VolunteerToday.com~~ The Electronic Gazette
The 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.
The words "field trip" conjures
a visit to a dairy farm in sixth grade. The field trip is actually definedas,
"visits to pointsofinterest away from the training room." So
a visit to the copy room is a field trip in the strict sense of the definition.
Before the trainer decides to use this
training activity they need to consider two things: the purpose of the
move away from the training site and steps to maximize the learning when
the move is carried out.
What is the purpose? (check all
boxes that apply)
It is a means of enriching the
It is essential to counteract training that is largely abstract
It will provide a needed change of pace
It is a chance to develop needed skills for the volunteer position.
It will be fun, a motivator, or novelty in the training plan
It provides the opportunity for an in-depth look at something
needed to successfully carry out the volunteer position.
If you checked one box, then a field trip
looks like a good choice for a training activity.
Tips to maximize the learning from
a field trip:
Write learning objectives to be accomplished during the field
trip. When you have written them down ask yourself the question,
"Is this trip really necessary?" Example: "The
learners will be able to identify the perennial and annual bedding
plants in the gardens." Pictures might work for this, but
if volunteers are conducting tours or weeding, best to have them
see the real thing.
Logistics, logistics, logistics. Suppose your visit is to the
"equipment" room in the office - fax, copier, laminator,
etc. Who do you contact in advance to set up a time when the room
will be out of commission for paid staff and on-duty volunteers?
How to get to the room without disrupting the flow of other work?
Can you get all trainees in the room? How long will you take?
Who can demonstrate the operation of machines? Success of field
trips lies in the planning.
Provide volunteers with worksheets or written instructions of
what to look for while on the field trip. Allow volunteer trainees
to work in groups or pairs to answer questions on the worksheet
related to what they are learning. For example, in the garden
visit a question might be, "Draw the annual bed with yellow
and purple pansies. Draw the things around it and label them (walk-ways,
statuary, trails, etc.)."
Conduct a debriefing discussion when you return to the training
room. Have photos or diagrams to display for people as you discuss
what was learned on the field trip. Do not stint on time for this
activity. Adults need process time to cement things in long term
memory. This time helps provide that.
In the evaluation of the training session, ask specific questions
about the field trip. This brings you feedback to adjust the training
in the future.
*From The Winning Trainer by Julius E.
an EDU-VACATION - April 26-29, 2005
Training for managers of volunteers,
leading to a certificate, is being held April 26-29, 2005. Sponsored by
Washington State University, the Volunteer Management Certificate Program
will be held in Port Hadlock, Washington, in the shadow of the Olympic
Mountains. Topics include:
Management and Supervision
Diversifying the Volunteer Pool
The Internet as the Manager's Next
Interactive Case Models based on student process
is the focus of Learning Activities.
For more information, visit the website at: http://www.emmps.wsu.edu/volunteer.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER
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