New Liberating Structures resource available

Tami Saj
New Liberating Structures resource available

Liberating Structures are a collection of structured activities that actively engage participants. Often applied in organizations wishing to grow and change, they are increasingly being used in courses. Two quotes from the Liberating Structures website offer some of the reasons that people are excited about learning to use them:

"Liberating Structures start with something so simple and essential as not to seem worth doing and end with something so powerful and profound that it hardly seems possible."

"Liberating Structures introduce tiny shifts in the way we meet, plan, decide and relate to one another. They put the innovative power once reserved for experts only in hands of everyone."

Thirty faculty and several Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies staff engaged enthusiastically in a full day Active Learning with Liberating Structures workshop on Dec. 1. The workshop, requested by several faculty and facilitated by a combination of Royal Roads faculty, CTET and BCcampus, was an energizing and enjoyable day. We had fun AND we talked about some important topics related to teaching.

Participants shared recent teaching successes and challenges, devised “Wicked Questions” (questions that highlight contradictory states or truths) and offered bold ideas for faculty development. See a sample of the Wicked Questions, below.

  • How can we respect and honor each student’s unique history while indigenizing/decolonizing?
  • How do we teach leadership and allow students to lead?
  • How do we remain an expert in a rapidly changing field?
  • How do we teach global content through western perspectives?
  • How can we frame content for all when it lacks cultural relevance for all?
  • How do we deliver all content and allow for spontaneous/teachable moments?
  • How can we teach innovation and allow “failure” (fail forward)?

We have posted a Moodle site, available to all, with Liberating Structures resources: OER-Active Learning with Liberating Structures. You’ll find links to the Liberating Structures website, video clips from Doug Hamilton, an experienced Liberating Structures user, examples of online use and more. Check out Doug’s comments about the energy levels associated with Liberating Structures or his advice for facilitators.