What is important for a facilitator to know about the toolbox when running a training workshop?
- The toolbox emphasises that the theoretical knowledge is put into practice through presentations, discussions, and practical exercises by testing the tools in the “classroom”.
- End users need to be actively involved in the training. This can be achieved by having end users share their experiences related to the specific dimensions and topics. The facilitator should provide a “learning room” for exploration and experimental behaviour, as these elements promote learning through different methods such as; group dialogue, self-reflection, group work and so on.
- The facilitator should initiate learning by, for example, using specific challenges from the end users’ professional realities, and encouraging them to engage in “homework” between each training session allowing them to test their knowledge and reflections in practice.
- Go to the toolbox for more details
Should I include all the dimensions of the toolbox?
- Yes, it is advisable to include all four dimensions in the workshop. However, you may select which tools you need to spend more or less time on during the training workshop. Some tools are easy to understand and self-explanatory, while some need to be tried, to understand the effect.
- Whether you choose to apply the entire selection of programme activities or only wish to work with one or a few of the activities, start by presenting the pre-activity tool Individual and Group Contracts as these tools help the target group define their goals, level of commitment, and expectations to the programme.
- The facilitator should take the time to clarify that the pre-activities give the target group an overview of how to put together the most suitable effective sub-groups.
- Underline the importance of maximising the output of the activities, by following up by with the Goal setting activity and Action plan to anchor the goals and applying the Wrap up activity to finalise each activity. This will stimulate commitment and knowledge sharing in the group, which is an important step for repetition of one’s learnings and goals.
- For more details on how to work with the dimensions, go to the pedagogical chapter of the toolbox.
What is the minimum number of end users attending a LIVE2WORK workshop?
- There is no set number of end users attending a LIVE2WORK training workshop, however, there should be enough end users attending the workshop to be able to work in small groups of three and to allow the sharing of knowledge and experience.
- It is possible to run a workshop with small numbers, if necessary. Remember that the activities involve discussions and feedback, so it is required that end users discuss their thoughts and experiment with the tools in group settings.
What is a suitable place to organize a workshop?
- The place should be a quiet room with enough sunlight or sufficient level of lighting. The space of the room should reflect the number of end users and big enough to conduct all kinds of activities, incl. defining priorities with card sets, etc.
- It is important to offer free water to end users, some of them would definitely appreciate free coffee and tea. However, more catering is not necessary; it can even distract the concentration of end users, if there are too many snacks in the room.
- End users should be given enough breaks to refresh their minds and bodies. One 15-minute break should be enough for each 1,5 hours of workshop. For lunch break, 45-60 minutes should be enough.
- The facilitator should be ready to reflect on current abilities of a particular group and decide on having more/less frequent breaks if necessary/possible. In case of doubts, it is good to ask end users if they want to have a break now or later.
How to communicate with end users and lead the workshop?
- It is preferable for a facilitator to sit/stand on the same level as the end users (no podium, etc.) to remove a perceived barrier between end users and the lecturer. At best, the facilitator should be close to the end users (in case of smaller groups) to encourage discussion and feedback during the process.
- There are no “wrong” or “stupid” questions. The facilitator should reflect on the end users’ notes and encourage them to ask questions, if they need some clarification or precision of the content.
- At some moments, it can be useful to pose the question set by an end user as a task to think about for the whole group; this can be a way to reach more involvement of all end users, thus boosting their interest and concentration.
- The individual experience of each end user can be a valuable source of information for the facilitator, what to concentrate on as the next step or how to communicate with the group. If an end user decides to share his/her experience, it is advisable to let him/her do so.
- Moreover, the sharing of stories/notes can also be a big asset for other end users. This is particularly true if the end users come from various ethnic/social/cultural groups, thus offering others the story from their own group and enriching others’ knowledge about their surroundings. Also, the wider perspective can help some end users get a desired “view from above” on their own difficulties and issues.
- Alternatively, if the facilitator has personal experience with some of the activities/features/issues that are connected to workshop content, it is highly advisable to share this with the end users. Besides overcoming a potential mental barrier between facilitator and end users, it can also raise interest in the issue if the end users listen to an actual story related to it.
How long should the workshop be?
- In order to be able to present all four dimensions to end users, the workshop should take a minimum of 18 hours. This can be split up into half days in the morning or afternoons, or in different ways.
- Make sure there is enough time to work with all dimensions, and that the end users have time to test and get a good grasp of the tools.
What resources are available for running the workshops?
- All tools are available on our website and learning platform live2work.eu
- You can get direct access to our training workshop PPT here
- You can get direct access to the conceptual framework here
- You can get direct access to the toolbox/handouts and didactical framework here
How should the workshop be structured?
- The workshop should follow the structure of the toolbox. However, not all tools need to be tried and tested. This depends on the experience and expertise of the end user Check our suggested workshop schedule and workshop PowerPoint, which may help you to plan the workshop.
What do workshop end users need to do before attending the workshop?
- Read the conceptual framework
- Complete VIA test and print results to bring to the workshop
- Fill out a pre- workshop survey in order to give the workshop facilitator insight into:
- Which activities your end users already make use of in their daily work
- Which areas your workshop end users need to learn more about, and what do they already know
- What their motivations are for attending the workshop
- You can find the pre- workshop survey here:
- Send the survey and instructions to workshop end users at least one week prior to the workshop, this will give them the time to complete the tasks.
