Preparation - Facilitation Tips

For CCC participants with low literacy and numeracy and/or ESL the CCC program uses simple, concise language. There is a deliberate, constant effort to keep readability as high as possible.

To present core concepts as simply as possible, we recommend using the presentation function in Workshops 1-3 and Resources and Upgrades. Access it from the slideshow button at the top right of these pages.

However some workshops may still require the assistance of a translator or additional support workers. Once again your partner organisation is best suited to identify and help with these needs.

Each workshop has a different set of challenges, but can be broadly separated into:

Physical - fine motor skills, spacial problem-solving, concentration, patience and dexterity

Conceptual - Overcoming fears and doubts regarding technology, technical concepts and jargon, unfamiliar interfaces and the command line.

The level of physical challenge for participants dictates the pace of the early workshops. Generally speaking as a trainer, you should only progress as quickly as the slowest participant. This means it is vital to keep track of who is doing what when, and not be afraid to call on fast participants to slow down a little.

For example, if a couple of participants are racing ahead, ask them to assist with getting other participants up to speed. This is really important in Workshop 01, or any time there is an act of sabotage. With enough time and assistance, we aim for all participants to be able to get through workshops 01 and 02 with their interest maintained and in good temper.

When a participant breaks a component for the first time in a workshop series, seize the moment to re-assure them that spares are available,and congratulate them on being the first participant to really own their computer…they just have to fix it!

Finally, don't expect to be able to fix every fault with your participants' computers. The most extreme forms of breakage are;

  • CPU socket damage - if you see a CPU socket with broken pins, then it is proper broken - grab new motherboard.
  • SATA port or Cable destruction - resulting from jamming or pulling cables forcefully at an angle.
  • Motherboard PSU socket crack or breakage - results from inserting rotated PSU connectors.

If you see this kind of breakage, grab a component from one of the spare computers -either the 'Oracle' the 'ccc-facilitator-pc'

Which brings us to the re-enforcing of physical learning through sabotage. During set-up for later workshops facilitators are prompted to sabotage participants' computers. The idea is simple. Break the computers, then challenge the participants to fix their computer and help others to do the same. This process is a vital part of the CCC program. Nothing builds computer hardware confidence like having to fix your own computer over and over again.

When dealing with physical challenges we can see where participants hands are going, what they are having trouble with and assist or guide their actions. Conceptual difficulties are different. Using a command line, source code and repositories are all complex subjects. Abstracting them is hard, providing a simple explanation even harder, particularly when you may have recently started out with these ideas yourself. Here are a few tips on getting through.

Before the workshops begin - Remember - check with your partnering organisation if there are any participants who have identified as low literacy or numeracy.

1.Sometime in Workshop 03 and later, every participant will need their commands checked and re-checked. This is totally normal, and fine, it's part of learning the strict syntax required to interface with a computer in this way. Take the time to step through each line with each participant if need be.

2. Patience is the key to working through this stage, and there is no substitute for the experience of failure, then success once a problem is recognized, and worked around or fixed. You can also expect some participants to jump ahead, or go off track.

3. If a participant or group is finding a concept too difficult, or a task too challenging, use the GUI to find a simpler work around, or simply help them skip that section.

Remember, these workshops are yours to customise as you see fit.

4. As a facilitator you will lead where appropriate, but aim to let natural problem solving skills come to the fore, and help develop partnerships between participants and whole group co-operation.

5. Each workshop series will develop its own dynamic, and your job is to make the technical challenges in delivery invisible, or where appropriate, really obvious!

Don't be afraid to fail, fail publicly and ask for help from your participants. And if you get called out for making a mistake, own that mistake, and take the chance to let your participants take the lead.

To ease your way into the workshops you can start with asking your participants' names and some simple questions like:

  • How did your find out about CCC?
  • Why are you interested in CCC?
  • Do you have a computer at home?
  • What would you like to use your computer for?

You will start to get an idea about the skills and interests of your participants.

Begin asking questions early and often. The purpose is to get participants involved in a dialogue that can be guided towards trouble-shooting and problem solving later on, asking really obvious questions at the start helps build toward this.

Taking breaks is vital to the CCC experience. Its the key keeping focus and making time to do a little sabotage. You will be prompted in the workshops to do so but if you feel the workshop is getting a little ragged, with participants (or yourself!) getting tired; take a break. A good rule of thumb is 45 minutes is

  • ttt/preparation_03
  • by Andrei Maberley