Help me transform, even online

 

In this post, I am going to talk about transformational learning and ways to provide that online.

But first, I want to introduce you to a person who helps others transform and make deep, Cindie_Chavez_cropped_v2meaningful shifts in their lives. Cindie Chavez is an intuitive life and relationship coach … also, known as the Love & Magic Coach.

Cindie listens on every level of her being to help others heal their broken heart. She works closely with clients, holds learning circles (aka workshops and courses), and offers her wise words in written materials. She is magic!

Helping others online

Like many coaches working deeply with others, Cindie taught in person. She led others through her specific healing method, which was supported by group interactions, questioning, and selected materials presented on a whiteboard.

Her next step was to place her workshop online to reach a wider group of people needing this service, and proceeded with a guided recording. Though clients were inspired by this DIY approach, it didn’t feel right to Cindie, so instead she decided to facilitate it online in a live setting.

Her unique delivery format

I was delighted to hear how Cindie presented her teachings in that it was effective, efficient and connected so well with her pupils at a distance. Here was her delivery model:

  • Weekend workshop only to teach a process and tools learners can use the rest of their lives
  • One-hour live call with the following agenda
    1. First 5 minutes, telling a bit about her story, and how it developed her process
    2. Next 15 minutes, defining some terms they would be using and giving an overview of the process (used worksheet #1 for this part)
    3. Leading participants in a short 5 minute meditation to get them relaxed, focused, and grounded
    4. Next 30 minutes, leading them step by step through the actual process using their own circumstances and thoughts (used worksheet #2 for this part)
    5. Last 5 minutes to recap and provide hints & tips plus encourage them to join the private Facebook group where they could continue to meet live throughout the following week to deal with their questions, stories, struggles, and of course – BIG Celebrations!!

It’s the 3rd step that was brilliant! After all the cognitive work of meeting others, and listening/visualizing/interpreting the healing process, a meditation would help bring each person to a deeper place within themselves where real work could be done.

Another interesting approach was during the one-hour live call there was no interaction with participants, which might lend towards a pre-recorded course in the future

As well, it such a short workshop with high impact showing we don’t always need long courses to teach people essential strategies to better their lives.

How my course helped her

Cindie worked through my former course, Bottle Your Wisdom E-Course, and found some gems to her already designed course. She plans to revisit my course on sound and effective e-course strategies for her next learning development.

Some instructional design strategies Cindie found very helpful for her course design were:

  • Considering people have different learning styles. My suggestions on how to use a range of multimedia and learning activities to satisfy learners made Cindie realize she needed to get her learners to read, write, listen and feel
  • Taking time to reiterate what was taught, because concepts and steps are new to learners, gave her the idea to ensure they had a clear understanding at critical points
  • Being redundant with content is not a bad thing as Cindie realized learners need ways to support their mastery of a topic/idea/strategy. As experts, we sometimes forget how to teach the basics though that is what people need (vs teaching advanced training)

I was tickled pink that Cindie picked up from me how to truly provide a learning journey that helps and inspires students… even online.

Facilitating transformational learning

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Transformational learning is a theory of deep learning that is so personal it can be an emotional, difficult and life changing experience. It is not for all teachers or students.

This theory is tied to the notion of making meaning. Or, understanding how we develop meaning we place on our world, in turn, formed by our culture, context, upbringing, religion and experiences.

Jack Mezirow was the foundational thinker of the transformational learning process, and many have drawn on his work as with Canadian scholar, Dr. Patricia Cranston (who just passed away at age 54!).

As outlined in this article, Mezirow suggests three themes associated with transformational learning in the classroom are:

  • Experience: start with the past and current experiences of the learner
  • Critical reflection: question one’s point of view (POV)
  • Rational discourse: listen to other POVs, and share one’s evolving views and struggles

As stated in this article, Mezirow suggests transformations come about due to one of four ways:

  1. Understanding one’s existing frames of reference
  2. Learning new frames of reference through self-reflection and others
  3. Transforming points of view using supportive methods
  4. Transforming habits of the mind through pure intention

Transformational learning online

Regardless of where you facilitate transformational learning there must be a SAFE and TRUSTING environment. People need to know that they can express their POV where it will not be judged or corrected.

  • A safe learning environment also allows one to be open to other ideas, if they are genuinely shared and not preached about.

It probably will get EMOTIONAL, so plans need to be prepared on how to handle or intervene to ensure a sense of safety and trust prevails.

  • If you are going to teach like this, you need to be able to deal with it
  • As well, perhaps not intervening, but allowing the situation to diffuse naturally, is one approach (I’ve seen Dr. Patricia Cranston choose this way in an emotional situation in her class)

Develop POIGNANT, HONEST QUESTIONS that help learners hold a mirror to their face, and experience critical self-reflection.

  • Couple this with a process on how learners can effectively connect with themselves and perform deep work

Cindie provided so much of these transformational learning strategies in her online workshop that I am certain her learners felt safe, moved and engaged in miraculous work.

Check out her testimonials – that is what they are saying.

  • Eve February 1, 2016, 6:52 pm

    Kelly, as always you have given us shining gems to consider as we work through developing courses. I’m a theory junkie so this one particularly inspired me!

    Reply
    • Kelly Edmonds February 4, 2016, 10:21 am

      Thank you, Eve! I am hoping it helps those who want a deeper ‘why’ to learning design work :0)

  • S. Brooke Bailey February 19, 2016, 1:12 pm

    Thank you for providing a simple outline of elements that support transformation. While I felt all of this rolling around in my head before, having it laid out in a way that relates to teaching is so helpful!

    Reply
    • Kelly Edmonds February 23, 2016, 6:27 pm

      Wonderful to hear and glad it gave you a framework, Brooke!

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