RPL and the Electives

No, this is not the name of a new music group!

What is RPL?

RPL means Recognition of Prior Learning – a method of enabling skilled practitioners in all fields to obtain recognition for those skills acquired prior to starting a course of study or applying for credit transfer. I see a correlation here for our entry into Pathways; or at least I see a missing element that would ease my entry into a specific Path in Pathways.

Here is the official explanation from the  National Training Board in Australia:

Recognition of prior learning is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.

RPL is known in many countries under different names, but ultimately each one provides a method for recognizing competence against a given set of standards, competencies, or learning outcomes.  For a brief description of RPL, visit Wikipedia.

What has this got to do with Pathways?

An RPL process would enable Toastmasters to demonstrate that they are capable of undertaking specific levels in Pathways based on evidence of skills and knowledge gained throughout their previous history of Toastmaster membership.

As a skilled Toastmaster with many years of experience I would have preferred an option for me to immediately apply for RPL in Levels 1 and 2. These two levels are the same in every Path! Although I may breathe new life into the 8 tasks required of me in the Mastering Fundamentals and Learning Your Style, they do not present any new challenges for me. This same scenario is placed before me each time I start a new Path and it does not engage or enthuse me!

Therefore I propose that a process of Recognition of Prior Learning be applied to Levels 1 and 2 to enable a skilled Toastmaster to begin a new Path at Level 3 if they have already met the criteria for the projects in those levels previously, or have already completed one Path.

The RPL process could be built into each Path – providing a much sought after option. The Toastmaster could be presented with the RPL choice at both Level 1 and Level 2 when they access their Path in Base Camp. The RPL could appear as an option in the Transcript and a new RPL Process could be accessed by the Toastmaster by downloading it as a PDF.  The process could involve the ‘verification’ by a Base Camp Manager, just as they do for a completed level.

The outcomes of an RPL process would:

  • increase the enrolment potentials for Pathways by experienced Toastmasters
  • reduce the repetitive nature of speech activities in the club meetings (especially advanced clubs)
  • enhance the engagement and enjoyment of Paths immediately for all Toastmasters

Level UP for the new adventure!

Once I have achieved competence in Mastering Fundamentals (Level 1) and Learning Your Style (Level 2), I believe that the Levels 3-5 in Pathways presents the most attraction and valuable challenges for experienced Toastmasters. This is where the adventure begins! By enabling experienced Toastmasters to Level UP quickly through an RPL process, we would be able to enthuse them to enter Pathways. By alerting experienced Toastmasters to the NEW projects, competencies and opportunities in the Electives, early in their planning process, we would be able to entice them to consider the Pathways journey more pro-actively.

  • Level 3 Increasing Knowledge, is where each Path takes off into different directions and focus.  Level 3 introduces new required projects and offers the choice of 2 Electives.
  • Level 4 Building Skills introduces opportunities to challenge your skills with another required project and provides choices for 1 more elective.
  • Level 5 Demonstrating Expertise provides even greater challenges for your speaking and leadership skills with one or two required projects, as well as one more elective.

Required projects vary according to the objectives of each Path! For instance:

  • in two of the Paths, the project focus on Public Speaking (Presentation Mastery, Engaging Humor)
  • in three of the Paths, the projects focus on Light Leadership (Leadership Development, Motivational Strategies)
  • in three of the Paths, the projects focus on Moderate Leadership (Dynamic Leadership, Strategic Relationships, Team Collaboration)
  • In two of the Paths, the projects focus on Strong Leadership (Effective Coaching, Innovative Planning, Persuasive Influence)

Public Speaking

Presentation Mastery:
Persuasive Speaking, Managing a Difficult Audience, Prepare to Speak Professionally

Engaging Humor:
Know your Sense of Humor, Engage your Audience with Humor, The Power of Humor in an Impromptu Speech, Deliver your Message with Humor

Light Leadership

Leadership Development:
Planning and Implementing, Leading Your Team, Manage Successful Events.