How should I evaluate the workshop?
- After the workshop is finished, and before you send the workshop end users home, you should ask the end users to fill out the post workshop evaluation
- We ask you to use the evaluation form provided for the workshops. The results of the evaluations will be used to analyse the effects of the workshops and to make adaptations based on the feedback given to us
- All feedback will be treated confidentially
- Gain access to the post workshop evaluation form here:
- It is also advisable for the facilitator to take note of end users reactions and comments during the workshop. Although these notes do not need to be structured, they can be a good source of findings for the facilitator on how end users react to each activity and what works/does not work well, that could be omitted at the final follow-up. These notes can help the facilitator highlight which areas/activities/content are meaningful to end users and can be important for future workshops.
How can I organise feedback & follow-up?
- Follow-up sessions could take shape as a 4th workshop day approximately one or two months after the workshop. Here the focus could be Questions and Answers from end user, and presentation rounds from groups. The presentation rounds will give end users time to hear about the others’ experiences, challenges and successes, and to exchange ideas and discuss solutions in groups.
- If a 4th workshop day is not a possibility, then end users can be contacted by e-mail, for a follow-up on how they are getting on with the use of the tools. end users who have experienced difficulties, could be offered a Skype session by the workshop provider to discuss the issues and to receive advice on what to do in these situations.
- It would be advisable, from the beginning of the workshop, to create a chat forum in e.g. Google groups. Here end users from different organisations can communicate, send inspiration, and share ideas on the use of the tools. This can work as a sort of support network for professionals in their field. End users working in the field of education, can create a forum on E-Twinning, and share ideas and experiences with others here.
The workshop can include all dimensions, depending on the competencies of the end users and their needs. The LIVE2WORK workshop modules cover four dimensions:
- World knowledge
- Transitional Skills
For each dimension, there are different sets of tools for the development of skills. It is possible to choose which tools to explore more in depth with workshop end users, but we do advise that all four dimensions are covered, in order to give a holistic view of the process. If workshop end users already have knowledge and experience in using some of the tools, then focus should be placed on tools they do not already have experience with.
Three-Day Workshop Schedule
Figure 12 Three-day workshop schedule
After the workshop, a follow-up session would be advised. This would normally take place after the end users have had a chance to try the tools in their professional lives. The feedback/follow-up session can be a great help for those, who have encountered some difficulties, or have doubts about the way they are working with the tools. If end users are not offered a follow-up session, a significant number may revert to their old ways, not long after they encounter a problem or difficulty.
The LIVE2WORK workshop aims at focusing on what has been working so far, on inherent resources and strengths. Therefore, when talking about challenges, we want to ask the end users:
- “What have you done that is already working?”
- “How can you use your strengths/new knowledge to help solve some of the challenges you are facing?”
- Discuss questions raised by end users in plenum and ask for input from other end users. Can their successes help the others in the group?
The workshop must aim to bring up challenges that the end users commonly face at work, opening up for the possibility of working together to solve a problem or achieving a common goal during the workshop. It will be the facilitator’s role to guide the discussions and create links between what has been learned and their realities in the workplace. This approach will inevitably result in a deeper understanding of how certain approaches can influence different outcomes.
To help you with this, it is advisable to make use of cases that have developed for use in the workshops. The case can be used during each of the toolbox dimensions: self-knowledge, world-knowledge, transitional skills, and decision making. The cases can be used at the end of the workshop day, to gauge the workshop end users’ progress and opens up for the sharing of experiences, as well as for confirming knowledge and understanding of the tools.
Applying cases as a learning strategy will inevitably:
- increase awareness of challenges and provide a platform from where end users can formulate solutions
- make possible the exchange of ideas and assist the end users share past work-related experiences (hence relating the content to their needs)
- provide a platform from where a problem/challenge can be analysed to reaffirm key learning outcomes.
The added value of using cases in the workshop?
- to practice the successful use of the tools
- to point out which tools to use, when, and why
- To be able to “test” and gauge the level of understanding of the end users for each dimension
Information regarding the use of cases in the workshop:
- end users in the workshop will work in groups to discuss which tools and methods they will use to help the “client”, placing focus on the importance of the discussions.
- end users will use the same case each day but will build on their discussions regarding solutions based on the new knowledge acquired each day.
- Day one, the case will focus on the use of Self knowledge
- Day two the case will focus on the use of World Knowledge
- Day three will focus on the use of Transitional skills and decision-making
You can, as a facilitator add a twist to the case. Change the character “Sara from Denmark” to for example “Hussein from Syria” and ask what they would do differently in this situation. Here an additional question can be discussed in groups. “Would you do anything different in this situation? How and why?”
The Case – Sara
Sara is a 23-year-old girl who has just finished high school, done well in school, and has received her leaving certificate. On paper, Sara should be ready and able to begin to define a career plan, but she is can’t find her way thought the opportunities among the different educations and feel afraid in taking the right education/choice.
Sara doesn’t have much vocational experience, but she has had smaller vacancies; babysitting dogs, packaging for a company Sara lives at home with her parents, who make a sensible living. Her father is self-employed, and her mother mostly but had jobs on and off.
