17 Feb 2018

Is a path a manual? - I was asked

An experienced toastmaster, VPE now, President when Chartering years ago the club asked me after our presentation: "what IS a Path? Is it a manual?"

We did tell about having different 10 paths and each containing 5 different levels. But how to explain to him what IS a path? 

1. I could SHOW him one path with its levels. Here level 5 overview. 
No, it is not explaining what he wants to understand. 

Even if you can see the "Levels" and the "Required" project here I just did complete when I have taken the picture, and the name "Elective Projects" that were still waiting. And the last project, Reflect of your Path that was not yet available - could not activate it till all others done. And the slide we presented, about Levels does not tell the story either.
Yes, we showed this one but did not explain to him either. But perhaps, it gets me explaining a step farther. But first, let us explain the words used in this. 

Required projects. It seems explain by itself. In fact, this night reflecting on them I found that they are two different kind of REQUIRED projects. 

a) Required projects that are the SAME for all the path: Level 1, Mentoring at level 2 and Reflecting on your path on level 5. And I will add Level 2 projects to it also.

b) Required projects, SPECIFIC to the Path. Those are the ones after which we should choose which path to begin. (Here link to the post showing specifics of each)

How many Specific Required Project are in a Path? In all 4. 

Two really specific: one in Level 3 and one in Level 4. 
There is also a third specific and required project at Level 5 but it is shared with some other path having the same required: HPL in three path and Leading in any situation in 2 path. For the other 5 path, the Level 5 Required project is very important : I chose now looking at those. Do I want to Create a specific Event? Do I want to Speak as a Pro? so on.

But once, you have selected a path, the Required "ingredients" could go into a Manual. If of course, you disregard Videos, Quiz, Images, all the "plus" material that is specific to "on the web" and can be experienced only in the Base Camp.

What is an ELECTIVE project? 

Elective means : we choose. (Unless, you elected to get the printed material, then it is was your last choice. All is decided for you from then on. And all Electives same in all path too. Plus, no access to web to see the other resources.)

What do we chose? How many projects we chose? One minimum for Level 4 and one minimum for Level 5, and a minimum of 2 for Level 3. At first, we do not see the "minimum" : it means if we want, we could do more projects! We can learn more, even if we do not get more points for it and we can not transfer them to the next path. But we can Activate : read and see all the videos and pages of a project. All 13 - and more to come - for the Level 3 for example. 

We can Activate (the first time), Launch (see again) and then Save (using strangely PRINT my Project) on our computer or device, and yes, print if we want it. Or just go through it to decide, which 2 (or more) we want to work on THIS time. Here, some of the 13.
here just some of the Level 3 elective projects : all yummy! "Active: I did not yet opened them in this path
The four (minimum) elective projects (plus of course the speech we after them) do Personalize our Path and make it unique to US. Add to that the time we take, the research we do in plus, the way we approach them. Because this 4 elective projects, if we were to "print a manual" (forgetting that online is a richer experience), each of us had to Print a different one! Adding as Projects (or chapters) our own choices to the others. 

As in our life, no path is the same, so even if we chose the same path our way of passing through them is not the same. Wonderful! 

This are the Level 5 electives in a path where Lessons Learned, HPL, Prepare to Speak Professionally are not a Required project: you can still choose those if you want in plus. Instead of Required Projects they are offered as Electives for those who love them. I do love Moderating a Panel, and prefer it to the other choices, but once, I also did try also Lessons Learned as "elective". And others, when Required. 

After all this, I am not sure. Did I succeeded explaining to someone not yet on Base Camp and not having experienced it, "what is a path" ? But for sure, it is NOT a manual! 

Online experience is a lot richer, less intimidating also because you can see projects from the Level you are, not the one's you are yet ahead of you. As much as at the beginning I did regret that decision of the TMI education team, I understand it now. 

Many looking at a 350 pages manual would run! "I have no time for it now" Plus, how could we chose when not yet... there? Which chapters to add inside here and there? And even if there is 20 to 26 pages for each of 14 Projects in each Path, to achieve the task given can take a very different time. Higher level  we go, more time required. 

It is not the same to learn the Fundamentals, and yes, same in each path: but as we progress we do understand them better, different, more specific to us and our needs, build Skills, or demonstrate Expertise. 