Motivational Strategies:
Understanding Emotional Intelligence, Motivate Others, Team Building

Visionary Communication:
Develop a Communication Plan,  Communicate Change, Develop Your Vision

Moderate Leadership

Dynamic Leadership:
Negotiate the Best Outcome, Manage Change, Lead in any Situation

Strategic Relationships:
Making Connections through Networking, Public Relations Strategies, Leading in your Volunteer Organisation

Team Collaboration:
Successful Collaboration, Motivate Others, Lead in any Situation

Strong Leadership

Effective Coaching:
Reaching Consensus, Improvement through Positive Coaching, High Performance Leadership

Innovative Planning:
Present a Proposal, Manage Projects Successfully,  High Performance Leadership

Persuasive Influence:
Understanding Conflict Resolution, Leading in Difficult Situations, High Performance Leadership

 

Choose Electives Smartly!

The choice of Electives is the fun part of Pathways and will entice greater participation across the broad spectrum of Toastmasters experiences, goals and passions. If Electives are presented to the Toastmaster early in their Pathways planning phase, the Toastmaster can be better prepared. Electives will be the key to the uptake of Pathways in the next phase of its implementation in our clubs – from July 2019 to June 2020.

We need to ‘showcase’ the exciting parts of Pathways and set targets within clubs to reach 100% enrolment in Pathways for all members by June 2020. How can we do that? Breakout the Electives! Make them accessible now!

Note: Did you realise that when you have completed a Path, you have access to all the Online Classes for all Electives when you return to that archived Path in your Transcript. You have them at your finger tips.

Electives can be chosen according to how well the Elective project fits into the goals and themes for their Path. eg a Toastmaster focussing on being a better presenter online may select the electives:  Understanding Vocal Variety, Create a Podcast, and Prepare to Speak Professionally.

These will help fine tune their speaking style for:

    • range of audiences
    • voice recording
    • presenting on the small screen

The Electives are varied in content and purpose and will challenge Toastmasters who are seeking NEW learning in different environments. In some Electives, there are multiple tasks and some request more than one speech. Ensure that you get a full overview of tasks and speeches involved with each, as you plan your Path. eg a Toastmaster who is focussing on building international leadership skills may select these electives:  Make Connections through Networking, Building a Social Media Presence and Ethical Leadership.

These will help fine tune their international image and improve:

    • networking capabilities
    • social media awareness
    • leadership in diverse cultural dimensions

See D73 website for a dynamic set of Paths and Projects: select the one you want and drill down to the summary of each project by clicking on the + sign.

I believe that you can really make your Pathways Education journey more exciting by looking closely at the Electives and planning to include them strategically in your Path. Start planning now!

What are your favourite Electives and why did you choose them?

What did you learn from tailoring your Path to suit your goals and aspirations?

Recommendations:

  1. apply to join the Pathways Discussion Forum for in-depth conversations about all things Pathways
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/pathwaysdiscussionforum/
  2. plan to join the Online Webinar “Motivating Members to Start on Pathways” scheduled for March 30 at 11:30 am AEST (12:30 UTC) in Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/426959509 
    https://www.facebook.com/events/255925301983852/
  3. plan to join the Online Webinar “Pathways Elective Choices” scheduled for April 27 at 7:30 pm AEST (08:30 UTC) – watch for details here: https://d73.toastmasters.org.au/online-education/  https://zoom.us/j/5333799282

Guide on the Side

Are you looking for that essential ‘guide on the side’? A tool that will help you unravel all the mystique of your Pathways Experience, and lead you to a new confidence level in learning online.

Perhaps you’re an independent learner and you want to master your online learning for yourself. Or you are VP Education looking for tools that will help you to guide a new member through Pathways. Then this new Learner Guide will be ideal for you.

d73 pathways learner guide logoThis Learner Guide (Edition 1) is in draft mode throughout March and you are invited to take a sneak peak and give some feedback to the developers at D73 Team Pathways.

Here we uncover the basics for Preparing your Computer, Preparing yourself for Online Learning and taking easy steps in Base Camp. The Learner Guide is sprinkled with Tips on how to help yourself when you are stuck. Later editions will include a Help Desk for Base Camp Managers and Video Tutorials for just-in-time training.

