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Generating Ideas on a Topic
The more interactive a training session for volunteers the higher the retention level. How can you jump-start discussion of some important issues when training volunteers that gets them thinking about the topic under discussion? The Laundry List is a terrific way to get peoples brains on the topic you are about to address.
The Laundry List begins by asking people to partner with someone in the group they do not know or do not know well. You can use small groups to do this, but this is an exercise where small is better. Then ask them to develop a laundry list of thoughts, ideas, and questions on the topic.
Give about 5 8 minutes for this. To debrief this exercise, go from group to group, getting one idea for a master list. No duplicates. Record the ideas on easel paper. When you are done with training, be sure to check that every item on the laundry list has been discussed and review with the participants too.
A Review Dice Game
Reviewing is an important part of a training session that is often overlooked. A review obliges the learner to recap in their mind the learnings from the session. It helps bring vague concepts into focus and is a last opportunity for the trainer to indicate what is important and what is not from the training session. Here is an interactive game that is fun and provides the chance to review key concepts.
Develop a group of questions with enough for each person in the training. Write the questions on 3 x 5 cards. Number the questions from 2 to 12. You can make multiple sets of questions for larger groups. Just remember to ask the question only once.
Each person throws a set of dice and you (variation - or another learner) ask the question that corresponds to the number. While one person starts the answer, encourage the other participants to jump in and share information on the same topic. The idea is for everyone to be participating in the review. And the more fun and laughter the better.
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Interested in more information on training? Check out our online bookstore for Training Techniques in Brief, authored by Stan Smith.
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/kellogg.html. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.
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