Going from "I thought it was easy" -> "Ah, I have to learn that skill" -> "Practice, think about it, practice again" -> "Now I can do it even without thinking about it while performing it". It will take in fact more then one path to achieve true expertise. 

I discovered, there are so many skills I have yet to learn! 


Coach Carole said...

You could say that a Path is like a collection of Manuals. Eg The first two manuals (Path Level1 and 2) are sent when you purchase a Print Based Path.
A more accurate and simple explanation of a Path is:
A collection of Projects, most of which involve preparing a speech. They include required projects and elective projects.
The Projects are the HEART of Pathways Program and are tailored to suit the objectives of their overall categories - Paths are the categories. They bring more meaning to the way in which the projects are accomplished by the learner.
Try to use analogies in your explanation to enable that transition of thought from traditional program projects.
I have found that using the standard screen images from Base Camp does not really help explain the differences.

Julie Kertesz - me - moi - jk said...

Thank you Carole!

JT said...

This is very useful
It does confirm my initial thought that I am unlikely to ever want to do any level 5 projects.
Hopefully for club awards - assuming I am not unique - that will not be an issue. After all a lot of members never do advanced speeches.

The way I see it we are being asked to follow a map to reach a destination chosen for us. An online assessment suggests which is the best route to follow, but our guides only know the routes they have taken AFTER THEY HAVE COMPLETED THEM. There is nothing available to our guides/mentors/pathway leaders/that lets them tell us what we might encounter on other routes.

Julie Kertesz - me - moi - jk said...

We do know what routes we take, looking at the Path and Projects PDF.
Also more and more as we did walk the walk. Lucky I did.
Three all done, three others in different stages.

But each of you will choose your own way to go.
Any specifics needed? Available to tell about.


JT said...

path and project *.pdf do you mean paths and core competencies?
if I open that I can, for example, search for the word "interview" and it will show me which path has "prepare for an interview"
it will take a bit of time to guess where to find everything we asked for, for example a new member wants to join and learn how to prepare to be a best man, which path would they take?

JT said...

Oh dear
this is a bit scary
perhaps this is the wrong forum for the questions
but ONE
project2-8100-Evaluation says that the evaluator of a persons second speech should be the same person as for the ice-breaker
that will be a nightmare to organise, and not something everyone will want to do
I appreciate it is only a suggestion, but it will put a lot of people off.

before moving through a path the speaker has to do an evaluation AFTER ONLY TWO SPEECHES
Some new members will never want to be evaluators
very few are confident enough to be an evaluator until they have done a few roles, and quite a number of speeches

Also - with respect to evaluation - how can someone evaluate in the club if the criteria are not available to them beforehand and/or someone has to fill in at the last minute?

Julie Kertesz - me - moi - jk said...

1. I believe you did not read well the Project 2 - please try to review it again. It is not the Icebreaker that is evaluated but a new speech. Any 5-7 speech any style, any subject. So it is mostly the impression on the Evaluator and specific improvements suggested on the delivery. As usual, not to tough as it is at the beginning. Something that can be really improved;

It is better that the one who gives a feedback later, does also for the next, improved speech where the suggestion is incorporated or at least one suggestion; If not, one can always send the Evaluation form to the Evaluator in Advance. Beside "was a suggestion incorporated"? one can speak a minute or two before the speech and, as USUAL the speaker can tell his or her different, second evaluator, what was this time tried to improve. It happened so many times, we do tell an evaluator what to look in plus of general delivery things and how they were affected.

Nothing really changed and most of us had done it for years.

2. As to offering a feedback, after "only two speeches, in fact 3 speeches" I had the experience of great evaluations from new toastmasters. They liked to have points and how to answer them, and they delivered great feedback. Between others, they do not yet know giving a specific feedback is difficult. And the Project explains so well and in so many detail the Speech / Feedback. How to behave when you listen, how to listen when evaluating too.

3. The criteria is on the evaluation form, but in all it is present only as, usually two additional criteria. I always try to send before, but they are not difficult criteria. We do not evaluate the project but the speaker and its delivery.

Let me give an example, the project 3 of level 2 (always there) it explains why Mentoring and how important it is. And differences between Coach and Mentor. But the task given is : tell a story about when you were a Mentee. It is the telling of the story that is given feedback. Not the project.

Usually, two points from 15 or 10 at the end are about the project itself: did tell about a time when was protegée, for example. Or another time, what the story persuasive?