Ten Steps for walking the Path

base camp and learner guide image for blogAdvice for those new members at beginner level or those just starting on Pathways:

  1. Know your goals for short and long term
  2. Choose a Path to match your goals
  3. Review introductory material in the online New Navigator or print version and get familiar with the Toastmasters.org website
  4. Request a mentor or seek help from others 
  5. Prepare your computer or order Printed Path
  6. Prepare yourself and time for learning – master the navigation in Base Camp and access curriculum and learning materials for your Projects
  7. Attend meetings and participate 
  8. Join discussion groups for social collaborative learning (preferably club based)
  9. Plan, prepare, request and deliver speeches 
  10. Focus on self improvement strategies given as feedback from your Evaluator

All these and more are included and expanded in the new D73 Pathways Learner Guide available here!

The Pathways Orientation, Learner Guide and BCM Help Desk will soon be incorporated into the D73 website! For now they are in a dynamic Google site. Your feedback and comments are welcomed.

D73 Team Pathways are supported in this endeavour by our District Trio and the Division Directors across the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Contact the team: pc@d73.toastmasters.org.au

New Member Pathways Kit

Essential PDFs for downloading and storing. Printable copies are recommended for inclusion in your New Member Pathways Kit.

D73 Learner Guide 

D73 Pathways Orientation

Pathways-Companion-Guide-V2

D73 Learner Guide Tips worksheet for training

Personal Eportfolio: Pathways Achievements

 

Pathways Badges

EC badgeVC badgeMentor badgeSR badge

In the Pathways program you receive badges when you reach learning milestones; these are displayed in your Eportfolio in Base Camp. I recently completed another Path and went looking for the new badge. That’s great – I can now share these badges in my Personal Eportfolio.

This WordPress blog is my preferred site for my Eportfolio to showcase and reflect on my Pathways achievements. You will notice that a new Page has been added to my Blog site designated as my Pathways Eportfolio.

Following on from my previous post, I am recommending a few easy steps to creating your own Pathways Eportfolio. If you want a more in depth learning opportunity you can visit the EPCOP google site, the Eportfolio Community of Practice Learn Space, one of my projects from long ago.

Planning your Pathways Eportfolio

 

Step 1: Determine where you wish to share your Pathways achievements

For instance you may have your own blog site, website or social media presence. The choice will depend on who you wish to share with and how interactive you want to be with your viewers.

  • If I post to a Blog, like this one, viewers can leave a comment. I can choose to approve its publication to the site and to reply to the poster.
  • If I post to a website like this old Eportfolio from the past, then there is no interaction enabled or expected, its just there.
  • If I post to my social media presence, such as my Timeline in Facebook or my Account in LinkedIn, the format is somewhat limited but I can get more networking.

What I recommend is that you create a separate Page in your Blog and invite your followers to view it from a Blog post like this one. The linking process is made simple in WordPress by enabling you to link to any other part of the Blog site from a drop down list. Most Blog platforms provide you with the ability to create Pages and provide lessons on how to do it. Please visit my Pathways Eporfolio page here.

Note: If you don’t have a Blog site you may wish to try out the Google Sites as the tool for constructing your Pathways Eportfolio in easy steps. There are many online video tutorials on how to set up Google Sites, available in YouTube. This recent video tutorial from TeacherCast, provides a great introduction to creating a Google Site.

Step 2: Determine how you wish to add the content about Pathways

If you follow a Reflective Practice process this task becomes quite straightforward.  If you have already prepared and delivered the Reflect on Your Path project you can use the outline of that for your content.

  • Describe the Path and its objectives – add your reasons for choosing the Path
  • List the Electives you chose and why – the level of detail here is up to you
  • Provide a list of the outcomes of your projects – the tangible evidence of your work
  • Analyse the impact of lessons learned from your experiences – provide thoughts on Evaluations
  • Give a brief conclusion about your experiences – synthesize what you could have done differently
  • Describe your forward plans – helps to articulate your next steps in Pathways

Step 3: Determine the most appropriate and convenient times for sharing your Pathways Eportfolio

Step 4: Revisit your Pathways Eportfolio and add more reflections as your progress.

 

Reflect on your Path

This week I have been reflecting on my progress in my third Path and unpacking what I have learned and achieved. My overall perception of my growth as a Public Speaker and a Leader has definitely changed in the 14 months I have been working in Pathways. Changed for the better!

Pathways has provided me with a welcome challenge to my personal and professional development. I now understand the Pathways framework!

My understanding of the ‘Why Toastmasters?’ question has improved and deepened – there is so much more to achievements than just completing a manual of speeches, a suite of projects in a Level or a number of roles in a meeting. Now I am much more focused on my long term goals and how to select a Path that will help me achieve them. Now I know how to plan ahead and select elective projects to fit my short term goals. Now I am a much more knowledgeable and skilled mentor after completing the Pathways Mentor Program.

I have completed Effective Coaching and Visionary Communication and almost finished with Strategic Relationships. My next Path, Team Collaboration, is already selected and I have begun to request my speeches for projects in Levels 1 and 2 with my clubs. Meanwhile I have scoped my approach to my Pathways Distinguished Toastmasters program and will be working on that during 2019.

This week I am looking back over my achievements and experiences in those Paths and preparing my final speech for Strategic Relationships.

Toastmasters like me, who reach Level 5 in their Paths, need to prepare for the final project Reflect on Your Path, as the final requirement for Path completion.
reflect on path purpose

  • What are your strategies for engaging your audience in this final 10-12 minute speech?
  • How will you summarize the skills you have learned and developed?
  • Why should you consider the process of reflecting on your growth during the completion of an entire Path?

reflecting on learning experience

I like this quote from John Dewey for its relevance to us as we reach this part of our journey in a Path.

Thinking back on the 14 projects that you have completed in the Path is essential in preparing for the Reflect on your Path project.

But what do you do after that? How do you share your reflections with an audience?

Reflective Practice

I recommend a simple Reflective Practice process to prepare for this project! This process is based on the Gibbs Reflective Cycle model.

reflective practice

  1. What happened?
    • Describe what happened during your Path:
      • who did you involve
      • where did you give speeches
      • what did you learn from the projects
  2. Thoughts
    • Self-awareness:
      • what did you feel
      • how did others around you feel
      • how do you feel about the outcomes of projects
  3. Evaluation
    • Consider your feedback:
      • what went well and not so well, in your speeches, from others’ perspectives
      • what was good and not so good about your own experiences
      • what feedback have you been able to incorporate into other projects
  4. Analysis
    • What is your learning viewpoint:
      • break down your Path into the levels and consider each one separately
      • ask new questions to dig deeper and make sense of your progress
  5. Conclusion
    • Synthesis:
      • explore what you could have done differently
      • define new strategies or directions
  6. Action Plan
    • Implement your learning:
      • consider what you will do for the next Path
      • consider how you will share your reflections with others in your club

At the end of this process you will have a speech outline for Reflect on Your Path. Plus you will have become a Reflective Practitioner.

reflective practitioner Someone who:

  • Takes the time to step back and make sense of what was done and why
  • Tries to understand the (often implicit) ‘theories of change’ that guide actions
  • Is not afraid to challenge assumptions – both their own and those of others.

Are you a Reflective Practitioner?

How will you share your reflections in Reflect on your Path?

In my next post, I will show you how to create your own Reflective Practice Eportfolio!

eportfolio for reflection on pathways

Track Pathways Progress in easy-Speak

Are you looking for an easy method of tracking your own Pathways Progress as a club member? Are you a VPE seeking an easy method of tracking the ‘actual’ Pathways project completion for your members? Consider easy-Speak.

I am an easy-Speak user and advocate for its use for Club Management. I like easy-Speak even more since a recent upgrade was made to its functionality. Now we have the Pathways Chart! Thanks to Malcolm Warden and team!

If you are an easy-Speak user, you can access the new Pathways Chart from the Club Charts option in This Club on the main menu.

pathways chart in easy speak

Above is a screen capture of a Pathways Chart from my club where the VPE can see progress being made by all members, at a glance.

This new service makes it super easy to verify completions of actual speech deliveries in your club. The green ticks indicate speeches completed at club meetings, dark green for earlier events and lighter green for more recent events. Each green tick is clickable for tracking back to the actual meeting where that speech was completed. Note: you may need to visit the meeting agenda to see which Pathways project it refers to.

Each member’s enrolled Paths are shown as clickable links in the final column. Each one will display a complete list of speeches and projects completed for that Path, showing  titles, dates and Evaluators. Here is a glimpse of one of mine! (Note: I can now mark this Workbook Complete.)

path project progress in easy speak

Now that is a smart way to manage Pathways from within the easy-Speak site for my club(s).

Are you considering using easy-Speak to manage your club?

Join the easy-Speak Toastmasters Community to get support from other users and champions at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/easy.speak.community/

Note: you can sign up to request a mentor or to be a mentor in the Mentorship program in this community.

 

Lessons Learned: something old, something new

My journey as a Base Camp Manager has been a reasonably easy one, so far! Not many of the members of clubs I support have completed levels yet. A few have been steaming ahead and providing incentives to others, so I do expect that my work as BCM will ramp up in 2019. I need to add a little more learning for me!

What’s your journey been like so far as a BCM? (Feel free to comment below or join in with wider discussion forums in social media eg Region 12 Base Camp Managers or Pathways Discussion Forum)

Brick walls: something old

A few of the ‘brick walls’ I had encountered as a novice BCM have now been opened up. As I check the Member Progress for my club members currently enrolled in a Path, I realize a couple of really important strategies.

  1. When I enter Base Camp as a BCM and select the club, I know that I can search for individuals and view their progress in their Transcript. Note: I cannot change anything, however, I do get a birds eye view of their projects: completed, activated or pending. I now use a screen capture process to store these as I work with individual proteges.
    (Note: this is an example from my Visionary Communications Transcript. Click on the image to expand the view.)
    Taming your technology BCM
  2. If the club member is completing their Path in Print format, they can perform a few tasks online. Including viewing details of each project and seeing their progress. I need to help that process along by verifying their progress, project by project.
    transcript for print viewMy recent strategy to help these members is to also provide a simple word document for them to view all projects and to track their own progress. View and download template below.
    Speech Schedule Planner Template for Print Path
  3. The process I was not sure of was how to record completions of a member doing a Path in Print Format. I kept going around in circles trying to work out how. After checking the Video Tutorial in this BCM resource I realised that this member’s name was NOT appearing in the Team list. (Puzzling about that I posted a link to this morning’s version of this blog and Roger Fung, DTM, suggested that it could be that the person was in multiple clubs and had not logged in as a member of the club I supported.)
    Therefore, what I needed to do, was ask them to login as a member of the specific club I am supporting. Then I could also click View Details in their Transcript and verify any completions.

level completion for Print Path

PS: Roger Fung also provides these tips for you:

1–only one BCM can log in at a time. The latest login will knock out the person who is logged in.

2–a BCM can approve their own level completion.

 

I am learning to allow sufficient time for the process of checking Member Progress. Today that was a painfully slow process as Cornerstone On Demand was creaking along at a snail pace.

Toastmasters Navigator: something new

Now that I have read the recent Club News Leader Letter from Toastmasters.org I am encouraged to see some improvements that have taken place on the website. In particular, this page has been added to help new Toastmasters access details about the Pathways Education process and download their own copy of the Navigator as a PDF. And this can be easily accessed on smart phones and tablets. (Note: you do need to login to see the new Toastmasters Navigator page.)

I plan to reference that page for new Toastmasters who have recently joined my clubs.

How do you plan to make use of the online version of Toastmasters Navigator?

Share your Pathways Stories with others!

Points to Ponder: accessing records in Pathways!

Annual Pathways Achievements: comparisons in your District

Okay things are ramping up a little at your club and more of your long time members are getting into their Pathways projects! Congratulations that means that something is working well in your Pathways implementation strategies. You are also experiencing an upsurge of new members who are eagerly jumping into their Path too. Wow, you are on a roll!

How do I know this? I took some statistics from the George Marshall’s Tools site here and filtered to show Pathways Level completions for the current year for my District 73. Results showed 170 level completions for this year – way to go D73. I filtered the results further to show the clubs in alphabetic order and discovered some outstanding results for several clubs in Central and Metropolitan Divisions. It was also great to see several achievements for clubs in our regional locations.

