Turning a classroom into a discussion room: tips for interactive health policy and systems teaching
2014, 2015 and now 2016. This year marks the third anniversary of CHEPSAA’s open access courses Introduction to Complex Health Systems and Introduction to Health Policy and Systems Research and their teaching as part of the Winter School of the School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. These courses are complemented by Introduction to Health Policy Analysis, which has been running for much longer.
These courses are known for their active facilitation and interactive discussions and exercises, which are key to creating a stimulating environment and successful adult learning. As Khoti Gausi, a 2015 Winter School participant, said - the classroom should perhaps be called a discussion room.
Given the importance of this aspect of course delivery, and to coincide with the June/July teaching of all the CHEPSAA open access courses, we have asked young, up-and-coming health policy and systems educators from the CHEPSAA network for their “top tips” on how to stimulate and manage meaningful interactivity in teaching.
If you would like to dig deeper into the topic of facilitation, there are some great resources on the blog You Learn Something New Every Day, which has a series of articles on facilitation. These articles go beyond facilitation in the classroom context, but contain many points of reflection and practical strategies directly relevant to stimulating and managing active and interactive learning. These include the link between our personalities and styles and our facilitation approach, ways of building confidence in one's abilities as a facilitator, strategies for selecting appropriate facilitation methodologies and ways of thinking about the correct level of intervention in group activities: