Last modified 09/01/08 17:21:12

Contingency Planning

Even with the most meticulous plan, it is always possible for a learning session to be thrown off course. For example,

  • Individual activities may over- or under-run;
  • Resources may be unavailable at the last minute;
  • Technology can fail;
  • Interventions by the learners themselves can either take the whole experience in a new direction or disrupt the session in a negative way.
"Students' discussions may bring me to expand more on a point than on another that I would have thought more important." (HE lecturer)

Note here how you are going to plan for such contingencies, as far as is possible. For example, consider whether you need to:

  • Build flexibility into the plan:
    • Additional time: e.g. to accommodate digressions, student-initiated discussions
    • Alternative activities
    • Alternative paths through the material
    • Ability to change the sequencing of activities
    • Drop or curtail specific activities if lack of time
  • Have alternatives to cope with failure of technology, including:
    • Use "traditional" media instead: e.g. acetates
    • Alternative activities

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