Training of trainers – NFL and interactive methods in Youth work – ACHIEVE

Lesson 30 – Learning methods – text

Method

Characteristics

Description

Use

Limitations

Lecture

Talking to a group from previously prepared notes.

Trainer or specialist presents information on a given subject to audience.

When few if any members of the group are familiar with the subject and when group is large (30-40 people). Also when a large amount of information must be presented.

Least effective method in amount of remembered information and their application into practice. Listeners may fast loose their attention.

Discussion

Discussion of a problem common to all. Conclusion reached by learned responding to guided questions.

Trainer uses provocative questions or statements, usually prepared in advance, to stimulate group thinking and contributions to guide discussion..

Method can be used when group has some knowledge or experience in the subject

Unequal involvement of participants, especially in new groups.

Ice breaker

Short activity with participants aiming to bring more non-formal atmosphere and get participants bit closer to each other.

Trainer leads short, often physical activity, where participants are in direct verbal or physical contact. It can have some or no link to the topic.

Overcoming communication barriers, bringing non-formal atmosphere. Chosen activity should reflect specificities of the group.

Refusal from participants as "childish games". Refusal because of being in physical contact with others.

Brainstorming

To generate many alternative solutions to a problem or topic.

Quantitative method. We never evaluate or judge any of the generated ideas. Ideas might be further analyzed.

To generate many creative ideas, best to use in smaller groups (at least 5-6) or when entering into new topic.

High diversity of outcomes. Lot of energy put into analysis of generated ideas.

Group work

Participants are divided into smaller working groups, where they work or discuss on one or more themes.

Groups discuss or work on given theme and after time limit they present their results to others. Group division should be random, only expectation is when we need to create groups according to their experience. If you select groups on some criteria, you should explain them.

It gives opportunity for better discussion, interaction and more sharing of opinions as in bigger group. It gives space also to more "silent" participants. One of the most used methods.

Is not usually facilitated, so method might not work.

Limitation might be also space for expressing opinions taken by only few more dominant participants with no space for more "silent" ones.

Role play

Learners try out behaviors in a simulated situation in a limited amount of time.

Teaching conclusions is not important, trying out behaviors is. Roles from life can be switched, all given a change to both play and observe. After activity participants analyze attitudes and behavior of different roles to subject.

Role plays are used to have variety of views and opinions to the same situation. It allows seeing often contradictive behaviors, gives opportunity to analyze them with minimal risk. It can show importance of tolerance to different opinions.

Role play requires, that participants feel comfortable and safe. Using role play at the beginning of educational activity may cause refusal or negative emotions towards trainer or training. This method includes lot of emotions, there for activity is followed by debriefing, where we deal with the feelings and also make links to the topic. Participants should get out of their roles as soon as possible after activity before debriefing.

Case study

Learners analyze prepared description of problem situation. Usually in printed version.

Individual or group work, when participants look for answers related to presented situation. Situation is should be from reality (something that happened or can happen).

To gain theoretical knowledge from practical example and its analysis.

Insufficient time for good understanding and analysis of case. Difficult to create a good case study (enough facts, updated information to reality, with easy to understand logic...).

Simulation game

Participants are part of created situation, where every person have got a task. It is extended role-plays with extensive design.

Groups of learners are given critical data about a situation, make their decisions, receive feedback, and take further action.

It is often used for simulation of processes that are taking place in longer term on different places (like simulation of preparation of youth exchange during training by more groups). Simulation games can be prepared for few hours, for a day or even for more days.

Same risks as in role play.

Buzz Groups

Smaller discussion groups, sharing opinions on given or any topics without presence of trainer.

Method allows opened discussion where participants are facilitating process. Basic rule is t no information leaves the group without permission of all members.

Mostly during evaluation activities, at the evening participants can evaluate the day, methods, approach of the team, and express their feelings.

Chaos during discussion or going of the topics as no trainer is present.

Open Space

Participants suggest topics for discussions and workshops and they are taking place with participation of others. It is a method which request high level of responsibility from participants.

Participants suggest others topics for workshops or discussions they would like to have in the program. Based on this time schedule is created. Workshops are led by participants, discussion is free, participants can switch between workshops or open new topics. At the end conclusions are presented to others.

Method relevant mostly with groups used to work independently. It supports responsibility of volunteers in generating outcomes of educational activity.

While working with participants with low motivation or without stronger relation to the topic there is a risk that participants will not come out with relevant topics or discussion will be too general without specific results.

Self-reflection

Time for self reflection on activities that happened before

Participants individually analyze situation that happened, previous activities or their behavior and confront it to their present and future reality.

Good method in complex topics during trainings, which are aiming to touch values and attitudes of participants. One of the techniques can be "letter to myself" where participants will write personal things, put them into envelope and trainer send it after some time (month, 3 months... )

Important point for self-reflection is when, where and on what to reflect. In more technical or knowledge based trainings this method can be considered useless.

Excursion

Planned trip during training, which can give more information from practice to the topic.

Place of excursion are planned by trainer (organizer) connected to theme of educational activity. Usually it is practical presentation followed by discussion where links with topic are explained.

Advantage is possibility to see in practice some of touched themes. It gives possibility to remember better theories and also inspiration for further work of participants.

Time consuming, not prepared and discussed program with members of visited organization or institution. In this case excursion may be chaotic and not clearly linked to the topics.

 

The training program “Training of Trainers” is an educational product that is currently missing in the partner countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania. Due to the early stage of development of the youth sector and youth work in these countries the educational materials aimed at non-formal learning are still limited and insufficient. The lack of adequate educational framework for training of youth workers in the field of formal education leads to inefficient use of the capacity of professionals.

This course fills a gap in the youth sector, namely the need of methodologies for the preparation of trainers, who are able to train youth workers. This course will set the basis for the preparation of teams of trainers of youth workers. The course will serve the goal of development of youth work in the participating countries and other interested parties. A large number of youth workers can be trained according to the methodology at national and international level to use and promote non-formal learning as a tool to enhance the realization of young people in the labor market and increase their social cohesion.

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