From the outside, it looks like Sara is a well-functioning young woman from a family with many resources and her future prospects look good. However, despite all this, she doesn’t seem to be moving forward. She is also very unsure about what she wants to do in the future and how she will get there. It seems like she is extremely vulnerable at the moment, and Sara is very indecisive about which future career choices she should make. Nevertheless, she has pointed out that she is very interested in art, cooking and catering, administrative work, and that she loves, and is very good at, drawing.
Cooperative learning – Questions for the group:
- In order to assist the participant in making a decision regarding her future career goals, what would be your first step?
- Which tools will you present and apply?
- In which way will these tools help the participant and what will she achieve?
Group presentation and discussion in plenum:
- Group conclusions are presented in plenum
- Plenum reflection on the presented ideas with facilitator and the other end users
- Finish up with a summary of conclusions to close the workshop for the day
Tips for the group presentations, especially for workshops with a large number of end users:
- Each group selects a note taker
- The note taker will be asked to transfer the group discussion/conclusions on the board or flipchart
- The second group will do the same, but only add new information, which has not yet been written on the board
- The same procedure for the other groups, until all groups have been to the board
- Select the themes from the board and start a plenum discussion in order to let them (each group member) elaborate on the themes (explain what they meant) and to get different perspective on the theme
- Sum up the activity with important points and key takeaways from the discussion.
Working with the Case – Notes for the facilitator
This is a flexible concept, meaning that the way you work with a case, and whether you use the case provided, or your own, can vary depending on the experience, needs and previous knowledge of the end users. But here are some tips that can help you when discussing the case with your end users:
Day 1 – Self-Knowledge
- Start the session with “the participant” from the case by establishing a goal (contract/expectations)
- “The client” is now ready to work on his/her own goals based on what he/she CAN:
- What are his/her values? (values image cards)
- What are his/her character strengths? (Aware: VIA assessment – Explore: strengths cards – Apply: link the awareness to future goals)
- What are his/her strengths form his/her own experience? (strengths by storytelling, strengths spotting interview)
- Don’t forget to work with: Goals analysis – Wrap up activity. What are his/her goals, strengths, supports etc.
- Finish the session with your workshop groups by drawing up a summary of which tools and methods you have talked about, working on to help the client. (I.e. use a flipchart. Keep the overview for each day and hang on the wall.)
Day 2 – World Knowledge
- What do we know about “the client”? Quick recap from day 1
- “The client” should now have a better understanding about him/herself
- Today’s focus is on collecting, analysing, and interpreting information about the opportunities available to “the client” in his/her surroundings, and how he/she can use this to achieve his/her goals.
- It’s important to focus on;
- who does she know? (mapping social network)
- what can she do? (competence tree, exploration of occupations)
- Who can support her in reaching her goals? Who can be helpful? (identifying role-models)
- Good to know:
- “The client” needs to be aware of what barriers he/she might be facing in his/her surroundings environment and learn how to deal with these barriers/persons in order to get a positive result of the network. We will focus on the positive things that the network brings to the client”
- Self-worth – Tip: During an intervention, the “client” can include the “end user” in his/her supporting network. The end user should therefore ensure that he/she is a positive resource in the client’s life. It’s very important to remember to include this in the mapping of the support network. Especially when the client has a small network. Also, If the session is carried out in groups or in a class setting, then the group can also be added to the support network.
Day 3 – Transitional Skills and Decision Making
- Today’s activities will focus on skills that can be used in a wide variety of situations and work settings
- If possible, ensure that the groups can spend a couple of hours on discussions and presentations in relation to this final case discussion activity
- Place focus on how to deal with obstacles/ challenges they could face in their professional/ training integration and how to deal with it in a positive way (cognitive diamond, positive emotions diary) E.g. she does not have a lot of experience, but she finished her studies and has a lot of will to learn etc.
- Again, make use of the perception model, when you can place something in the background or in the foreground to increase awareness of what the focus is and to make the client more flexible in his/her way of thinking
- Focus on creating/defining goals and identification of tasks/step necessary to reach. Make sure the client’s goals become manageable and possible by helping him/her deal with the “next best action” through small steps of full control (identify obstacles and resources to overcome them).
- Sum up activities to create an overview of:
- Who “the client” is, i.e. characteristics and preferences
- What “the client” knows, i.e. competences and experience
- Who “the client” knows, i.e. social and professional network
- Focus on perseverance and anchoring the goals (the SMARTE model)
When planning to run a LIVE2WORK workshop, facilitators should recognise the benefits of the concepts of adult learning theories and incorporate these into their teaching style. Our workshops are set out to respond to end users’ needs and contribute to the achievement of professional goals, by guiding them in making the correct choices when it comes to tools and materials needed to fulfil their goals. We therefore need to keep in mind, that the adult learner needs to:
- know why the workshop is important to their learning and professional situation;
- be able to tap into prior knowledge and experiences;
- and apply the new knowledge to their professional situations.
This section will introduce adult learning theories that can be used to work with motivation of end users, and to ensure that the workshop provides end users with the best possible learning outcomes. This includes:
Andragogy; Making Experience Relevant
- Self-direction – Adults feel the need to take responsibility for their lives and decisions, therefore the workshop facilitator needs to focus on:
- a peer relationship with the instructor
- multiple options
- and initial, yet subtle support
- Practical and results-oriented – Adult learners are usually practically oriented and therefore the facilitator needs to:
- focus more on practice rather than theory
- provide information that can be applied directly to their professional needs
- Adults can be more interested in learning about topics that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life.
