The purpose of this learning circle was to help a group of 14 evaluators selected by AEA to learn how to use Learning Circles as a form of professional development in their community. We formed three circles and hopefully in a year or so they will have links to their learning circles to share what they have learned.
Phase 1: Getting Ready . Getting Ready involves have a set of objectives for the overall learning circle. You will need to have a plan for who will be in the learning circle, and how you will recruit the participants. You will need to have some print materials but these will come later. We are developing them as a group. And for the participants you will need an opening letter that will help them know how to join in on opening day. So, in short, Getting Ready involves planning for how you will recruit the circle partners and setting the stage for their interaction.
P1: Discussion Forum
October 1-30: AEA identified a group of 10-15 researchers who will
participate in Learning Circles. Riel and Purrington create the Google
site for supporting the face to face and online sessions.
Phase 2: Opening the Circles Opening the Circle focuses on group formation and cohesion. The goal is to create a level of trust and a norm of reciprocity.
P2: Discussion Forum
November 1-15: The Learning Circle begins with a two-day workshop offered in conjunction
with the Annual Meetings of the AEA on Nov 3-4. The participants begin with
an exercise that is designed to help the participants develop an understanding
of one another and to support them in their building of trust.
To do: Create an opening activity and post it on your learning Circle Circle site under
Learning Circle opening Activities
Phase 3: Planning Projects Project Planning requires each participant to describe the project or task that he or she sponsors within the group.
Phase 3 discussion Forum
November 15-29: Planning for Learning Circles—What group? What goals? What tasks?
SKYPE: Nov 21 -Synchronous Session: Discussing the tasks
To do: Looking back to phase one, create a plan or template for your learning circle.
LEARNING CIRCLE PLAN (use or modify Jennifer's template )
Participants: Who you plan to work with
Major Objectives: What do you want to accomplish
Learning Circle Theme: Write a few pages on why this them is so important
(This is your where you dust off you skill in writing a persuasive essay)
Modes of Communication: How frequent for how long?
The Completed Project/Presentations: (or presentation, or website, or other ....)
Timeline of events:
It would be good to have this completed by Dec 3
December 1-13: Content and Structure of Learning Circles
SKYPE Dec 4 Synchronous Session: Planning the task
To do: Start to brainstorm the projects that your learning circle might be doing. You can do this
by proposing an activity idea to the group and see what they think of the activity. Would it be
something that they would want to do? Why or why not?
Dec 15 - Jan 4: Holiday Break
To do: Remember that you have family that love and need you for the next two weeks (smile). Make Santa real by giving without recognition. Give something to someone in such a way that the only explanation is that Santa did it. No credit, give freely and Santa have the credit for your act of kindness.
January 5-18: Developing the Plan on the Google Sites
To do: Pick one of the sample projects you will propose in your circle, the one you are most interested in and are likely to sponsor and ask the people in your circle to join you in doing the project.
SKYPE Jan 8 Synchronous Session for all three circles: Mastering the technology
Conference call for whole group Jan 15 10am
Phase 4 Exchanging work on projects Exchanging Work on Projects constitutes the major part of the process.
January 19-31: Participants will share and discuss their partners’ designs for learning circle. They will each think of examples of projects that would fit in the theme of the learning circle.
February 1-15: Experimenting with the projects
SKYPE - Feb 5 Synchronous Session: Refining the projects and considering time constraints
February 16 - 28: Reflection on the process of conducting the projects--midpoint evaluation
SKYPE - Feb 19 Synchronous Session: What are common issues across the project?
March 1-15: Reflection on the process of conducting the projects
SKYPE - Mar 5 Synchronous Session: What are common issues across the project?
March 16- 31: Evaluating the evaluation projects
SKYPE Mar 19 Synchronous Session: Evaluation of the Projects
Conference call for whole group Mar 19 10am
Phase 5 Organizing the Exhibition of Circle Work Organizing the Results and exhibition of work on projects.
Focus on the development of the google site. Movement from this wiki to ones that each person creates.
April 1-15: Share the Learning Circle Plans on the course wiki
SKYPE - Apr 9 Synchronous Session: Web Presentations and the use of gagets
Phase 6 Closing the Circle Closing the Circle provides time for final reflections on the process.
Evaluation researchers will review and revise a Learning Circle survey to assess the Learning Circle experience. The closing of the circle will consistent of planning for the meetings at AERA. For some researchers, this will meeting will also be the first face-to-face session of their new Learning Circles.
April 15-30: Design the Learning Circle Evaluation Survey
Skype April 23: Circle Debrief and Plans for the Phase 2
May 1-15: Discuss plans for Phase 2
SKYPE - May 7 Synchronous Session: ending the circle with reflections on the process
Conference call for whole group TBA
There will be two forms of evaluation. At the midpoint the participants will be asked to complete a self evaluation indicating their sense of their level of participation and their assessment of the value of the Circle experience. The participants will, as part of their design for Learning Circles, create an evaluation survey for use in Track 2.