The Most Informative Video about Pathways

by Fee Busby

The following information briefly explains the Toastmaster Pathways Learning Experience which will be coming to your Club in District 15 in March 2018. If you haven’t heard of Pathways or don’t feel you know much about it, hopefully this information will be of value. Follow these links to important information.

1. An Introduction to Pathways

In an effort to offer members improved opportunities to learn and grow as communicators and leaders, Toastmasters has revitalized our education program.  While in development, the program was referred to as the revitalized education program. The actual name will be Toastmasters Pathways Learning Experience, reflecting a journey of possibilities and progress. Pathways will offer: Learning paths tailored to personal and professional goals and relevant to an evolving global marketplace New technological resources to improve speeches and support meeting roles Desktop and Mobile access to educational materials (smartphones and tablets) Expanded video and digital content to facilitate learning among our global community of members Stronger evaluation and mentoring components.

These videos will give you a good overview of the Pathways Leaning Experience

2. Core Components of the Pathways Program

Pathways builds on the core competencies of the current Toastmaster Communication and Leadership Program:

These 5 core competencies are woven into the 10 new Pathway Paths

Building confidence is not a path, but a planned outcome of successfully completing each project in each path. The Pathways Learning Experience will be managed through a software package that is not unlike the programs that are used at most universities as the primary interface between students and their professors. The Pathways Learning Experience program is called Basecamp.

As you begin your Toastmasters Pathways journey, you will take an online survey using the Basecamp program. Based on your answer to the questions, Basecamp will recommend three paths that seem to fit your interests. You choose one of the paths. Once chosen, Basecamp will provide you the materials for your first project, which will be a speech to your club. The materials will be on line and can be accessed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone allowing you to work on your project at any time or place. The materials will be like a web site with written materials, videos, and other material to help you understand the project and successfully complete it. There is much more to learn about Basecamp, but for now just know it is a powerful tool to help you learn. Recognizing that not everyone wants to experience Toastmasters through a computer, written materials for most paths will also be available. Members are welcome to use the written materials, but it is important to know that (1) the learning experience will probably not be as robust as possible with the Basecamp program and (2) Toastmasters will charge members for the materials (just as we currently pay for advance manuals).

The Pathways Learning Experience will guide a member through 5 levels of accomplishment for each path, each level increasing in complexity and accomplishment. 

The levels are:

Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) will remain as highest achievement and will require completion of two learning paths.   It is important for every member to know that you cannot obtain DTM by mixing and matching work in the current Communication and Leadership Programs and Pathways. You will have two years following the full implementation of Pathways to complete DTM requirements in the current program. So, if you are well along to earning DTM, put together a plan that will allow you to finish within about 2 ½ years.

3. When Can I Start Pathways?

Because this is a change in how the Toastmasters program is delivered (from paper manuals to a computer learning system), Toastmasters is slowly rolling out the program. Alpha and Beta tests with increasing number of members have been conducted. Currently three Districts are engaged in the Pathways Learning Experience. As members in these Districts use the Basecamp program and experience Pathways, minor changes are being made to correct problems and improve the program. The next step is to roll out Pathways to an entire Toastmaster Region, followed by as second region, and then begin to roll out to two regions at a time. Note there are 14 regions in total. District 15 will roll out with all of the other Districts in Region 1 in rollout 6. This will probably happen about this time next year, although exact dates are not possible because each roll out will result in fixing problems and taking advantage of opportunities. When we are able to use Pathways it will be the new and improved version.

In time the Pathways Learning Experience and the Basecamp Program will be something that we all take for granted. It will seem like this is what we have always done. But the transition to Pathways will be a challenge for many members and Clubs.

4. How Can I Help District 15 Implement Pathways?

To help with the transition, Toastmasters has asked the District to set up a team of Ambassadors and Guides. These individuals will visit clubs and help them to successfully begin using Pathways. Guides will provide most of the on-site training and be available to assist clubs by phone or e-mail as needed. Service is expected to begin about three months before our Region roll out and continue for three months as the members and clubs begin to use experience Pathways.

We invite you to volunteer to serve in one of these capacities.

Note that for serving as a Pathways Ambassador or Guide, Toastmasters will award credit to meet the District Officer service required for DTM. If you want to get your DTM through the current program or the Pathways program but cannot figure when you would have time to serve for a year as Area or Division Director, then earning this credit as a Pathway Ambassador or Guide may work for you.

I have been asked by the District to serve as Chief Ambassador and assist Bob Graves, the District Program Quality Director, in rolling out Pathways to District 15. If you are interested in serving as an Ambassador or Guide, please contact Fee Busby.