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Tool: Facilitator checklist

Typical use (type of issue/project)

     To design a facilitated learning session for a group.

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself as a facilitator.

Tips for effective use

Use this as part of your preparation for facilitated sessions with a group.  It will help you if you understand the research and models behind the questions. You may want to take a look at the information in Buy in and Creating success in others as well as ensure you understand the design principles on which the checklist is based.

Signals of successful use

Used to prepare for and review the design of a facilitated session. Used frequently, the questions included in this checklist should become part of your usual approach to designing a facilitated session. You find yourself considering these elements without requiring prompting, and adapting your session design accordingly, both as part of your preparation, and during facilitation.

Signals of unsuccessful use

After completing the exercise you are unsure whether the design of your session addresses the questions in the checklist. You struggle to apply the questions to your session or audience group.

Links to other tools

Buy in and Creating success in others.


Facilitator checklist

This checklist is a designed as a list of questions to ask yourself when planning the design of a facilitated session. It draws on the tools and techniques in Buy in and Creating success in others as well as on the latest research into what makes for brain-friendly learning and facilitation.           

It is based on research which has shown that participants learn best and contribute most in facilitated learning sessions, if the following design principles apply:

  • Content is multi-sensory
  • Content is applied to real examples and to the participants’ own work environment
  • Difference in learning style is honoured (see, do, hear, discuss)
  • A comfortable, relaxed, safe and fun learning state is engendered
  • Elements of theory are combined with the opportunity to discuss, practice and apply


  • Are the outcomes for the session well defined?
  • Are the group familiar with these outcomes and do they own them for themselves?
  • What is your purpose in your role as facilitator?
  • What will be the starting point of the group at the beginning of the session? Will all group members be at the same point in terms of their level of understanding of content, or belief in a particular message?
  • What end point do you want to get the group to?  What journey does the session need to take them on?
  • How will you manage the state of the group throughout the session to get them to the desired end point?
  • Is the volume of content and pace at which it is introduced right for the group, and does it reinforce the state that you want to create?
  • Is the content and information presented in manageable ‘chunks’?
  • Will the session give participants time to reflect and consolidate their thoughts in order to be able to contribute effectively and generate new ideas?
  • Have you considered the different preferences within the group when presenting information and ensured that a combination of visual, audio and kinaesthetic approaches are used?
  • Have you considered the different ways that people like to learn and ensured a combination of activities to accommodate this?
  • Have you considered the different motivations within the group and tailored your approach to appeal to these?
  • What preparation will you ask the group to do, if any, in advance of the session?
  • How will you evaluate the session against the desired outcomes?