- focus on learnings that will directly improve their skills, facilitate work, boost confidence
- cover individual needs
- utilitarian content
- Adult learning is problem-centred (Kearsley, 2010) focused around the challenges they face in their jobs rather than content-oriented.
- Resistant to change – The facilitator needs to keep in mind that:
- experience and maturity lead to inflexibility and inhibits learning
- the “why” behind the change/new concept is vital –
- create a connection between the new concept/idea with existing ones (i.e. base new information on previous experience)
- and promote a need for exploration (ask questions that promote curiosity, how can we use this in real life?)
- New knowledge is built on previous knowledge. – The use of personal experience as a resource will:
- Help end users make use of prior knowledge and skills to validate new learning by testing them in their work, through discussions with others, and by building on past experience.
- Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities.
- Crucial to create a workshop with adults that have similar professional experience levels
- Slower learning – Adults learn at a slower pace. The facilitator therefore needs to keep in mind that:
- Although learning takes place at a slower pace, the learning that takes place is deeper. This means that the learner masters the content
- The adult learner is able to navigate knowledge and skills to unprecedented personal levels
- Attendance is a personal choice – more often learning in adulthood is voluntary. This means:
- Motivation comes from within (also intrinsic motivation)
- Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction
- Focus is on improving job skills and achieving professional growth
- Personal choice is the driving motivation behind learning
- Important to present material that will question conventional wisdom and stimulate the mind
- The activities should reflect some of the realities and challenges that the end users are facing in their professional lives
- High expectations – Adult learners can expect a lot from a workshop. Therefore, the LIVE2WORK workshop facilitator needs to make sure:
- Workshop content is useful and relevant to the end users’ working life
- The workshop will have immediate results – learning can be applied the moment the end user returns to his/her practice or work
- The workshop maximizes the end users’ advantages, meets their individual needs and addresses all the learning challenges
Andragogy is a term associated with adult education introduced by the American educator, Malcolm Knowles (1913-1997). When teaching adults, one needs to keep in mind that the role of the teacher is that of a facilitator and guide, rather than that of a teacher in the traditional sense.
The reasons for this being, adults are self-directed human beings, rather than dependent personalities who have accumulated experiences and resources to draw from. So, their readiness to learn has become oriented around the developmental tasks of their social roles. A facilitator uses his or her knowledge of how adults learn to create an environment that enables the participant to make use of prior knowledge and learning styles. In this way, the facilitator appears to guide the adult learner, by encouraging participants to share knowledge with each other.
Based on the six assumptions underlying andragogy, theorised by Knowles Figure 3.4. The “teacher” in the role of the “workshop facilitator” needs his or her end users to realise that they are lacking some knowledge in order to successfully complete a task or achieve something in life.
When the end user has acknowledged this gap in knowledge, it will help him or her to become more self-directed and independent in his or her learning.
Unlike children, adults typically like to choose what they want to learn, and how they wish to acquire the new knowledge. This means that the workshop facilitator ought to provide the adult learner with more choices and a collaborative learning environment. Motivation can therefore be generated by basing course content on the previous experience of end users. The adult learner can then make use of this experience to base new learnings and concepts. This also helps to create a dynamic learning environment, where debates, discussions and collaboration are central aspects. We can achieve this in the LIVE2WORK workshop, by making use of cases, and group discussions, and trying the workshop activities in groups.
What an adult is willing to learn, depends on what he or she feels that he or she needs to know, in order to be able to perform different tasks or to deal with different life situations. A problem-centred focus can therefore be beneficial, in the sense that it helps the end user see the immediate application of the learning, and subsequently leads the way to self-direction and internal motivation. Since the strongest motivation is internal, the workshop content should be focused around the following motivational factors:
- improving self-esteem of the end user
- improving overall quality of life for the end user (herein also work-life)
- opportunities for the end user to experience self-actualisation
Figure 9 Steps to motivational learning – Based on Knowles’ six assumptions related to the motivation of adult learning
A matured person’s motivation to learn is internal. Once an individual defines him/herself as an adult, the person no longer identifies him/herself as being a full-time learner but sees himself more as a producer or doer. The adult’s main source of self-fulfilment now derives from performance (i.e. as employee, husband, wife, or parent, etc). The adult’s self-concept becomes that of a self-directing personality, making own decisions, and facing the consequences of these. This also means, that the adult has a deep need to be perceived by others as being self-directing (i.e. takes initiative without help of others).
When teaching adults, it is therefore of utmost importance that they feel that they are met with respect, are given opportunities to make their own decisions, and to be seen as unique human beings.
 Knowles 1984:12,
Experiential Learning; Experience, Reflection, Conceptualisation, Experimentation
David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984 from which he developed his learning style inventory. Kolb’s experiential learning theory works on two levels: a four-stage cycle of learning and four separate learning styles. The central elements of his theories explain how a person learns through discovery and experience. He identifies a perspective on the “learning process” by introducing the Experiential Learning theory “ELT” and points out that the experience of the adult learner plays a highly central role in one’s learning process and how different types of persons learn through discovery and experience. ELT presents a holistic model of the learning process, which emphasises that experience plays a very central role in the learning process of the adult learner.
The 4 types of learners are; the pragmatist, the reflector, the theorist and the activist.
Figure 10 Based on Kolb’s Learning Cycle (1984)
The four types of learners. Who are they, and how can the facilitator work with them:
- These are people who like to think and do.
