Step 4: Guide the Participants Along Their Learning Journey

How can you facilitate a genuine learning experience for participants and empower them to act?

As a knowledge exchange guide, your role is to help participants

  • overcome any obstacles they might have in achieving their desired learning outcomes.
  • reflect on and internalize their learning and document their experience.
  • coalesce around action plans to achieve change.

It helps to recognize that participants think and react at different speeds. Some will get it right away and take off running. Some will not. Others will wait and see before making any commitments. Try and find a pace that is acceptable to all, even if it is not perfect for everyone. Discuss possible course corrections with participants whenever possible. If you need to make a change without consulting first, inform participants and other stakeholders of the decision and make sure you have majority support before proceeding too far.

Focus on facilitating an experience that allows participants to

  • plan and prepare for what they will see, learn, and do.
  • try something new.
  • internalize the significance of what they do and reflect on its application in their own contexts.
  • observe, ask questions, share thoughts, and contribute their own experiences.
  • interact with experts, other participants, and new products and approaches.
  • develop a collective understanding with other participants.
  • take action on what they learn.

Check in with participants frequently to determine where they are relative to the change objective, intermediate outcomes, and indicators. You may find that you have to adjust the activities within a knowledge exchange instrument, or even the combination of instruments to ensure that goals are met. You may also have to realign resources and revise timelines.