the outcome of the whole session. Let the learners know that the group will return to their initial responses at the end of the session.

4) Set up a series of 2 – 3 tasks geared to exploring aspects of the topic

This is the core part of the session – the two-thirds of the workshop. Identify sub-sets of knowledge/skills that are part of the main topic.

  1. Devise specific tasks to investigate each of these skills.
  2. Use various strategies. Work in groups – pairs, threes or fours. Use a range of strategies for each of the tasks.

Incorporate the five elements of cooperative learning:

  • Positive Interdependence

Learners are linked with others in a way that one cannot succeed unless the other members of the group do their part. This is accomplished by assigning each student a role within the group. Each role is important to meeting the group goal.

  • Face-To-Face Promotive Interaction

Learners help, encourage, and support each other’s efforts to learn. They explain to each other how to solve problems, discuss strategies, teach knowledge and explain concepts to each other.

  • Individual Accountability

The performance of each learner is assessed and the results given back to the group and to the individual. Group members need to know who needs more assistance and that no one can “hitch hike” on the work of others.

  • Social Skills

Groups cannot function effectively if learners do not have the leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication, and conflict management skills needed. Many learners have never worked cooperatively, so these skills have to be taught to them. These are important skills in just about any workplace.

  • Group Process

The facilitator must ensure that learners are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships. At the end of a working session the groups process their functioning by answering two questions: (1) What is something each member did that was helpful to the group and (2) What is something each member could do to make it even better next time?

Some effective cooperative learning strategies include:

  • work in pairs: Think-Pair-Share
  • work in varied groups: Jigsaw, Round Robin Brainstorming
  • facilitator engages learners during an extended presentation: 3 Minute Review

5) Debrief

After every task, have the whole group come together to discuss what they did before you introduce the next task, which is intended to take the learning further.

Use a range of strategies for debriefing, such as:

  • Three Step Interview: Each member of a team chooses another member to be a partner. During the first step individuals interview their partners by asking clarifying questions. During the second step partners reverse the roles. For the final step, members share their partner’s response with the team.
  • Team Pair Solo: Learners reflects on what they learned first as a team, then with a partner, and finally on their own.
  • Numbered Heads Together: A team of four is established. Each learner is given numbers of 1, 2, 3, 4. Questions are asked of the group. Groups work together to answer the question so that all can verbally answer the question. Facilitator calls out a number (two) and each two is asked to give their response.

6) Closing The Loop

Use a range of strategies to debrief the entire session and provide closure on the learning, such as:

  • refer back to what the group first knew about the topic and then add what they know now
  • ask specific questions about the applicability of what they learned/experienced: where would you apply this? How would apply this? How do think this would help you?
  • use a cooperative learning strategy, such as active listening:

Have the learning participants break into pairs.

Allow learners to share information regarding a personal experience for exactly one minute. The speaker has one minute to talk while the listener may not say anything or interact with the speaker except for nods and “empathic grunts” (“uh-huh, I see.”) After the minute expires, have the listener share the information with the class to see if s/he was actually listening.

Have learners switch with the other member of the pair doing the talking. Allow for discussion time afterwards.

7) Next Steps

Ask the learners to express how they plan to apply what they have learned/ experienced through:

  1. a journal/diary
  2. media, such as digital photography, graffiti, etc.
  3. technology, such as a blog

Recommendations For Curriculum Design

In addition to the 7 key components listed above in the Workshop Structure – there are 6 additional items to include when designing curriculum:

Theory – The role of the facilitator is to present related theoretical materials that support the planned learning of the session outline. It is important to be a resource for the topic and provide the background material needed for the session. It is in this section that a facilitator provides the supporting information of the curriculum being presented. A summary of the research collected and key terms, concept and principles that help in delivering the objectives of the session topic are captured in this area of the outline. Theory is seen and the supporting documents and messaging a facilitator wishes to convey to the learner. Theoretical pieces can often be a collection of key points and used as a learning aid/handout for the session.

Video Tie In – This added piece to the outline provides another forum for including technology with the facilitation of the topic. Including video options with your session offers a visual element for the learners and presents another approach to learning in the session

Web Links – Incorporating technology and provided internet links that support the session enhances participant learning. It is a key component to the outline and provided support research and materials for the session.

