VolunteerToday.com~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
Training Page of Volunteer Today has practical trainer techniques
and activities to make orientation sessions more productive and
valuable. There are also ideas to help enhance the professional
volunteer manager's training level.
can be an effective training tool. The gaming experience provides
some type of hands-on activity by which the learner gains insight
into such things as cooperation, leadership, team work, communication,
creativity - the list is almost endless. Consider the following information
as you create games to use in training.
is experiential learning. Something adults and children alike love.
is motivating because it is fun.
excellent for peer learning.
aid skill development.
cement the information in long term memory.
To Use Games:
with a game with direct relationship to the learning objectives.
for a change of pace in the middle of heavy or difficult material.
way to summarize the learning in class.
a Game must have as principal elements:
objective tied to the overall purpose of the training course.
(can be individual or group).
participation or interaction.
An ending time with points, most of something accrued, etc.
with winners and losers. Do not be afraid of winners and losers. Well
drafted debriefing questions can make losers feel like
winners as they contribute to the overall knowledge of the group.
for designing your own games:
There are terminal objectives (attitude, skill, behavior) that are
High likelihood the game will produce the desired result.
There is a logical relationship between the time it takes to play
the game and what the participant learns.
Game is constructed so winners and losers learn equally.
There is an objective appraisal to determine the winners.
Prizes are awarded.
The game is the best choice of training activity to achieve the
There is a practice session or two of the game before its first
use with trainees.
There is a planned and organized debriefing activity so all participants
can process the learning.
Participants who need to use the creative side of their brains
are often self-limiting. To encourage them to think outside the
box, it is a good idea to practice creative thinking before starting
the actual brainstorming for the session.
simple objects found in most training classrooms or areaspaper
clip, pencil, pen, paper, marking pens, books, etc. You can
also use such things as candle, plastic spoon, screw or nail,
button, piece of cloth.
Each person has 3 minutes to write down uses for the object.
They should be plausible uses. Stop everyone at the end of three
for who had the most items by number. Who had 25 items
the person to read their list and eliminate any that are unrealistic.
the winner and award prize.
the group, "What is the importance of not censoring yourself
when you are trying to be creative? How can this exercise
help you as we lead into the next brainstorming activity?"
To emphasize the importance of such things as team work, creativity,
Participants need to build the biggest or tallest something
that will stand on its own for a pre-set period. You can use
balloons, blocks, newspapers, or tinker toys.
The participants are formed into groups of 3 6, depending
on the size of the group. Distribute the tools for the game
and tell them the time limit for judging, no more than 10 minutes.
A variation on this game if you are training leaders is to appoint
leaders in each group by some arbitrary characteristic, oldest
shoes, wearing most red, traveled the farthest, etc.). Give
half of the leaders instructions for them to be very controlling
and dictatorial and the other half to be encouraging and empowering.
Then the debriefing deals with issues related to how leadership
not only impacts the success of a group, but how it feels about
impartial judging of the structure takes place.
Should be an outsider or the trainer.
for the group:
things helped you achieve your goals?
things hindered you in your progress toward the goals?
we had to make a set of rules for working creatively in
a group, based on this
exercise, what would they be? (Capture these on easel
paper for future reference.)
was the point of this exercise? (Have a list of answers
you are expecting to get.
every organization has acronyms that insiders know. New
volunteers can be confused. Handing out a glossary of terms with the
acronyms at the first training is a step in the right direction, but
here is a snazzy way to teach those pesky terms.
the beginning of training session arrange the volunteer trainees into
teams of two. Give them a list of acronyms with no definitions. The
team is to come up with the best definitions without any prior knowledge.
Then move into the training session, setting the acronym list aside.
Tell the participants you will return to the list later.
the end of the session the participants are asked to revisit the original
acronym list to see how many they answered correctly at the beginning
of the session. Be sure to provide a glossary of the acronyms during
the training. Keep in mind that using this techniques means the trainer
needs to introduce the acronyms during the training, so the student
is learning the new terms as they progress through the training. Learners
should feel more confident about acronyms when they finish training
than when they started.
a prize for the team with the most correct acronyms from the beginning
of training. They receive a can of alphabet soup, for using all 26
letters of the alphabet. The second place teams receives a small bag
of Cheerios, for getting some of the O's, etc.
Dr. Is In And It is Free
International Conference on Volunteer Administration
Cincinnati, Ohio October 15 18, 2003 Consultations on the Management and Administration of Volunteer Programs,
World Renown Consultants Focus on Your Program:
Pirtle - Cancelled - updated 10/6/03
Associates, in association with individual consultants, offers FREE
30 minute consultations with one of four experienced managers of volunteer
programs who are currently doing consulting and training on all aspects
of volunteerism. Sign-Up NOW by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and
requesting a consultant and a time slot. We will post the updated schedules
daily (or more often if needed). Reservations will be based on a first
come, first serve basis. Time conflicts will be accommodated as much
as possible. Sign
up for an available consultation slot. They are limited. To see the
schedule, click here then email us for your reservation. Then visit
the MBA booth at the conference to meet your consultant. If slots are
available, you will be able to sign up at the conferencealso.
to see you at the 2003 ICVA Conference!
in more information on training? Check out our online
bookstore for Training Techniques in Brief,
authored by Stan Smith.
Interested in assessing volunteer and
staff relations in your program?
PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
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
Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with