- This type of end user wants to know how to put what has been learned into practice in the real world.
- When working with this learner type, the facilitator can focus on specific tasks and provide the opportunity to experiment with theories, ideas, and techniques.
- With this type of end users, you should ensure that there is enough time to think about how what they’ve done relates to reality.
- These are people who like to feel and watch.
- This type of end user prefers to observe and think about what is happening.
- When working with this type of end user, the facilitator can ensure that there are opportunities to observe from the side-lines and collect data (i.e. taking notes).
- With these types of end users, the facilitator should make time and space taking the experiences they’ve perceived and working toward an appropriate conclusion.
- These are the people who like to think and watch.
- This type of end user seeks to understand the theory behind the action.
- You can work with this type of end user by allowing them to follow models and read up on facts to better engage in their own learning.
- With these types of end users, you can include tasks that involve reading stories and quotes, and providing as much background information as possible.
- These are the people who like to feel and do
- This type of end user is typically open minded, and doesn’t come into a situation with biases or pre-conceived ideas
- When working with this learner type, the facilitator can focus on tasks that are focused on action and experience
- With these types of end users, you can work with brainstorming, group discussions and problem-solving sessions
According to Kolb, adult learning takes place in four stages:
There is the Concrete Experience, which means that learning takes place through some sort of physical action, creating powerful experiences, or activities involving emotional response. This is where the pragmatist learner is most comfortable.
Reflective Observation means, that the end user engages in some sort of reflection upon the Concrete Experience. So, upon having been through an activity, it’s essential for the learning process, that it is followed up by a reflection stage. This can also mean that there needs to be time for activities involving observation, demonstrations, and cases. This is where the reflector learner is most comfortable.
Abstract Conceptualisation means the decoding of the abstract concepts, which have surfaced after reflections. Here, learner generalises and understands how some of these experiences fit in with their own professional reality. This is where the theorist learner is most comfortable.
Active Experimentation includes activities, which allow active participation. These would mostly be hands-on activities, like trying out the tools on their own, or doing role-plays, where they envisage a scenario of carrying out an activity with their own target groups. This is where the activist learner is most comfortable.
A good LIVE2WORK workshop is achieved by ensuring that content is presented through these four stages, accommodating all four learner needs.
Transformational Learning; The Importance of AHA! Moments
Figure 11 Transformational learning – Based on Transformational Learning Theory (Mezirow, 1990)
Transformational learning is essential when working with adult learners as it is based on the idea, that the role of the facilitator outweighs the delivery of information. Rather than solely placing focus on the content, the facilitator places more importance on helping end users be able to think critically, set goals, and reflect over the situation.
Transformational learning means to bring about a change in the learners’ actions and create “AHA! moments”. A more traditional way of running a workshop might be based on this model:
- a new topic is presented,
- something new is learned, but the learner’s epistemological system does not change its fundamental form or function. (epistemology is the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief and justification. It also deals with the means of production of knowledge, as well as scepticism about different knowledge claims.)
The LIVE2WORK facilitator, does not necessarily present all possible angles of the topic, to then test the extent to which that knowledge has been acquired. We wish to steer clear from this simple learning model. To achieve this, we can adopt transformational learning as our approach to running a workshop. Transformational Learning has a very close resemblance to personal development. That, which has been learned, transforms the individual, and the individual develops because of this learning.
Transformational learning takes place via the following steps:
- The individual realises that he/she has a dilemma, or a task that is difficult to solve. This means that the end user acknowledges that there is a need for change. Being aware of this need makes the end user open to acquire this new knowledge. The individual is curious, and ready to take the new information on-board.
- The content of the workshop needs to be obviously relevant to the end user’s context. This means that the workshop should aim at the specific context of the end users. If they work solely with refugees, then the content needs to focus primarily on these aspects of the tools. It is also necessary to give a clear picture of the end results from the beginning of the workshop. This will help the individual with the “what’s in it for me” question, and satisfy him or her, that this will have relevance.
- Make sure to see your learners as rational, able professionals, and create opportunities for them to reflect critically on issues, beliefs, and attitudes.
This is how making use of the Genie activity in the beginning of the workshop can be helpful, but also appreciative inquiries, and the use of case studies can play an important role in creating the AHA! moments for the end users.
Creating a need, creating a why
For a workshop to be successful, it is important that the facilitator creates a need for the learners. According to adult learning theories, which will be presented in the next chapters, it is most optimal when the need is linked to a relevant problem. This can be something related to the learners’ professional lives, or an area in which they are experiencing difficulties achieving a specific outcome. A need can also be their common interest, or a feeling that their input, experience and expertise is valuable and valued.
To maintain engagement and motivation during the workshop, it is essential to put the learner in the centre of the activities from the very beginning. You can ensure this by:
- Creating a “why” e.g. by finding out why end users have chosen to attend the training workshop.
- Creating a need: The facilitator can address a potential problem on the behalf of the end users, a problem that they can relate to or recognise. i.e.: use a personal case. In doing so, the reflections and learnings will enhance the output
- Giving end users time to speak about their own experiences and listening to their input;
- Asking questions and showing interest in finding out about your end users’ needs;
- Looking for cues from end users (e.g. using the pre-workshop activity: The Genie that can be brought up during the workshop. This activity can help illustrate how the tools fulfil end users’ needs and requirements to complete their tasks.
