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Liz Beaty Coventry University

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1 Liz Beaty Coventry University
Using Action Learning Sets for Continuing Professional Development 1

2 Action Learning: a definition
“Action Learning is a continuous process of learning and reflection that happens with the support of a group or ‘set’ of colleagues working with real problems with the aim of getting things done.” Ian McGill and Liz Beaty Action Learning: a guide. Revised 2nd edition London, Kogan Page (2001)

3 Values of action learning
Voluntary nature of the set A positive approach to life Reflection is the key to learning from experience The Presenter is the expert on her issue Support and Challenge Empathy Empowerment Quality of attention Trust and confidentiality.

4 Action Learning: reflective cycle
Experience Action Planning Reflection Making sense 3

5 Development Development of technical skill
Development of professional approach Development of reflective practice

6 How does a set work Each individual has time for presenting an issue
Set members offer support, and challenge through open questioning Individual action planning Reporting back on learning Reflection and review of outcomes.

7 Roles within the set Presenter Present the problem
Listen to support and challenge Action Plan Control the focus of discussion

8 Roles within the set Supporters Empathise Support and Challenge
Recognise underlying issues Leave room for reflection Support action planning

9 Roles within the set Facilitator : Control the process
Create a learning climate Timing and flow Supporting the development of set culture Review the process

10 Why use action learning?
Development of reflective practice Group process provides support Learning from own issues and those of others Linking theory to practice Problem solving

11 Skills developed through action learning
Listening and questioning Giving and receiving feedback Reflective practice action planning linking theory to practice Recognition of different teaching styles, values and approaches. Interpersonal and facilitation skills Empathy.

12 Example of an action learning programme
2 day induction workshop includes introduction to A.L. Monthly action learning set meetings 3 hours in groups of 6 with tutor Workshops Various topics 4/5 each term Portfolio assessment mapped against SEDA/ILT requirements

13 Examples of issues brought to the action learning set
What to wear in lecturers to be comfortable but not look like a student? How to cope with being given too much work and not feeling wanting to appear unequal to the job? Why do some seminar groups work well while others do not? What to put in the portfolio?

14 Development : - Confidence Competence Control

15 Other uses for action learning
Diploma / MA Research Management development Any work-based programme Student placements Part time students Continuing Professional Development

16 Core qualities of the facilitator
To balance the needs of individual set members and maintenance needs of the set Unconditional positive regard (Rogers) Empathic understanding

17 Facilitation Issues Being a facilitator and a tutor
Support and assessment Confidentiality Dealing with cynicism and negativity Within set issues

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