• Becca, Learning Wayfinder

One-off events - what about Learning Objectives?

It's events season! Are you dusting off your pop up banners and getting new leaflets printed? Many of us will be heading out to have stalls and/or activities at events such as big public events, topic-specific conferences, or our own organisations' events. The Scottish Learning Group met to talk about 'how to do one-off events' and found that we were mostly concerned with the issue of learning objectives at events. Here are our top 5 tips for what to think about regarding Learning Objectives at your next event, whether you use them in that context already or not.

how the magic happens! Beccy holding up the concept map she scribed
This is how the magic happens! Beccy holding up the concept map she scribed

1. When writing/thinking about Learning Objectives, remember, Learning Objectives are not what learners are going to do, but what they're going to learn.

Learning Point: see here for a fuller definition on EduTechWiki (there's an EduTechWiki? Why has nobody ever pointed this out before?).

2. Do Learning Objectives matter? Or is it ok if people, especially kids, just head along to have fun at your stall?

'They should matter!' we cried. But then we discussed how stalls are often about more than informal learning: often we're there to generate publicity for our organisations, and this is including getting new members, and keeping existing ones, by showing your collective fabulousness. Which brings us to:

3. Who writes them?

We realised that it is marketing and learning who decide what is being shown or put on as an activity at a stall/event. So the learning objectives may not be shared by both groups.

4. How can you make it into a learning opportunity?

You might feel that you have to do an activity for activity's sake - can you take the activity further to make it 'learning'? We think that they key between how do you do both - fun and/or learn? - is to provide choice at your event. Maybe schedule a set of activities that show a journey through authentic tasks within a discipline, but then have 'fun', drop in style activities out all day separate to this. Keeping the scheduled activities cordoned off but in sight will show make it more reverent when learners are allowed in!

Learning points: just go ahead and write your own Learning Objectives, to focus your own mind on what the audience will be learning.

questions - events and learning
thinking about it...we put together more questions that answers, but it's good to think of the big questions in learning!

5. When putting together your objectives, don't forget health and wellbeing objectives and soft skills such as:

-eye contact

-(learners) thinking for yourself

-finding answers by looking at evidence, including asking resident 'experts'

-gaining confidence by doing learning in a variety of settings

...all of these can be the real Learning Objectives behind your event, even the for the 'fun' bits.

See you at the next event.


Becca, Learning Wayfinder