Easing Content Experts into Collaborative Learning

Few content experts are skilled in designing and facilitating learning experiences so they default to familiar and safe formats like panel sessions when speaking for their associations.    

To overcome this weakness, many associations offer content experts basic training in good education design for live, virtual or blended learning experiences. Some associations also rely on their education staffers or consultants to coach selected content experts, especially for technical or professional courses that will be repeated or available in an online curriculum.

If you want to help your content experts become more comfortable with facilitating collaborative learning, here are some simple tactics you might consider:

  • Explain different learning designs in a basic how-to guide. Recommend innovative formats that have worked for your members.
  • Make it easy to set up conference calls for co-presenters to plan a session together.  Encourage talking in advance about how to achieve learning outcomes.
  • Give participants an upfront voice in defining their learning needs.  Use online registration and social media to make it easy for participants to give this guidance to content experts in advance. 
  • Designate one or two people as learning advocates in every experience.  Empowering someone to actively represent the learning needs of the group reminds everyone they are in control of what happens in collaborative learning.
  • Celebrate and recognize content experts for amazing learning experiences. Set them up as role models for others to emulate.
  • Work with selected content experts who can help create a tipping point toward collaborative learning. Start with a few people who will innovate and influence others to change.
  • Check out these practical tips on how to turn experts into great teachers.

Your content experts know they stand on the shoulders of other experts. By helping them become facilitators of collaborative learning, you also help them stand shoulder-to-shoulder with others to grow and revise the knowledge in their field