The brilliance concept is based on the idea that learners must participate for learning to take place. They need to interact with new material, engage in hands-on activities, and teach content to others. In Vicki Halsey's book, the "woo 'n' do" style of instruction replaces the "sit 'n' get" traditional style.
First, the author asks us to assume that all participants want to learn. Then, she charges us as instructors to spend 70 percent of our preparation on the learning design (how to teach) and 30 percent on the content (what to teach). Our goal is to lead participants to an optimal learning experience. The focus is on short doses of clear content and lots of learner-centered activities. The concepts that participants need to learn emerge from them, not from the instructor.
This high-impact training design teaches us how to bring out the brilliance of others so they can make their own contributions. In this environment, learners do 70 percent of the talking and 30 percent of the listening. The facilitator is the "guide on the side versus the sage on the stage," according to the author.
Using a model of acronyms that focus on important points, we can make it easier for learners to learn. For example, Halsey uses the ENGAGE model - energize learners, navigate content, generate meaning, apply to real world, gauge and celebrate, and extend learning to action.
This book is written for those who facilitate learning - classroom teachers, online professors, corporate trainers, public speakers, managers, and CEOs. Concepts, models, and tools are provided to help educators create a learner-centered experience.
If there is a drawback to the book, it is that most of its discussion centers on face-to-face learning environments. Virtual classrooms seem to be added as an afterthought. Nevertheless, shortages in this book should challenge educators to develop ways to bring out the brilliance of online learners.
All in all, this is a delightful, fast-paced book that speaks to readers in practical, no-nonsense terms. The ample exercises and templates successfully "woo 'n' do" readers to become participants in learning. Could it be that the author envisions brilliance emerging from us as well?
I give it four cups.