Note: I need to tell my own clubs about this! Perhaps my Area Director will want to know these details before the end of November!

You can also used the Dashboards Toastmasters website to locate, filter and display ALL awards earned by your club members. This report can be further filtered by name of member, club name or division or area name.

Note: some names are not displayed here as members have chosen to hide them for privacy reasons. If you need an explanation of the Education Awards you can access here.

Impact for your Distinguished Club Program

Have you presented the DCP facts for Pathways for your club members? Let them know that as the club members complete their levels they can help their club accumulate points towards being a distinguished club. 

For instance to earn Pathways points for achievements, a club needs 4 level one completions, 2 level two completions, (can earn an extra point for 2 more level two completions) 2 level three completions, 1 level four completion and 1 level five completion. To find out exactly how your club is tracking on DCP points go to http://dashboards.toastmasters.org and use the filtering tools to display results for your district, division, area or club.

I was curious about the Online Clubs and how they were tracking, so I used the filters to obtain these results:

Online Clubs showing strong growth in club membership
Firebirds Collective Nov 2018 – strong Level Completions for Pathways

Note: if you are not sure how to use the Dashboards at Toastmasters try this guide.

VPE Drills down to access Individual Progress in Pathways!

Now let’s get to the next exciting part of exploring your club Pathways  progress – one individual Toastmaster at a time.

As a Base Camp Manager you can login to Base Camp in Pathways and explore the progress for individuals – gaining access to their Transcripts. This is achieved by selecting the Member Progress icon from your BCM landing page.

Note: make sure that you choose the Home Club you are exploring if you have access to more than one club.

Carole’s login as BCM

From here you can search for the member’s name in the search box and then select the Transcript to view.

Carole’s view from Base Camp

Once you have clicked on the Transcript for your member you will see the Path in the Transcript. Click the title of the Path to view a full list of the projects with a display of those completed and in progress.

Carole’s view of a member’s progress

Are you prepared?

are you preparedWhen you plan for a trip away, these are the usual steps you take:

  1. know your destination
  2. collect your tickets
  3. pack essentials
  4. add to your Trip Plan
  5. check everything

Can you successfully plan ahead for your Projects?

When you get deeper into Pathways you will need to plan ahead! There are usually 10-11 required projects and 3 electives to complete – a total of 14 to 15 speeches.

26806739-hand-writing-the-word-destination-on-black-chalkboardKnow your Destination:

Depending on your goal, you may be considering the delivery of at least 2 speeches per month per club. Your projects are mapped out for you in your Transcript (click on the Path title to see them all) and you will need to know which ones are required and which ones are electives.

ticketsCollect your Tickets:

At levels 3, 4 and 5 your choice of electives provide a wide array of tasks and goals to improve your skills in speaking and leading. Keep in mind that the speeches are the culmination of your learning in each elective project, and that there may be more than one speech required. Choose those electives that best support and complement your goals.

pack your filesPack Essentials:

Include in your folders the downloadable project resources for each level. eg Launch your project, go to the Evaluations page and collect the resources from that page. You’ll need a copy of the project itself; the evaluation resources and any other diary and calendar

Add to your Trip Plan:

Consult your diary or calendar and map out the dates you have available for:

  • a) planning your project
  • b) preparing your speech
  • c) delivering your speech.

Collaborate with your VP Education and request your speeches at each club in a timely way. Allow sufficient time to repeat the speech if you wish to work on incorporating the feedback soon after.

Note: if you are in multiple clubs, plan to be courteous and offer a level completion for their Distinguished Club Program (DCP) points in return for opportunities to deliver a speech.

Is that all?

Nope! The final thing to do is ‘check everything’!

  • Have you informed your VP Education when you want to deliver a speech?
    • (check speech schedules in your club management system)
  • Have you collected all downloadable files from your project?
    • (check Transcript in Base Camp and match with files in folders)
  • Have you incorporated all new learning into your project speech(s)?
    • (review Online Classes in Base Camp and prepare a speech outline)
  • Have you outlined your speech to match the purpose statement on the Evaluation Resource?
    • (check Evaluation Resources from Evaluations in Base Camp and let your Evaluator know what you’d like feedback on)
  • Finally, set aside some time after your speech delivery to return to your Transcript and complete the Assess Skills After in the Project.

