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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.

~ January 2006 ~ Topics

Quick-Assessment of Training
Techniques to Impart Knowledge

Quick-Assessment of Training

Assessment of training is essential to improve performance of volunteers. There are three intervention points where evaluations can provide important information. And many times the information can be gathered quickly for the training team and the volunteer.

  BEHAVIOR - Are volunteers behaving differently since the training? Do before and after assessments.
  LEARNING - measure learning during training: tests, quiz, feedback, and observation. Assess knowledge of principles as well as practice before people leave the training room.
  REACTION - get feedback from trainees. Ask during the training. Ask at the end of training. Ask a week from training. Ask a month after training. Include open-ended and close-ended questions.

Want more ideas for training? Check out our online bookstore for Sharing Moments of Recognition Every Day by Linda L. Graff. Details for Slide Shows Book

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Techniques to Impart Knowledge

Sometimes managers of volunteers are called upon to provide training that is "informational" in nature. The standard format is the lecture, but there are some other options. If your task is to give information, disseminate knowledge or develop understanding, review these choices before arranging for the training. Note the best way to arrange the room for the audience and the speakers.

Teaching Technique Description


An expert resource person is interviewed by an individual on behalf of the audience.


Panel of 3 – 4 resource persons and 3- 4 representatives of the audience discussing issues.


Informal, conversational discourse between two resource people.


Prepared play or skit to inform.


2 to 4 resource persons questioned by two interviewers.


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://tltc.shu.edu/npo/. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.

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