About the Genie activity
The Genie is very helpful in terms of finding out what type of needs your end users have, as well as giving the facilitator some insight into what challenges the end users attending the workshop are faced with in their jobs.
The point of the Genie activity, is to get the end users to think about and become more aware of the challenges they are facing at work. By bringing these up in the beginning of the workshop will help you create motivation and “AHA! moments” (i.e. new reflections or learning moments), when solutions to these are slowly revealed throughout the workshop. Once you have opened them up to this, you have succeeded in creating motivation, and you can include their insights and examples while explaining some of the tools and exercises.
Instructions for the Genie Activity
First of all, divide the end users into groups and instruct them that each group has just found a lamp. They have rubbed the lamp and a genie has appeared and granted them three wishes.
With these three wishes, they are allowed to make three changes to the way they work with their target groups. These can be changes relating to themselves, the physical structure of their organisation, management, tools available, and their colleagues.
The groups can be people who work together, so they can discuss what is working well and not working so well with people who know the structure, or they can be people who do not work together, and they get the opportunity to discuss and compare challenges from different points of view and organisations.
The groups need to decide on three common wishes. Once all groups understand the task, give them enough time to discuss and write the final three choices. They must decide on three common wishes for the group and post these on the wall. As the lists should be available, either to go back and discuss during the workshop or to be related to when working with tools, it might be a good idea to provide end users with markers and coloured paper. This will make the wish lists detectable and easy to spot. Don’t forget to allow some extra time for debriefing, setup, and posting on the wall.
Include examples from the end users’ stories throughout the workshop and incorporate them in the discussions and examples you will provide during theoretical presentations. The workshop facilitator, should not assume to have all the answers. The end users can, themselves, if asked to reflect upon issues, problems and challenges, come up with interesting solutions.
Learning Goals for the Workshop
Bloom’s taxonomy is a set of hierarchical models, covering cognitive, affective and sensory domains, which can be used to classify learning objectives in an educational setting. The taxonomy, which promotes mastery learning and higher-level thinking, can be helpful in the planning of learning objectives, as well as assessment of learning outcomes. Having access to well-defined and articulated learning objectives help the facilitator provide the target group with a clear purpose and focus on the acquisition of new learnings. It also helps the facilitator direct his or her choice of instructional activities and guides him or her in the choice of assessment strategies.
Bloom’s revised taxonomy is based on a progressive approach to learning. This means that learners need to pass from a lower level of thinking slowly moving forward to a higher level of thinking. This progression provides the facilitator with a useful hierarchical framework of thinking, which can be helpful in the delivering of workshops, and can assist in the development of performance tasks, in the phrasing of questions, as well as constructing problems to be solved.
According to Bloom, the main goal of the taxonomy, is to guide the facilitator in moving from “Lower Order Thinking Skills” (LOTS) to “Higher Order Thinking Skills” (HOTS). Primarily this means, that the further up the taxonomy the learner gets, the higher the cognitive complexity. (See table below for the hierarchical model)
In 2001 a group of cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists and instructional researchers, and testing and assessment specialists published a revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The publication was named “A Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment”, which further develops Bloom’s taxonomy into a more dynamic classification concept. They achieved this by using verbs and gerunds to describe the content of the categories. These action or measurable verbs describe the cognitive processes the learners will go through as they move up the hierarchy of learning categories. Examples of measurable action verbs: define, explain, solve, analyse, criticise, create.
In addition to the six cognitive processes and Bloom’s original description of three main types of knowledge, the authors added a fourth type of knowledge. The types of knowledge, starting with LOTS gradually moving up to HOTS are:
Figure 5 Process leading to Higher Order Thinking
- Factual Knowledge refers to having a basic grasp of specific disciplines. This refers to terminology, fundamental facts, elements to be familiar with to understand a discipline or solve a problem.
- Conceptual Knowledge refers to principles, classifications, generalisations, theories or structures relevant to a specific area.
- Procedural Knowledge refers to information or knowledge that can assist learners in something specific in an area of study. This also refers to methods of inquiry, very specific or finite skills, algorithms, techniques, and particular methodologies.
- Metacognitive Knowledge refers to the learner’s awareness of his or her own cognition and particular cognitive processes. This means that he or she has strategic or reflective knowledge about how to go about solving problems, cognitive tasks, to include contextual and conditional knowledge and knowledge of self. In other words; thinking about his or her thinking in a purposeful way.
 (Summarized from: Anderson, L. W. & Krathwohl, D.R., et al (2001) A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.)
The progression through the six levels of learning, takes the learner from a lower order of thinking …
- (remember) Being presented with information and assessing whether the information has been retained, to;
- (understand) Being able to explain the concepts that have been presented to him or her, and;
- (use) Using this information in a new way.
… and slowly moves the learner higher up in the thinking process towards a higher order of thinking.
In higher order thinking, the learner will be able to:
- (analyse) Differentiate between the various parts or components of the acquired knowledge;
- (assess) Show that he or she is able to take a stance, consider different solutions, or make an informed decision on how to solve a task or a problem, and;
- (create) Generate a new idea or create a new thought process based on what he or she has previously learned.
Basically, this knowledge can be kept in mind when:
- adapting workshop content,
- planning how to present knowledge,
- deciding which types of activities, we present our learners with.