Note: The Assess Your Skills After triggers the next project to become available.

Note: At the end of a level, once again, return to Transcript and complete the steps for Level Completion.

Consult these shared resources to help you in planning ahead and being prepared:
1. Paths, Levels and Electives Spreadsheet

  • Spreadsheet outlining all required projects and electives

2. How to Succeed in Your Path

  • a previous blog post of mine

Three short video tutorials from Coach Carole

3. Accessing Evaluation Resources

4. Accessing Level Completion Certificates

5. View your Pathways Progress at Toastmasters.org

 

 

 

 

What do you need the most?

Preparing for the D73 Club Leadership Training workshop this week, I was reminded that for many of the members in our district, their steps into Pathways have been tentative. Our region 12 rolled out Pathways in December 2017 and as our clubs started up again after our summer holidays, we have had only 9 months to focus on Pathways.

region 12 stats

Almost 48% adoption rate in June after just six months was a reasonable result across a Region. I suspect that in nine months District 73 would have reached over 50% adoption rate across our Divisions.

Clubs are tracking reasonably well in the completion of levels and the list of awards for various Paths and this will continue to increase as we integrate Pathways effectively. There appears to be pockets of leadership in those clubs where there has been specific focus on getting members involved and where they have a few ‘early adopters’ as champions to mentor them.

How are the clubs in your District progressing in their selected Paths?

As new and existing Toastmasters take up the challenge to select a Path and begin their journey into Levels 1 and 2, there are frequent requests for help. Recently I polled the membership for some ideas on what they wanted most to help them get started and gain momentum in their projects.

These are the top choices from our D73 Toastmasters: 

  1. Where to go to find help
  2. How to plan speeches ahead of time
  3. How to see all projects in your Path
  4. How to complete a project level

Where to go to find help!

The first group needs to address are the New Members. You will need a New Member Pathways Kit! What should we include in this? Various ideas are being explored in our clubs and these three components are gaining in popularity:

  1. Club Brochure – including details of meeting venue and dates; meeting roles and an overview of educational Paths available.
  2. Navigator – copies of Pages 9 – 15 to provided a deeper description of the Toastmasters Pathways experience
  3. Application to join – a customized form, provides a new Toastmaster with the costs involved.

The second group needs to address are the Existing Members during the Transition phase. You will need a Pathways Program Success Pack! What would you include in this? In my opinion these are the basic tools for members who want to see the requirements of each level in one page. The following ‘guides’ are perfect for your self-directed learners:

  1. Pathways Mentor Program – Guide
  2. Mastering Fundamentals – Guide to Pathways Level 1
  3. Learning Your Style – Guide to Pathways Level 2
  4. Increasing Knowledge – Guide to Pathways Level 3
  5. Building Skills – Guide to Pathways Level 4
  6. Demonstrating Expertise – Guide to Pathways Level 5

Want all of this in one pack? Access a copy of this Companion Guide.

Pathways Companion Guide

Therefore the answer to the question, ‘where to go find help’ is utilise the D73 Website and develop your own New Member Pathways Kit and the Pathways Program Success Pack.

Our latest method of providing help across our clubs in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, is the D73 Team Pathways. We are continuing to explore methods of providing help to individuals and clubs. You will find our help pages in the Online Education segment.

How to plan speeches ahead of time?

In the traditional program we were able to view all projects in our printed manuals and plan ahead for the speeches we wanted to deliver. In Pathways, once you have completed one Path, you have a fair idea of what is coming up in each level of your next Path. To help plan ahead use the full descriptions of projects displayed in the shared interactive documents accessible from many different District websites. For example try accessing details of each project in your Path from the D73 Pathways pages.

paths and project d73

How to see all projects in your Path?

Here’s how to do that from your Transcript in Base Camp! Select the title of the Path instead of the Open Curriculum icon. You will then see all projects and note those you’ve completed! Here’s mine from one Path.

projects in a path in base camp

This is a great tool to keep you on track, and having it available in your Transcript means that you can plan ahead.

How to complete a project level!

