You are without doubt familiar with the report out.
Frequently in workshops, the facilitator breaks people up into small groups and gives them a task to perform.
The facilitator then asks each group to assign a note taker who will take notes and later report back on the outcome of the work.
Sometimes no one will be given this task, but everyone in a group knows from experience that one of them will be asked to report back later, and needs to prepare mentally for such an event.
At the end of the task, the facilitator calls upon each group to report back.
The person assigned or someone not assigned must then stand up and report back the outcome of the task.
In a Knowledge Café, there are not any report outs.
In this session, everyone shares their thoughts and insights. There are not any table hosts or chairpeople who report back what was discussed in their small groups.
There are several good reasons for doing away with the traditional report back or report out session.
- First, one of the principles underlying the Café philosophy is to “eliminate fear.” Many people are fearful of doing it, especially if the task of reporting back is forced on them in some way. If they feel fear, then they do not relax and fully take part in the conversation.
- Second, if the participants are fearful or not, knowing that they are going to have to report back forces them to think more about what they are going to say than taking part in the conversation.
- Third, you want people to share what they have learned or the insights that they have gleaned from a position of passion not one of necessity. If the person reporting back is doing it out of obligation and not passion then what he or she has to say is often lukewarm at best.
- Four, they are of little value.
- Five, they are boring.
The teachers felt so great and happy when they were told no reporting back and they engaged much in their conversations about how to implement ‘Student-LED’ projects in schools.
Credit: A Knowledge Café host reporting on a Café session
- Blog Post: A Rant on Report Outs by Nancy Dixon
- Blog Post: 8 Reasons To End The Report Out by Joshua Kim
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