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649 - Training for Nonformal Education
Wednesdays, 9AM-12PM in 273 Hills South
PURPOSE OF THE COURSE
The purpose of this course is to help you develop the skills you need to design training programs for adult learners in non-formal education, human services, and community development. The goal is to prepare you to:
- Develop your philosophy of training: how is training different from teaching? What is participatory training?
- Consider how to assess the needs of training participants
- Support the rationale for training
- Write training objectives
- Find, read and analyze training activities: how, when and why would you use particular activities?
- Create and facilitate training activities of your own (peer training)
- Consider the “flow” of training: from individual to small group to large group activities; balancing theory and practice; deciding upon the best training span (training over multiple sessions and time); determining the appropriate reading and handout load; deciding whether or not to give “assignments” to participants
- Observe others’ facilitation skills and provide constructive feedback
- Plan training evaluation activities: how did the training affect participants’ thinking, feeling and acting?
- Document training in written form so that others can use your training
- Design training of trainers
The course will be relevant to those interested in designing training for both international and U.S.-based training contexts.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- articulate your philosophy of training
- list strategies for needs assessment, evaluation, overall design and documentation of training
- outline key concepts and tips for training facilitation
- explain how, why and when to use dozens of training activities
- create and document training activities of your own
TOPICS AND METHODOLOGY
This is meant to be a very practical course, so there will be relatively less reading than you might find in a more theoretical class. Instead, the course packet will include multiple samples of training activities, together with a few theoretical articles about training design. However, less reading will be offset by more class participation on your part. The class is designed so that EVERYONE will be expected to plan and facilitate at least one training activity within the class, in a content area of your choice. This will give everyone a chance both to observe plenty of training activities and to facilitate at least one on your own. You will also have one or more chances to formally observe your peers and provide feedback to them about the design and facilitation of their activity.
The class sessions will be structured so that “the medium is the message”: as much as possible, training activities will be used to teach the content of training theory and design.
The assignments are cumulative; the final assignment is a step-by-step training manual for a15-hour training on content and for a target audience of your own choosing (training for health workers, training on sustainable agriculture for farmers, environmental training for villagers, etc.), along with a training-of-trainers agenda for that training. I will provide several formats for the manual from which you may choose. However, I will require you to turn in components of the training manual throughout the semester, so that you can construct it “as you go along” and get feedback from me that you can incorporate into your final manual.
The specific requirements for successful completion of the course are:
- Read all assigned readings, participate in discussions during class about the concepts and issues, and turn in all assignments.
- Plan and conduct at least one training activity for the rest of the class, sometime during the semester. (If you must be absent on the day you are scheduled to facilitate, it is your responsibility to switch time slots with another student in the class).
- Write a training manual for a15-hour training, along with a training-of-trainers agenda for that training.
This seminar is graded on a pass-fail basis. If you wish a letter grade (and are eligible for one), you must inform the instructor in writing by Wednesday, September 20; no changes in grading status will be made after this date. Assessment is based on
- thorough completion of all interim assignments, including planning and facilitating a training activity for the rest of the class;
- participation in class discussions indicating an awareness of the issues and concepts presented in the readings;
- completion of the final paper (training manual).
TEXTS AND READINGS
Readings will be available in class from the instructor.
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