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Action learning in Laos

DW Akademie trainer Daniel Hirschler sends this report from a workshop in Laos.

action learning

Action learning scenario

As a trainer, I like working with what I call “action learning settings”. This basically means designing the workshop in a way that learning happens in a good mix of experiencing something and then talking about it and reflecting upon the experience.

Workshop designs are like recipes for cooking: It’s not just the amount of the ingredients that counts, it’s also their quality. And as with any recipe, things can work out perfectly, but they can also go terribly wrong. So for a trainer, going into an action learning workshop can be fraught with tension. Will things work out? What if they don’t…?

Date

2012-05-16

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Creating confidence in the classroom

Active acquisition of knowledge to solve concrete challenges creates confidence. And that’s something you need when you have to teach journalism to a classroom full of young Laotian twentysomethings, as do the instructors at the National University of Laos (NUOL).

These instructors are currently students themselves: they’re taking part in journalism teachers’ training and coaching, which is organized in partnership with DW-AKADEMIE’s Asia team.

At a workshop in December we reviewed some of the progress made so far. “I have more confidence in teaching these subjects now,” said one of the younger colleagues. Others agreed.

One senior lecturer brought along a revamped version of a project the training participants had created the previous September – a newspaper made from scratch. It was a showcase item at NUOL’s 15th anniversary celebration in November.

The instructors-in-training had put tremendous effort into producing it, and that has really paid off in their daily work. Here’s why:

Date

2012-01-27

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Using an “axis of importance” diagram to evaluate sources

 
By Daniel Hirschler
When I look at training journalists – or as is the case at the National University of Laos (NUOL) in Vientiane – training journalism teachers, I try to focus on the basics: What makes a journalist a journalist? And what is it that he or she has to contribute to creating “added value” in the information chain?

 

Out of one workshop at NUOL came a good tool that fits perfectly into that quest. It’s a diagram that helps journalists evaluate their sources (see photo at left, click to enlarge).

Date

2011-04-12

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