Workshop Symposia

The Art and Science of Facilitation: Shifting the Teacher Learner Paradigm (W031)

Kerry Knickle (Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto); Nancy McNaughton (Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto)

Facilitation for small group teaching is becoming an important and desirable skill for the educator repertoire. The transition from lecture hall to small group process is more challenging than many assumed; not necessarily an easily transferable skill. The facilitation process requires strong communication skills and an integrated awareness of personal and professional dynamics. Modeling effective communication and delivery of meaningful feedback is crucial for learning. Each teaching challenge spawns an opportunity to acquire a toolbox of more nuanced skills to share between learner and facilitator, resulting in a satisfying reciprocal process.

The principles of adult learning situate the learner as an autonomous thinker with individual perceptions and world view, motivated to engage in theoretical and practical learning.

Intended Outcomes

This interactive session provides health care educators an opportunity to explore the challenges of small group teaching.

Participants will:

  • Compare and discuss the challenging learner issues.
  • Review a useful facilitation model and debrief techniques
  • Facilitate and engage in a simulated teaching session to maximize group learning (Part ll)
  • Actively engage in group problem solving exercises.(Part ll)


  • Integrating experiential learning principles with facilitation and debriefing practice
  • Interactive exercises which promote reflection and exchange of ideas
  • Voluntary participation and facilitated feedback in a collegial environment
  • Question and answer opportunities

Workshop Level

This two hour workshop (Part 1 and ll) is for professional practitioners, faculty and educators interested in developing facilitation debriefing and techniques for diverse educational challenges associated with small groups teaching.