Halo In Conversation with Jenny Theolin
A new generation of learning is emerging and people are questioning and rethinking what good education looks like. Learning and teaching aren’t linear things, and seeing it as a one way feed has long held back the possibilities of creative education. Learning is an experience - for both the student and the teacher.
Most people will in their life be responsible for teaching someone something - even if they don’t consider themselves a teacher as they do so. This could be anything from taking care of an intern to facilitating a workshop. This can seem scary for many, as we’re put in a position where we feel we need to prove something. We’re meant to be the expert - what if I don’t live up to the expectations?
Jenny's journey from design to learning.
We sat down with Jenny Theolin, a passionate Learning Experience Designer with experience working with students at university, to working professionals in suits and ties. Starting off as a graphic designer in London, Jenny’s career took a turn when her body suddenly broke down and long hours of designing were no longer possible. She’s since then been a driver for change in the learning and facilitation industry and inspired many to push outside of their comfort zone in order to grow.
What makes a good learning experience designer.
The secret to teaching and facilitating isn’t in what you do - it’s in those around you. As the person leading a group, it’s essential to realise that it’s not about you, but how you encourage, challenge and elevate the people who you are facilitating. In our chat with Jenny we talk about what makes a good learning experience designer, the idea of cultivating psychological safety, and how you should dare to be yourself.
"Being a facilitator is not about you, at all." – Jenny Theolin
Learning is messy.
We don’t always see the forest for the trees, something that Jenny is familiar with when it comes to learning. Learning isn’t meant to be easy and when we’re faced with the right level of challenge is when we see the greatest results. This however isn’t always appreciated by the students in the moment and there will naturally be a level of discomfort present as someone’s improving. Asking students for feedback during their studies compared to after will often produce very different results.
You don't need to be the expert.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding of how we humans consume information - and more importantly retain that information. We spoke to Jenny about where in the experience the actual learning happens and how there isn’t a need for the teacher or facilitator to be the expert in the room.
"The smartest person in the room is the room." – Jenny Theolin
Hybrid working as the workforce equaliser.
What the future working landscape looks like is still being shaped and discussed as we in a post-covid society are much more open to remote and hybrid working. But what are the major changes that hybrid working has brought? What risks and opportunities are there? Jenny, who was remote and hybrid long before the pandemic, discusses how hybrid working has become an equaliser for women in the workforce.
Read the article Jenny refers to here.
It's time to dare to facilitate.
We all to some degree will need to facilitate and educate, but knowing what to do and how to dare to get up in front of people and lead isn’t always easy. There are many how to books out there, but eventually you just have to dare. We spoke to Jenny about her upcoming book Dare to Facilitate. What is it about and who is it for?