This has proven to be the biggest obstacle for beginner users of Base Camp – there are some unfriendly aspects of the way the Learning Management System (LMS) operates for Pathways. Cornerstone-on-Demand (LMS) has some ‘painpoints’ that cause frustrations and prevent the novice user from moving forward with confidence.

Note: once the user understands the need to locate the popup window for the Online Class and complete the Assess Your Skills After, they can move ahead easily!

There are Video Tutorials available in the library at Base Camp to help with this process. However, many have asked for separate short video tutorials to be made available outside of Base Camp. This has lead to a plethora of ‘home grown’ video resources from many Districts.

You will find the best of these at the D7 Toastmasters Virtual Academy in YouTube. Here is one from that Playlist that will ‘help you get that red check mark on your level completions’!

Once you’ve viewed that video you may want to view this one of mine which focuses on “How to access your Level Completion Certificates:.

level completion certificates

Pathways Conversations with Julie: Week 2

Pathways Conversations week 2

Dear Julie,

My best memory as a Pathways Guide is of the growth of networking opportunities within and across districts in Australia. We started small with social media groups just for the guides in D70 and D73 – this enabled us to gain valuable social learning with our peers. Then we branched out with a Region 12 Guides and Ambassadors group – in this one we could share further afield from the southern most state of Australia (Tasmania) to the northern most state of Queensland and talk with guides from the west coast in Perth through to South Australia and the east coast states of New South Wales and Victoria.

region 12 FB group

My best memory of a Path is a feeling of pride and elation when that first Path was completed. I had selected Effective Coaching as my first Path, and as you know, it requires a High Performance Leadership project to complete Level 5. Once I had completed all the requirements of the HPL – the project itself (six months of work), the guidance committee and steering committee 360 degree evaluations, and the paper work (well the online clicks in my Transcript), I was able to view my Proficiency Certificate. That was a very proud moment!

certificate of proficiency EC

My best memory of a project was the Write a Compelling Blog! I was eager to tackle this one early and I knew more or less what I had to do even in January when I was still on Level 1. So with a little bit of guidance and help from you I began my series of blog posts on the ‘Pathways Treader’ – a hero’s journey, describing what it felt like to be a Pathways Guide. If I had my time over again I would not have tried to do this in the last 8 days of the month – that was a stretch for me during the summer months in Australia. Once I got started the whole process inspired me to continue, not just 8 posts/chapters but 12 in all.
pathways treader chapter 12

Link to Chapter 12

Pathways Guide Memories

The best memories of the role did not really eventuate until I took on the role of leading a small team of Online Pathways Guides (OPGs) who volunteered their time and energy to supporting the clubs in District U. By then I was more confident with Base Camp and so were the teams – we were in much better shape to help clubs across the world! The network of online Toastmasters was the gene pool from which these OPGs were recruited. Many were immersed in online clubs and/or had been involved as Pathways Guides or Ambassadors in their own districts.

In hindsight, I saw my first efforts as a Pathways Guide for D70 and D73 as the real training ground for what we did next – connecting with Toastmasters in different geographic regions of the world and providing them with the stepping stones to success with Pathways.

As in any leadership learning experience we have been able to implement the lessons learned from previous support strategies and blend them into a new model for providing guidance and mentoring services for the 30+ OPGs. We learned from our early mistakes and polished our skills to a new brightness. One thing I recall as being extremely complex was the task of matching the OPGs with the clubs in District U according to compatible time zones. That task alone took several days of work and my mind was in a spin looking at club meeting times, locations of the OPGs, their languages and any need for French or Spanish speaking guides.

Note: it became crucial to know what club meeting times were in UTC terms so that we could calculate for our own time zones. My best friend was the World Clock Time and Date Conversion site and my computer date and time for current times across the world.

time zones

Dear Readers,

This was my call to action in Chapter 12 of my early posts and it is still the most asked question of me as a Pathways Coordinator. What would you suggest?

comment keyCall to Action

Here is where I need your help!

Please leave a comment below with some ideas on personalizing the support for individual clubs and members in ‘on boarding’ into Pathways.

Next week, Julie and I are looking for your suggestions on what questions we could ask of each other for our Friday blog posts. Look for those in the Toastmasters Pathways Discussion Forum.