I'm not completely sure why, but I connect well with and remember things better in threes. I think it started with collecting objects/props in threes - as activity equipment and juggling tools.
This model (repurposed a bit) comes from the book, Teaching Online: A Practical Guide (3rd ed.) by Susan Ko and Steve Rossen (I'm interested in teaching online - especially, learning how to create continuing education online courses for adventure educators). In one of the initial chapters the authors tell us that when teaching online you must continuously review your course design and content, reflect on the effectiveness of the design and content (Is it doing what you want it to do?), and revise the design and content if it's not working for you or your students.
I realized right away that this is a nice processing model as well. In my simple world I see processing as a noun - it is a time when the facilitator and participants get together to create a space for talking about recent events. During these spaces we use 'verbs' to consider the impacts of the events:
Review - participants simply state what they remember about the current event. I like to ask, "If we were watching a video of the last activity tell me what you would see and hear." Or, "What do you remember seeing and hearing during the last activity?" (Trying to leave out opinion at this stage.) (Note: Roger Greenaway uses the term "reviewing" as the noun for bringing participants together to talk. Check out his comprehensive Reviewing Website on the topic.) Then we can....
Reflect - Here we think and talk about the meaning of what was seen or heard (in most cases, talking about 'events' that are connected to the outcomes programmed for the group). Topics can be participant generated or facilitator generated depending on the kind of program you are working:
Revise - After reflecting we can think and talk about how we might want to change - add behaviors that are missing and try to reduce/eliminate behaviors that are not useful:
This basic approach is not completely novel - it's another version of a large body of work on processing. It's fairly synonymous with the, What? So What? Now What? approach (future OTB blog post). These 3-Rs might be, to some, a clearer way to approach a processing session.
What other "simple" models have you used for processing? Please leave us a Comment below.
The original intent of Ko & Rossen is to use the 3-Rs an an evaluation tool for online courses. This applies just as well to evaluating a team building program. Use this model after a program to process with co-facilitators or personally if you just finished a solo lead. It's a 'process' of data collection that can inform your practice and help you learn and grow.
As always, we'd love to know what you think. Leave us a Comment.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an educator, author and trainer. His passion is helping team builders learn and grow.