This means, that the higher the cognition level of the learners, the higher the order of thinking you should include in the workshop. Keep in mind to include these levels of learning and thinking, when planning and running the workshops.
Figure 6 Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy
This figure is based on Bloom’s revised taxonomy (2001) and includes action verbs in relation to knowledge that should be acquired during a LIVE2WORK training workshop. Workshop facilitators can use this to plan the workshop and to asses learning outcomes.
Providing Support and the Zone of Proximal Development
The zone of proximal development (ZPD) has been defined as:
“the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem-solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86).
The model illustrates three developmental zones, of which one is the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The inner circle/ level, is what a person is comfortable doing without any outside assistance. This means tasks, that the person feels comfortable doing and can do without too much effort. The second circle of development is the ZPD. This is the level where learning takes place. The ZPD means that the learner works with tasks that emanate from what the learner can do already but includes some new elements that he or she can build on, with external guidance or support. If the task is too far from what the learner already knows or can do, then we enter the danger zone, the level in which the learner cannot do, and where learning will more than likely not take place. Keeping a balance between content and tasks, ensures that the learner is in the ZPD. This is the key to efficient learning. When the learner is in the green zone, he or she is comfortable, but not being challenged, in the yellow zone, the individual needs to pay attention to the task and is challenged. In the red zone, there is too much for the individual to take on, the task is too difficult, the individual feels pressure, and there is a high risk that the task cannot be completed.
When running a LIVE2WORK workshop, the facilitator needs to have a good idea of where the end users are in their development and which knowledge and skills they have prior to attending the workshop. If the workshop only presents the learners with tasks that they already can do without assistance, they will not learn anything new. If the learners are presented with content that is too far away from what they can do or know, then this will more than likely create a feeling of anxiety and a may lead to failure to provide them with a relevant and meaningful workshop.
In order to work with the ZPD, the end user needs to be provided with the necessary amount of scaffolding, in other words: external support. This support can come from the workshop facilitator, or from peers. The level of support may vary, depending on the individual, and the level of knowledge that he or she has. As the learner progresses, the scaffolding can be removed bit by bit. This goes for all learners whether they are learners attending your workshop, or target groups attending intervention sessions.
Figure 7 Zone of Proximal Development
Ownership and Understanding – Appreciative Inquiries Project Live2Work
End users attending the workshop are learners, but first and foremost, they are individuals who also need to set their own goals. In order for end users to take ownership of the methods presented to them, they need to be included in the goal setting and selection of activities. Ownership is helpful for the change process.
A workshop is a team activity, during which learners get to join in and participate in activities which enables them to bring their own experiences and knowledge to the table. As the LIVE2WORK workshops cater to professionals, who already have a great deal of experience and knowledge, we can assist them in adding to these new methods and tools to their existing skillsets and knowledge, by bringing their own personal experience into the workshop.
On top of all the theories and methodological approaches to teaching, the most important is, first and foremost, the personality traits of a successful teacher. According to Helle Bjerregaard, these personality traits are: professional experience, good communication skills, good co-creation skills, empathy and personal resources, engagement, energy, personal character, respect, authority and authenticity
Listening promotes empathy, and as an added benefit, it helps the facilitator learn more about his/her workshop end users. The use of appreciative inquiries (AI), which is based on a socio-rationalist theory of change, can help people have conversations that generate new, affirming, developmental transitions, and stories with shared meanings that the end users invest in.
We can apply AI to create conversations that can lead to changes based on a positive understanding of the end users’ pasts. According to Cooperrider and Srivastva (1987), the appreciative inquiry begins with appreciation, applicability, provocation, and collaboration. This means that the process of AI begins with an observation of what is going well, followed up by a collaborative discussion (i.e. effectively engaging in a range of discussion: one-on-one, in groups, and trainer-led, with diverse partners on different topics, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly) and vision of “what might be”, to “what should be” and investigating “what can be”.
Figure 8 The 5 Ds of Appreciative Inquiries – *Bernard J Mohr & Jane Magrunder Watkins, The Essentials of Appreciative Inquiry: A Roadmap for Creating Positive Futures
Basically, the facilitator can make use of appreciative inquiries to ask the right questions and subsequently help the end users achieve their goals. Appreciative inquiries can be extremely helpful to encourage active participation, increase motivation, and learning.
In the LIVE2WORK project workshops, we expect the end users to be active participants in the workshops, and for them to play the role of agents of change and role models, and workshop facilitators themselves therefore need to put these attitudes into practice when interacting with the end users. The appreciative inquiry approach helps the workshop facilitator rethink the way he/she asks questions, stimulating curiosity, generating positive responses, and helping to identify the best in other people.
 Helle Bjergegaard, the teacher and personality
 (Barrett, Thomas & Hocevar, 1995, Bushe, 1995, Cooperrider, 1990, Gergen, 1990)
This section of the guide, is dedicated to preparing the facilitator to assist end users who work with a blended target group or exclusively with migrants and refugees. The content herein will provide the facilitator with some of the background knowledge necessary to train end users in the use of the tools for these specific groups, and to address the diverse needs that these groups might have.
