~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
|~ April 2001 ~
- Simple Tips for Effective Training
- Canadian Training in Nonprofit
and Volunteer Management
- Computer Training for Seniors
for Effective Training
Here are four simple steps
to improve the effectiveness of training.
- Write a purpose statement. Ask
yourself, "What is it I want volunteers or staff to be able
to do when they have finished this training?" Write down
the answer. Avoid such words as "understand," "appreciate,"
"value," or "recognize." Be sure the words
used refer to a measurable behavior, write, state, sing, answer,
- Use problem solving to impart
information. Present a problem and let the trainees' figure out
a solution. Imagine you are trying to impress on volunteers the
importance of confidentiality for clients or members. Give then
a scenario where a volunteer inadvertently reveals the identity
of a client. Have them discuss it and why it is important to
protect the client. Confidentiality agreements make more sense
under those circumstances.
- Use variety in training techniques.
Talking (lecture) is not teaching and listening is not learning.
All group work makes for a boring training session. Mix and match
techniques and try to use as many of the learners senses as possible;
seeing, hearing, feeling, etc.
- Be sure learners' practice.
The best training always includes the opportunity for learners
to practice what they have learned. This can be in a small team
of two or three where they can get some feedback or for the entire
group. Practice is the way in which adults learn and good trainers
make time for lots of practice in their sessions.
Training in Nonprofit and Volunteer Management
From Atlantic to Pacific,
Canada has training program, credit and non-credit for those who
work with volunteers.
Here is a current listing.
Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
Faculty of Business
University of Alberta, Edmonton
and Not-For-Profit Leadership Program
The Banff Centre for Management
Studies in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management
The Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies
Faculty of Business, Ryerson Polytechnic University
Management and Leadership Program
Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, British Columbia
Sector Leadership Program
Henson College, Dalhousie Univeristy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Sector Management Certificate Program
Vancouver Community College Continuing Education
and Management and Leadership Program
Schulich School of Business
- The McGill-McConnell
Program for National Voluntary Sector Leaders
Faculty of Management, McGill University
Training for Seniors
According to the US Department
of Commerce, seniors are the fastest growing market of computer
buyers and the most rapidly expanding group of Web users. More
than 5.5 million people over the age of 65 were online this year.
That is expected to triple over the next five years.
While those numbers are encouraging
the ownership of computers by seniors is still the lowest of any
age group. Many seniors are intimidated by the technology and
wonder why they need to use it at all. Most Web sites are not
designed for older users. They rarely take into consideration
age-related declines in cognition and in vision and perception.
If you want to attract seniors
or design training on computers here are some ideas to help you
- On a Web site use medium or
boldface type against a light background.
- Avoid putting shades of blue
and green together.
- Feature short page lengths and
- Keep what you are offering simple.
Test it on seniors. If it is too difficult try something easier.
Games are very popular with seniors
- Give the senior a written copy
of the procedure. Having something to follow that is familiar
is a comfort and a way to double back and check for errors.
- If you are training at the organization's
office, insist on a large monitor with large tracking ball and
mouse that is not overly sensitive.
- Customize software to increase
font and icon size.
- Be patient. Everyone, even children,
have trouble when they start. Be encouraging and kind to those
Microsoft has a Web site
on customizing its software for those with special needs. http://www.microsoft.com/enable.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON
NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
Close to 200 colleges and universities
offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management.
They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American
Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are
looking to push out the professional development window, consider
taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides
at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero. Thank Roseanne Mirabella,
of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.
Copyright 2001 by Nancy Macduff.