This page last updated April 18, 2011




The role of the facilitator is to help members of the group to learn, and to contribute to the learning of others. Facilitators’ responsibilities include:

•  Following the principles of self-directed peer learning.
•  Coordinating the activities of the workshop group in developing plans for topics of study and presentations.
•  Fostering high standards of presentation and discussion, encouraging every member to participate.
•  Maintaining attendance records and making announcements as requested.
•  Contacting members who miss two or more sessions to determine if they will be returning and invite members from the waiting list to join the workshop if vacancies occur.
•  Providing feedback to the Curriculum Committee about the activities of the workshop.
•  Identifying potential facilitators.


The Academy offers diversified workshops based on the concept of self-directed peer learning with an emphasis on presentation-based workshops. The following criteria are used by the Curriculum Committee to select new workshops that will be recommended to the Board:

The workshop proposal
            •  provides an opportunity for self-directed peer learning through presentations and discussion.
            •  provides the scholarly content and intellectual challenge suitable for the experience and maturity of Academy members.
            •  is of a calibre consistent with our University setting.
            •  encourages active participation and interaction among members.
            •  has a suitable facilitator available who has been a member of the Academy for at least one term.
            •  is likely to attract at least eight participants.


Prior to First Meeting:  A list of workshop enrollees will be provided by the Membership Committee in July. Send a welcoming letter or e-mail to the members of the workshop containing preliminary suggestions for presentation topics and schedule, background information and reference resources. This may be supplemented by a follow-up phone call.

First meeting: Welcome members, particularly those who are new to the Academy (marked ‘N’ on the class list) and ask them to introduce themselves. Discuss the agenda for the coming year, including presentation topics and format, participation, background reading, learning aspirations, and other relevant matters. Involve members in planning the topics to be studied and in developing a schedule of presentations.

Self-directed peer learning: Peer learning requires participation by the members in making presentations and taking part in the discussions. Provide members with guidelines for selecting a topic and doing the necessary research to prepare a focused presentation. Emphasize the amount of time allotted for the presentation, leaving ample time for discussion.  Presentations are intended to promote discussion, and proposing provocative questions is helpful. Encourage all members to participate.

Aids for presentations: Copies of Guidelines for Presentations are available in the workshop file boxes or on the website. Outside speakers (See Guest Speakers below) and visits to galleries and museums should be used judiciously. Ensure that the distribution of any handouts does not interfere with presentations.

Audio-visual Aids/Equipment: Ensure that you or a member of the workshop knows how to use the A-V equipment; the Academy does not have any technical support on call.  The Curriculum Committee puts on workshops for those who wish to learn how to use the A-V equipment.

Research sources: Remind members of the research resources available, such as libraries, museums and galleries, relevant societies, organizations and reliable websites on the internet.

Preparing for the next session:  At the close of a session, remind members of the topics to be discussed at the next session. Encourage presenters to prepare an outline or list of relevant reading material ahead of time so that the group will be prepared to participate in the discussions. 

End the session promptly: Workshops should terminate at least five minutes before the hour to allow the room to be cleared promptly so that the next workshop may start on time.

Bulletin Boards and Mail Boxes: Alert members to the Academy bulletin boards in the student lounge and Rooms 1 and 5 for notices of special events and other information of interest to members.  There is a mailbox in each classroom that may be used for internal mail.

Administrative Tasks: Ensure that all members are familiar with the routine administrative tasks and ask a member of the group to act as a helper.  Each workshop has its own file that is kept in the file box in the classroom.  Each file includes:

•  Class lists:  To be distributed to members at the first meeting.
  Name cards:  Have members make name cards to stand on the table in front of them. Names should be printed with a marker on both sides of the card.
  Attendance sheets:  Circulate the sheet at each session so that members can record their attendance and indicate expected absences. 
  Waiting Lists:  If members drop out, contact people on the waiting list and invite them to join the workshop.
  Announcements: Make announcements to the group, as requested from time to time by Board or Committee members.                               

Facilitators’ Calendar

Mid-July Receive class list from Membership Committee and send out welcoming letter to attendees.
Third week in September Fall semester begins.
November Workshop evaluations.
December Fall semester ends.
Third week in January Winter semester begins.
February Deadline for Workshop proposal/facilitator biography submissions to Curriculum committee.
March/April Facilitators’ Forum
March/April New Workshop Schedule distributed.
Second week in May Academy Calendar distributed.
First week in June Registration applications processed.
June Annual General Meeting