'tis the season for student staff training. Last week I had a chance to spend an hour with the returning residence student staff on their first day of training. The returning student staff experience is different. These staff have experience, more advanced skills and they expect more. Harnessing these factors can kick start community development and enhance the experience of other students, especially new student staff.
To help guide the session I created this presentation using Prezi. My approach was to expand the traditional view of education to include a more holistic view. From their past involvement returners can appreciate that education is more than books and classrooms. Acknowledging this at the outset formed a foundation for our hour together and identifies what the returners already know or feel.
Making meaning of their past experience and outlining future actions was the goal in the second part. The seven skills identified by Tilling & Fadel in 21st Century Skills, which they call the seven C's, provides this structure. Using some reflection and discussion time gave the returners an opportunity to map their experience to the 7 C's model so the returners could recognize areas of strength and areas needing development.
This year marks 20 years since I started university. To help relate to the returners I shared some pictures and yearbooks from my time as a student staff member in the session. Fortunately, I did not hear too many chuckles ;-) Weaving my story into the session gave me a chance to apply personal examples to the model and show how one path, of a former returner, has played out.