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Guidelines for Training Designs

Guidelines for Training Designs

One of the unique features of e-Volunteerism is the Training Designs feature we publish in each issue. We know that effective training builds commitment and competence among staff and volunteers -- a key ingredient to a successful volunteer program. All leaders of volunteers conduct educational sessions, from new volunteer orientation to helping staff to partner with volunteers. So this feature provides examples of real training sessions; group exercises; and tools, resources and tips for trainers on various aspects of content and process involved in training staff and/or volunteers. Each issue offers an in-depth exploration of one training technique or topic.

Another purpose of this feature is to showcase and share the training knowledge of our colleagues -- to pool the experiences of trainers around the world and to create a unique, user-friendly, expanding training resource to enhance the training endeavors of those working with volunteers and staff.


What Can Be Submitted for Training Designs Consideration

The diversity of articles we have published in the Training Designs area is evident by browsing the journal archive. In general, we welcome:
  • An explanation of and instructions for conducting a volunteer-related workshop, group session or other learning opportunity that has relevance to many different settings.
  • Descriptions of successful training techniques (icebreakers, creativity exercises, training evaluations, etc.) and how they have been/could be applied to volunteer-related training.
  • Articles about training written for someone who will do training.  For example:  handling disruptive participants or incorporating humor into a presentation.
  • Handout material that others can adapt to different situations.
  • Anything else that would help e-Volunteerism readers improve or enhance their skills as trainers and group facilitators.

Guidelines for Writing a Training Designs

First, this is one area of e-Volunteerism which does not have to publish formal "articles."  In fact, if you are submitting a complete training design for a specific workshop, it is much better to use the following template:
  1. Introduce the training by explaining how you developed it, where you've used it, for what audiences, etc. - and why you feel it could be useful to others, regardless of setting.
  2. Audience:  What types of learners could benefit the most; what is the ideal number of participants.
  3. Learning Objectives:  At the end of the training session, what will participants be able to do?
  4. Time Required.
  5. Equipment, props, supplies needed - and any other preparation necessary.
  6. Then provide a walk-through of the session or exercise, step by step.  Explain how a trainer would run the session, including possible things to say to the group. Include the suggested time to take for each step.
  7. One of the wonderful things about electronic publishing is that you can provide handouts for the readers, and even PowerPoint® slides.  Submit these to us and note where, in the design, each should be introduced.  We will link a PDF of each handout to the correct spot.  [If you are willing to share handouts that you have already formatted and possibly copyrighted, we are happy to reproduce them in the same way, with a complete credit line.  You of course retain the copyright to all previously-published material.]
  8. Conclude the piece with whatever is relevant:  how to end the session, special tips to the trainer, possible alternate ways to present the material.
  9. Throughout you may use bulleted or numbered lists, rather than compose full paragraphs.
The idea is to present practical ideas in a way that someone can immediately work with them.  If you are uncertain how to present something in writing, we'll be happy to give you suggestions.
Please also see the general Editorial Guidelines for Feature Articles for more details about e-Volunteerism, our readers, copyright, and other important details - all of which apply equally to Training Designs.