We Are Peers
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We Are Peers

WAP experience at emlyon on the first day of school

I remember when I was still a student and launched the first teacherless course at school. We were only 30 then.Today we’ re 1500

DIANE LENNE

WAP founder

WAP stands for “We Are Peers. Diane Lenne (WAP founder), launched the first teacherless course at emlyon BS in 2016, during my first year attending the school. The aim was and still remains for participants to come and teach their peers. Whether it be on a passion or a special knowledge, everyone undergoes the same process. Today, WAP replicates the process to work with firms and larger audiences.

For this special #backtoschool event, Diane was actually crash-testing a new WAP format. She created a peer-to-peer learning platform, matching people based on their interests into teaching teams. This new WAP paves the way to more meaningful conversations, lively group sessions and passionate teaching. This new concept oddly reminded me of the previously mentioned braindate experience developed by E180 (developed in my C2 experience feedback here).

And what would be a good event without a little irony? Many facilitators were also emlyon’s alumni, which gave this event another dimension of #backtoschool.

WAP SPACE

With peer-to-peer learning, teachers and students equally participate — all the more since teachers become students afterwards and vice-versa. Since there is no “top-down” knowledge sharing, but rather debates, activities and lots of interactions, the “teaching” space is designed accordingly.

THE EVENT

The event could be summed up in a word: overwhelming. Even though we faced some technical problems, the 1 500 students created 200 + courses overall, and 40 of them were taught.

To perform on a bigger scale we had to crash-test on a bigger scale.

DIANE LENNE — WAP founder

WAP OF IT?*

I loved how transparent the WAP team remained through the event, whether everything was going on perfectly, or not. I was actually surprised by the (co) facilitating team diversity — many staff members from emlyon came to support the initiative, which represented well the WAP spirit. It also gave everybody a live view of what students can achieve through peer-to-peer learning, at the same time as students discovered the high and lows of teaching.

On the other hand, I regret seeing how little the school included international students in designing these two-days.

*bad pun intended

CLOSING THE LOOP

After facilitating an amphitheater of executive AccorHotels’ lawyers in early 2018 and other teams at various events at thecamp, I thought the exercise would be a piece of cake. I realized quickly that not only is it always easier said than done, it’s also different to facilitate firm collaborators and students. I found that sharing that “student experience” with the crowd actually changed my facilitation perception in that particular context.

This leads me backs to the initial question:

BEING A FACILITATOR / MANAGER,
IS IT REALLY ALIKE?

Both situations taught me that if facilitation is a must-have skill for a manager, its definition slightly differs from the workshop designer’s / facilitator’s. Facilitating a team in management might mean you’re guaranteeing everything goes right form brief to delivery — as a scrum master might -, or that you can lead a meeting successfully from A to Z.

For a workshop designer / animator, facilitation means guiding participants through all the steps designed for them to go from point A to point B. To me, the divergence lies in the HOW we achieve something versus WHAT we achieve. A facilitator provides a given team with methodologies, frameworks, and a plethora of other tools to help them walk through their issues towards finding solutions. He focuses primarily on a process. On the other part, a manager is more result-oriented, focusing on WHAT we do in the end.

Design thinking has become a buzzword but is still often being practised designer-less… I wonder if the soft-skill boom will lead facilitation down the same path. If so, I trust the emergence of multi-disciplininary and collaborative methodologies will help the gap bridge over time.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let’s discuss!

Originally published at apolline.xyz

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News about peer learning and learning innovations. We help people in organizations to connect to their peers and learn from each other.

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Apolline Rigaut

Curious mind passionate about education, design and entrepreneurship 🐋