Assessing one’s own learning achievements and competencesLearning to learnSkill to choose and use assessment and self- assessment tools and to derive learning achievements from this.

How to self-evaluate your own learning?

The work as a trainer offers lots of learning opportunities. It would be a shame not to use this as a source of learning. The best opportunities for personal performance and improvement of a trainer usually happen when something does not go well, provided that these opportunities are used for learning. Solution-focused scaling questions help to make the most of these learning opportunities.

Why did I choose this tool?

I find scaling and minimizing/maximizing techniques extremely helpful in personal development. These techniques are easy to use and the outcomes are very clear. What is most important, those tools don’t consume much time.

How does this apply to being a trainer?

It happens that trainers rarely evaluate their performance regularly and strategically. One of the most popular techniques supporting trainer’s development technique is participants’ feedback, and very often that is the only technique used. We hope that after this article, you will be motivated to work a bit more on your own performance as a reflective learner.

Content:

Have you ever tried to maximize or minimize your own learning experience just by changing your attitude or physical condition?

Let’s look at our work as a trainer. Which elements of everyday work on a seminar/training could minimize your learning performance as a trainer?

Try to identify 3 of them:

1._______________

2._______________

3._______________

For example: tiredness, bad health condition, having too much work parallel to the training, negative attitude towards evaluation with participants, fear of not being good enough, etc.

Which elements of everyday work on a seminar/training could maximize your learning experience as a trainer?

Try to identify 3 of them:

1._______________

2._______________

3._______________

For example: regular evaluation with participants, reflective approach of a trainer (using different reflection tools), supervision, openness for unexpected learning, etc.

I guess it is unquestionable that the challenges which you are currently facing at your job as a trainer provide opportunities for improving your own performance as a trainer and learner.

What do you think?

Yes?    No?  

According to Dr. Peter Szabó there are three major factors to consider when looking for positive change in your work situation:

  1. Your vision—what do you want to achieve as a trainer?
  2. Design of the first step—how precise are you in describing that?
  3. Belief in success—to which extend do you believe it would be possible to accomplish your vision?

Scaling is a very easy tool, intuitive, and solution oriented for immediate implementation.

The most common scales in professional development are: progress scales and confident scales.

Excercise 1:

Progress Scale:

Reality – where are you now?

On a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 means maximum achievement and 0 none:

To what extent do you take advantage of learning opportunities in your job as a trainer?

Mark this point by X on a scale. What is X? What does it mean? Describe it.

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Advantage of learning opportunities in your trainers job

 

Your potential – what have you already done?

What accounts for the difference between your answer and 0? Describe the difference?

What do you do to support this learning?

Good enough:

On the same scale, where would you like things to be? Which point between 10 and X would be good enough for you?

Mark this point on a scale as Y. What is Y? What does it mean? What would you do differently as a consequence of having reached that level?

One step higher:

Suppose time goes by and you move on the same scale one step higher, direction Y (X+1).

What is the difference between X and X+1?

How does the first step in direction X+1 look like? What other steps can you take?

What can you do directly after reading this article?

Who could support you?

Find universal qualities:

– Reflect on the same scale more than once (at least 3 times). Compare your answers describing the same point on the scale. Underline the repeating information in every description. This way you will find universal qualities for your development.

Confident Scale:

How confident are you that you will accomplish the next small step towards your goal?

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
How confident are you?

What could strengthen your confidence?

___________________________________________________________

Exercise 2

You are invited to try out progressive scales. 

STEP 1. Reality – where are you now?

On a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 means maximum achievement and 0 none, mark to what extent do you take advantage of learning opportunities in your trainer’s job? 

Mark this point by X on a scale. What is X? What does it mean? Describe it. 

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Advantage of learning opportunities in your trainer’s job

Your potential – what have you already done?

What accounts for the difference between your answer and 0? Describe the difference.

What do you do to support this learning?

STEP 2. Good enough:

Let’s assume that number 10 on the scale is a perfect situation. It is a situation that can be very difficult to achieve, so difficult that it discourages any action. Consider what the goal would be good enough, the goal that is much more realistic and motivating to take action.

On the same scale, mark where would you like things to be? Which point between 10 and X would be good enough for you?

Mark this point on a scale as Y. What it is Y? What does it mean? What would you do differently as a consequence of having reached that level?

STEP 3. One step higher:

Suppose time goes by and you move on the same scale one step higher, direction Y (X+1).

What is a difference between X and X+1? 

How does the first step in direction X+1 look like? What other steps can you take?

What can you do directly after reading this article?

Who could support you?

STEP 4.Find universal qualities:

– Reflect the same scale more than once (3 times). Compare your answers describing the same point on the scale. Underline the repeating information in every description. This way you will find universal qualities for your development. 

STEP 5. Confident Scale:

How confident are you that you will accomplish the next small step towards your goal?

Mark honestly how much you believe that your plan has a chance to be fulfilled?

10 means: “I’m absolutely sure/convinced”, 0 means – it makes absolutely no sense, its impossible.

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
How confident are you?

What could strengthen your confidence? 

___________________________________________________________

Exercise 3.

Try to reflect on your performance as a trainer and identify elements which are minimizing or maximizing your learning experiences.

What is minimizing my learning experience as a trainer? How can I reduce these elements? What is maximizing my learning experience as a trainer? How can I strengthen those elements?

Reflection questions:

  1. What do you think about the minimizing and maximizing elements of your own learning?
  2. What would you like to change in your learning strategy as a trainer?
  3. How useful are scales for you?
  4. Have you designed your own scale?

Author of the article: Dagna Gmitrowicz

Dagna Gmitrowicz – a senior trainer in the field of nonformal education, conducting international/national training and facilitating conferences since 2001. Creator of innovative educational tools and curriculum – Academy of Nonformal Education (PAJP), TOSCA training cycle, learning cycle in BECC Bridge to Cultural Centres, Colours and Needs cards, and many more. Member of several international trainers’ pools (It’s up to Me, TOSCA, European Solidarity Corp Polish NA pool and other). The member of the International Society for Self-Directed Learning after giving a lecture during SSDL Symposium 2020 in USA/Florida. Dagna Gmitrowicz is also a professional painter, and performer actively participating in a cultural scene in Germany and Poland, actively supporting cultural events and projects.
Website: www.dagna.space
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dagnagmitrowicz/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dagna.space
TOY profile: https://www.salto-youth.net/tools/toy/dagna-gmitrowicz.1048/
Click here to read more about Dagna Gmitrowicz

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Scaling for Coaches: 10 minutes for performance and learning Dr. Peter Szabó, MCC is founder and director of Weiterbildungsforum Basel, the largest coaching school in Switzerland.Maximizing/Minimizing the value of a learning experience, Training for Change

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