University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Learning Actions


Learning Actions are activiites that you can use with specific and various communities.  Each Learning Action provides: 

  • theoretical/critical framing regarding the underlying concern the action is designed to address
  • list of materials and handouts required
  •  suggestions for adapting the action for specific groups
  • questions and issues to consider for the debriefing/discussion

Also, be sure to look at our page on being a facllitator: roles, responsibilites and philosophy.

Facilitating learning actions, some principles

 We believe that each effective learning action includes the following components:

  • specific theoretical/critical framing and the facilitator's thorough understanding of the underlying concern the action is designed to address;
  • appropriate use/adaptation of the action to ensure the action is appropriate for your community of learners, and suggestions for adapting the action;
  • discussion of the ground rules for the action, for ensuring safety, and for the debriefing/discussion afterwards
  • discussion of the differences between safety and discomfort (the latter often required for embodied learning), and discussion of the ground rules regarding safety;
  • encouragement to participants to be attentive to their own thoughts, reactions, and responses (often multiple or contradictory) to the learning action, during the learning action, which they can build on/share during the debriefing/discussion;
  • participation of the facilitator (though this may occur in different ways)
  • debriefing and discussion of how to take the learning/action forward and into multiple trajectories; this often and should take much longer than does the action/activity itself;
  • self-care of all participants, including the facilitator


Based on the above principles, each learning action is developed on a template which addresses the following:

I.  Framing the Action (theoretical/critical approach) 

II.  Materiality of Set-Up and Possibilities for Adapting the Action 

- how the facilitator can participate 
- how participants contribute to the group's learning 

III.  Facilitating this Learning Action

- some possible responses as it happens 

IV.  Discussion/Debriefing   

- working through responses and trajectories

Unadapted exercises

Note: You will also find useful learning actions that do not follow this template but that we have linked to this site or modified slightly for context. These are unmodified and carry the designation "unadapted."

List of Learning Actions

This resource provides a list of learning actions that you can use with your specific community of. In order to use this responsibly, please familarize yourself with our general philosophy, our principles for facilitators and the basics of self-assessment