The ”Learning Meeting” and Simple Techniques for Participant Involvement
The ”Learning Meeting” and Simple Techniques
for Participant Involvement
Ib Ravn and Nina Tange Learning Lab Denmark, Danish School of Edcuation, Aarhus University, www.dpu.dk/fv
MPI PEC-NA, Houston, TX, USA Feb. 3, 2008
1. The Professional Conference: Problems
The way it is
One-way presentations Most people are two-way
and listen Use it or lose it
Q and A ”See me!” ”I’m clever, too!”
Panels Congestion on One-way Street
Networking? You’re on your own!
2. The Empty-Container Model of Learning
3. Learning as Human Co-Flourishing
People have potentials, interests, projects. They want to flourish
They go to conferences
to get inspired by others
The conference as a forum for learning, mutual inspiration and human co-flourishing
4. Design Principles for a Learning Meeting
5. The Design Principles (for your own reading)
. Fewer, shorter, more provocative.
. There must be processes that help participants actively relate what they hear to their own experience. Time to digest, think and talk.
. There must be opportunities in pairs and small groups for people to talk about the personal interests and projects that brought them to the conference in the first place.
and knowledge sharing
. Facilitated activities that help participants discover each other as resources.
. The facilitator must create a safe and trusting learning atmosphere where people will want to go along with the new learning processes.
6. Research into the Learning Meeting
Learning Lab Denmark with Radisson SAS, Nyborg Strand, Odense Congress Center, Hotel Legoland and Danske Bank
18 months. Funded by
Danish Ministry of Economics
30 meetings and conferences (100-300 people)
Corporate, association, professional education
We redesigned the program with meeting planners and coached meeting facilitators
Observations and measures of subjective outcomes
7. Learning Techniques Tested
: Break it in two. Do it as an interview.
: Mini-dialogue. The constructive opening question. Silent reflection. Question cards. The speaker’s cornered.
: Participants direct the speaker. Two consultants, free of charge. Participant construction.
: Meet people. Six-person tables. Find a new seat. A networking lunch.
8. Research Results
changes proved possible
But they made a
Generally, 60-70% of participants were satisfied
5-10% were dissatisfied: “The professional movie theater”
Meeting planners and
hosts were highly satisfied
Mini-meetings almost always successful
The facilitator must be attentive, trustworthy and persuasive
Progression and variation
Kinds of folks that like learning processes…
Cultural factors: Danish egalitarianism!!
9. Question for Your Consideration
What inspired you in the presentation?
Think in silence for a minute
the person sitting next to you
10. Learning Techniques Used
Meet people: Mingle to create a friendly learning space (56)
Divorce your colleague: Everyone makes an effort with a stranger (58)
Short presentation, or break it in two: Enhances attention (64)
Constructive opening question: What inspired you in the presentation?
Silent reflection: Jot down your thoughts (70)
Mini-dialog: Share with your neighbor (72)
Sample the answers: Produces inspiration and energy (76)
Speaker’s cornered: Q & A in the lobby minimizes irrelevance (80)
How to use today’s input + First steps: Learning and action (86)
11. Task for Triads
How can I use this in my own work?
Help each other decide on a couple of first steps
Think for a minute
Present and get feedback; all of you (taps on glass)
on Learning Meetings
Steen Elsborg and Ib Ravn:
Learning Meetings and Conferences in Practice
. People’s Press, Copenhagen, 2007, 92 pp.
Ib Ravn and Steen Elsborg:
Creating Learning at Conferences Through Participant Involvement
(paper with research results, www.dpu.dk/om/ibr, click Publications)
The Learning Meeting Module: Web-supported tool for meeting planners, with facilitator’s manuscript and individualized learning cards for participants (www.ims.dk)
Ib Ravn: The Learning Conference, journal article (www.dpu.dk/om/ibr)
The Learning Meeting
, brief magazine article (www.bbt.be/Library/guest/guests012006.cfm, a magazine article)
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