Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines and direction in the preparation for and facilitation of learning programmes.

Scope

The scope of this policy covers the considerations that are important when designing, preparing and conducting a facilitation of a learning programme in order to ensure that quality learning takes place.

Principles

The Workers’ College has a rich history of adult education and worker education to draw on.

It has long been the practice of the Labour movement to emphasise the importance of participatory learning and facilitation. This approach should be a common theme in facilitation.

Participatory, context rich and experience based approaches to learning are general pedagogic practices that should be found in the practice of different programme offerings of the Workers’ College, regardless of whether a programme is credit bearing or not.

When surveys are taken of training and teaching methods, often the strongest reactions relate to the quality of relationships between staff and learners and the extent to which learners feel valued and well supported in their learning tasks. Good teachers and trainers make learning interesting and enjoyable, they form friendly (but not over-familiar) relationships with learners, and they communicate a strong sense of the value of the work being done to the highest possible standards.

Programme delivery will be effectively managed and all aspects will be reviewed

Workers’ College will ensure that all facilitators are well versed in good practice elements of adult education and ensure the constant engagement between ETD staff to assist in elevating everyone’s practice.

Course design and materials development must draw on the research capabilities in the Workers’ College to ensure that learning is based on cutting edge and evidence based approaches to knowledge and practice development.

Whilst not always possible the Workers’ College will attempt to facilitate programmes in teams as a good practice consideration for programme facilitation.

Workers’ College should ensure that facilitators are also accredited and registered assessors to ensure an integrated learning and assessment process. Where this is not the case facilitators and external assessors will need to collaborate closely through the process and it is part of the Assessors terms of reference.

Facilitators/teaching staff must be familiar and comfortable with a host of different methods and also have a strong understanding of teaching and learning theory in a trade union and community context.

Learner-centered Delivery

The course facilitators will review all relevant learner documentation prior to the commencement of the each learning programme in order to establish the depth of knowledge of each learner and their particular strengths, weaknesses and needs. The findings will be used by all involved in the programme to ensure that the delivery is learner-Colleged. This will also be addressed through the other policies and procedures of the organization.

Programme Relevancy to the Learners

Programmes will be designed and implemented according to the specific needs of the learners, clients, accreditation and regulatory bodies.

Learner Assessment

Assessment will be conducted in line with the assessment policy (WC.4.05.01.D), using various assessment methods such as written, observation or oral. Learners may be required to compile a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their competence.  Registered assessors will assess the evidence provided by the learner; give feedback to the learners, and record and keep the learners’ record as per requirements of the relevant ETQA. Assessment is a key component of teaching and facilitation and must be well integrated into the process.

The assessment of learners will be conducted in accordance with the assessment policies and procedures and will be performed with the objective of assessing the practical, foundational and reflexive competences of each learner.

Assessment will be subject to moderation to ensure that the fundamental requirements of the assessment principles have been met.

Learner Feedback

Feedback will be given to the learners within the agreed time-frames in a constructive and confidential manner.  Learners that have been found not yet competent will be guided towards the achievement of their competency status.  Learners must be advised of the assessment process as well as their right to appeal.

Learner Needs

Learner’s needs are established and met through the following:

Interaction with learners by the facilitators within groups during delivery of the relevant training programmes

Interaction with learners through the learning, mentoring, assessment and moderation process

Evaluation during the appeal processes

After-care support and monitoring procedures

The information derived from these interactions with learners is conveyed to relevant personnel by means of the various review procedures discussed above. Remedial action within defined time frames is required in terms of the organization’s policy and procedures and will be taken accordingly.

Facilitation preparation and delivery guidance

All trainers/facilitators must go through the process checklist (Annexure 1) when conducting a learning session. Reference must also be made to the policy on Learner Entry and support WC4.04.01. Learners must complete the learning contract and be aware of the Facilitator’s and Assessors’ contracts.

 

Mechanisms and strategies for building teaching practice

The institution gives recognition to the importance of promoting student learning. The teaching and learning strategy is appropriate for the institutional type (as reflected in its mission), mode(s) of delivery and student composition, contains mechanisms to ensure the appropriateness of teaching and learning methods, and makes provision for staff to upgrade their teaching methods. The strategy sets targets, plans for implementation, and mechanisms to monitor progress, evaluate impact and effect improvement

Academic staff members are key to the successful implementation of any teaching and learning strategy. Academic staff must own the strategy and commit to the interventions it proposes. They must ensure that there is an appropriate and relevant curriculum, appropriate assessment tools and student support as well as appropriate monitoring of the strategies.

In line with the Institution’s mission, the Teaching and Learning Strategy will:

Establish priorities in teaching and learning that provide globally competitive students

Promote and improve teaching as a core academic activity that provides quality education which upholds high standards of academic excellence.

Identify achievable short-term improvements and provide the groundwork for longer-term strategies

Assist each lecturer in setting and meeting teaching and learning targets

Participative methods of teaching will be used to ensure that students participate in their own learning.  Lecturers will be responsible for the development and delivery of all class material.  The outcomes for the programme are encapsulated in all modules; therefore each lecturer should ensure that:

The purpose and specified outcomes of the module are made explicit to students

The student’s role and responsibilities are made explicit, e.g. preparation for each class; submission of class activities on time, participation in class activities, etc.

Each contact session is adequately prepared for with regard to: lecture delivery; oral and written tasks for students; use of audio-visual materials; handouts; physical environment; class management; and where applicable, computer-based learning

Where appropriate, a variety of learning activities will take place in contact sessions, e.g.: small-group discussions; short writing exercises

Different styles of learning will be linked to different learning activities

Both independent and co-operative learning will be facilitated

Students’ understanding of the basic elements of discipline-specific academic discourse will be developed

Students will be given an opportunity to actively engage with the lecture and learning materials through, for example, extra questions, checklists, clear outcomes and reviews

The students’ workload will be appropriate for the specified number of notional study hours

There will be regular student consultation times available outside of lecture periods

Feedback on learning tasks is provided

Teaching and modules are regularly evaluated in order to manage and improve teaching.