There are two main post-seminar activities: reflection and extension (assessment and grading are dealt with in the next chapter). For post-seminar reflection, participants should think about how to improve the seminars, both personally and as a group; and the extension component is for expanding the thinking work students did beyond the seminar. The reflective practice may be informal and ungraded, such as simply sharing feedback and observations around the circle about what worked and didn’t work, or formal and graded using rubrics, observation sheets, participation goals, and reflective writing. Extensions can take many forms, from short homework assignments to huge projects.
Either or both reflection and extension can be applied to the two basic outcomes of the seminar: the product and the process. The product is the text and the group’s deepening understanding of it. Participants could reflect on the text (“That story wasn’t complex or deep enough.”) or could extend it in some manner by: deciding to continue the seminar another day, rewriting the ending, adding another chapter, doing research, blogging, writing papers, and soon.
The process is how well the group worked together, how effectively the seminar was facilitated, and how harmoniously the inner and outer circles worked if there was a concentric circles or fishbowl set up. Keep in mind that, in general, it is the inner circle’s job to discuss the product, and it is the outer circle’s job to help coach the process. Participants can reflect on many aspects of the process by focusing on specific skills (“We didn’t summarize enough.”), personal goals (“I am proud that I reached my goal of speaking three times.”), or group goals (“We still need to work more on not interrupting each other.”). Extending the process often involves coaching or direct teaching of interpersonal social skills and mini-lessons on how to reflect or provide feedback.
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