BIG PICTURE LEARNING

By WiT, Feb 27 2014 04:01PM

First posted April 2013 - John Mitchell


For many years now we have used big picture storytelling to help individuals, teams and organisations share and make sense of their learning journeys, and used learning histories to explore and understand organisations and change processes through the personal stories of participants across the process. We have recently started combining these two approaches to form a learning and evaluation process that is quick, engaging and highly interactive, and which produces rich and complex, but still very clear and practical learning outcomes.


The process can be used to surface and share learning from a wide variety of different projects, including:


*organisational change processes and programmes


*community programmes


*learning programmes


*building projects


*arts projects


*post occupancy evaluation


It is a fast process, normally involving a half day, highly interactive workshop with the people who have been involved in the project or programme. This workshop could involve anything from the small team of people directly involved in implementing the project, through to the multiple perspectives of an extended group of people involved in and affected by the project. While the process remains the same, the focus is adapted to explore the most important learning outcomes for the client.


It gives participants the opportunity to reflect on their own learning journey, and tell and share their story, and then weaves together the different stories towards a shared common sense and understanding of the collective journey.


The tangible product is a highly accessible written report, in the form of a mini learning history, with clearly identified themes, personal narratives of participants, and a commentary to contextualise these themes and the learning they suggest for this and future projects. Of equal, or possibly greater importance, are the reflective learning, the relationships, connections, shared sense making and improved communications across and beyond the teams involved through the interactive workshop process



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