Modern learning, as we share in the principles of the Learning Cluster Design model, centers on creating meaningful learning assets that surround a learner in their moment of learning need. While the model looks at what can be done to meet learners beyond one-and-done training events, live face-to-face (whether in-person or virtual), can prove to be a valuable and important asset for many people (including L&D professionals) along their learning journey.

With the sudden shift to remote work (and learning) one year ago, many L&D professionals were faced with converting their full-day, in-person L&D programming into virtual learning sessions, and in the midst, tried to “copy and paste” the elements of live, formal classroom environments into their “Zoom rooms.” With this shift also came the loss of one of the most beloved elements of modern learning – social interaction.

When we think of social, we often think of participants interacting with each other, but what if we, as facilitators, were able to engage learners in a way that allowed them to hear from different perspectives, while creating more of a dialogue feel that invites adult learners to participate? That’s where co-facilitation comes in.

A co-facilitation design approach for a learning asset reflects sound LCD model principles:

  • Different facilitators can speak to different personas (see Learn Learner-to-Learner Differences Action)

  • Invites the possibility of more generative dialogue, by moving from a traditional top-down sage on the stage experience to a flatter, shared stage. This can allow the learners to more easily bring their context into the learning and draw connections back to Change On-the-Job Behavior (see Change Action)

  • Inspires including more of the 9 Elements of Modern Learning (shared in the Upgrade Existing Assets Action) through the natural increase of chunking, social learning opportunities, feeling “for me” with two facilitators.

Co-facilitating has many benefits for face-to-face sessions and webinars or other virtual meetings. But without an agreed upon plan, co-facilitation can turn into a live mess. In her most recent ATD article, And Then There Were Two: Co-Facilitation on Webinars, Learning Cluster Design model co-creator Lisa M.D Owens highlights some things to consider before your next co-facilitated training session including:

  • The ideal scenario and flow for seamless co-facilitation

  • Ensuring the learners are put first, no matter what

  • Best ways for the co-facilitators to communicate during the live session, and,

  • Several tips for energetically co-facilitating

What are some ways you’ve seen co-facilitation work? What other considerations should we make when it comes to co-facilitating? Join the conversation here on LinkedIn.