Learning Aids – are the handouts and materials provided to learners during the session that assist with the learning process.

Sources – It is important to source and respect copyright regulations when creating curriculum for the program. Items used in your outline need to be sourced. Materials adapted – stated adapted and original source. Include creator reference at the end of the outline.

Workshop Prep. Centre – The prep centre is a summary section that advises facilitators presenting this outline of all the items required and to be prepared. It summarizes prep items and materials needed for each phase of the workshop and a timeline for prep and delivery.


This workshop/training plan was collaboratively developed, written and authored by a legendary team of Curriculum Coaching Consultants, Marylena Angeloni and John Zeus 2012.

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Why Wiki? Collaborate and Accelerate Productivity

April 24, 2012

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10 Best Reasons To Use A Wiki

This video on YouTube provides “a look at 10 reasons how a wiki can connect teams within companies, helping them get more done, together.” (Description from YouTube)

Source: Atlassian Get your own wikiWiki’s allow for asynchronous collaboration and communication between groups of people. The excerpt below was adapted from Atlassian and is used for YMCA staff and volunteers participating in the Wiki Course. John Zeus is the author of the Wiki Course for YMCA’s Enterprise Wikis.

Why Wiki?

Confluence is a wiki used by more than half of Fortune 100 companies to connect people with the content and co-workers they need to get their jobs done, faster. Connect your entire business in one place online to collaborate and capture knowledge – create, share, and discuss your documents, ideas, minutes, and projects.
Driving collaboration at 11,800 companies world-wide

Atlassian Confluence wiki collaboration software is trusted by over 11,000 companies world-wide

#1 Get More Done, Together

Get the best people on the right tasks and produce better overall results by letting everyone contribute.

Break down information silos between teams, departments, and individuals – it’s crowd-sourcing for your organization.

Why Wiki Connect Your Team
Why Wiki Confluence Editor

#2 Anyone Can Contribute

Anyone can put content online, quickly and securely – just click ‘Edit’ and start typing.

A rich content editor does the work for you with Autocomplete, Autoformatting, Autoconvert, and shortcuts for everything.

#3 Connect People and Content

Bringing the right people into the work and discussions taking place in Confluence is easy.

Share content in seconds and @mention teammates in any page, blog post, or comment.

Why WIki Connect People
Why Wiki Capture Knowledge

#4 Capture Knowledge, Forever

Capture the tacit knowledge of your co-workers, often trapped in email, in Confluence where it’s never lost.

Instant and familiar, engage everyone and encourage collaboration with Quick Comments and Likes.

#5 Discover What’s Popular

Confluence makes sure you won’t miss another important conversation again.

With a live ‘Popular’ content stream and weekly email summaries you’ll never lose touch of what’s trending in your company.

Why Wiki Content Discovery with Activity Streams
Why Wiki Find Content

#6 Find Content, Fast

Quick Navigation and Search makes sure you find what you’re looking for, fast.

Start typing and watch Confluence suggest pages, blogs, files, and people.

#7 Keep Private Parts, Private

Confluence meets the demands of the enterprise environment by keeping your content safe and secure.

Permissions at the Global, Space, and Page level give you the flexibility to decide exactly who can view and edit content.

Why Wiki Granular Page Permissions
Why Wiki SharePoint and Office Integration

#8 Connect to Microsoft

Combine powerful free-form content creation and collaboration with the document management and workflow strengths of SharePoint and Office.

Get up-and-running quickly with out-of-the-box integration with Active Directory for user management and authentication.

#9 Easy to Customize & Brand

Create customized designs and brand Confluence to match your corporate style.

Expand your audience with complete branding, advanced design tools, drag-and-drop layouts, navigation, and drafts.

Why Wiki Easy to Customize
Why Wiki Extend Confluence

#10 Extend with Add-ons

Customize Confluence with themes, application connectors, content importers, and more.

Browse the Atlassian Plugin Exchange and find add-ons that extend functionality and connect Confluence to other enterprise tools.

A Wiki that Works for Everyone

Source: Atlassian Get your own wiki

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