Because people with a migrant or refugee background may have different education attainment and cognitive levels, it is important to differentiate between nationals, migrants and refugees, when working with the tools, and you need to keep this in mind when you are running a L2W workshop. The project presupposes that the target group, who falls in the category migrant or refugee, has a level of language proficiency corresponding to between A2 and B1 level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
Ultimately, the LIVE2WORK facilitator should strive to achieve the same outcomes as the outcomes and aims as those for native speakers/nationals; the development of soft skills, promoting building new life stories. For end users who work in refugee/language centres, or organisations that combine language and work training, the end user should underline that the focus must be solely on completing the activities as described in the toolbox, rather than focusing on language training.
Knowing that the L2W materials have been conceived for a target audience composed by professionally vulnerable young adults, migrants and refugees, of whom many may have low literacy skills, it is important that the facilitator of the L2W materials bears in mind the following aspects in regard to the target group with a refugee or migrant background:
- Knowing that the L2W project also caters to aiding end users who work with refugees and migrants, many with limited literacy and numeracy skills. It is crucial to insist that end user is aware of his/ her audience when facilitating the L2W materials in a participant-centred approach
- In accordance to current researchmany refugees may present symptoms of post-traumatic stress, this does not necessarily reduce their ability to function. In general, present stressors – basic personal needs, family needs, racism, discrimination – cause greater distress to refugees than the traumas of the past
- It is very important that the L2W end user have the experience of working with/ or interacting with target groups with this specific background, their motivation to participate in the programme or session, and how important it is for them to go through the content of the materials.
- The end user must also bear in mind that he/she is working with a target group whose priority is to find a job in a society that is completely new to him/her besides the difficulties that the host country language presents to him/her, the anxiety felt over the perceived hurdles of trying to fit in in a new social context. The end user must create a dynamic and content relevant class environment thus positively reframing and continuously motivating the target group
- Current research points to the issue that “the less education one has, the more difficult it is to profit from formal education, where organisation and thinking skills and school-based skills are needed to succeed”. The L2W end user should, therefore, be aware that the progress of his/her participants may take place at a different pace than their peers, since these participants’ needs are complex due to reduced concentration levels and short-term memory. For these reasons, the L2W facilitator should insist on not having more than 5-6 participants in a session.
- It is advisable that the L2W end user acquires as much knowledge as possible about the world situation regarding the massive displacements of people, may it be due to war, climate change, poverty, exclusion, etc.
- The L2W end user ought to develop awareness of how his/her culture impacts the way he/she sees and relates to people from other cultures and religions; develop a capacity to be empathic and non-judgemental towards those who have different cultures and past experiences.
- It is recommended that the L2W end user perceives refugees and/or migrants as resilient, more than traumatised people.
For participants with an A2 or lower B1 language proficiency, it can be helpful to emphasise the benefits to your end users, of making use of visual aids or letting groups carry out some of the tasks in their own language, in order to offer the availability of more in depth conversations and enabling reflection (thinking about their own thinking).
For end users who work with target groups of mixed language skills, the workshop facilitator should emphasise that it can be helpful for participants with stronger language skills to assist weaker participants by translating the tasks at hand. Furthermore, if end users work with groups who speak one or a few specific languages, they could also translate the handouts to these languages. In this way, the participant has the option of reading and understanding the task descriptions themselves and in their own language. It would be advisable to include a trainer, who is proficient in the language and is able to clarify some of the concepts.
For professionals working with groups of people with limited literacy levels, it is possible to recommend the use of text to speech apps that can scan and read a text from paper or read text already on a device. Working with groups of people with different literacy levels, it is also possible to ask more proficient readers to assist those who are less proficient.
 present stressors – basic personal needs, family needs, racism, discrimination – cause greater distress to refugees than the traumas of the past
Examples of some free text to speech apps – English
- Balabolka – http://www.cross-plus-a.com/balabolka.htm
- Natural Readers – https://www.naturalreaders.com/
- Panopreter – http://www.panopreter.com/en/products/pb/index.php
- Word Talk – http://www.wordtalk.org.uk/home/
- Zabaware – https://www.zabaware.com/reader/
The importance of social norms
When working with target groups with a migrant or refugee background, it might also be important for the end user to consider cultural differences, and how to approach these. One of the main issues to be aware of, is the difference in social norms. These are not automatically apparent, as they lay beneath the surface.
Social norms are basically unwritten rules, that most people within a society adhere to. Not being aware of these differences can, in some cases, lead to conflict or culture clash. Some examples of such norms can be:
- Different concepts of time
- What men/women can/can’t do
- What is good humour
- What is polite or custom in one culture, can be rude or intrusive in another
- How to deal with figures of authority (i.e. law enforcement/teachers/employers) may vary depending on the hierarchical structure of the society in question
In the absence of comparative information on the cultural life of others, history has shown us that some groups of newly arrived people may withdraw from society and consequently isolate themselves from their surrounding society. These people might then end up existing in a vacuum. A negative side effect of this; the individual continues to perpetuate the stereotypes that he or she has towards the host society and vice versa. Understanding how to navigate in the host society can therefore have a positive effect on newly arrived people, creating lasting change.
Gary Weaver (1986) uses the image of an iceberg to explain different layers of culture (see figure below) which can also help us hone in on the most important areas when working with newly arrived people. The list below shows some of the cultural issues that have an impact on our interactions:
Figure 3 The Cultural Iceberg based on Gary Weaver’s (1986) Cultural Iceberg
“Interculture” is a manifestation of what happens when two or more cultures meet and interact with each other. People from different cultures can have different traditions, points of view, experiences, knowledge and outlooks on life, depending on which culture, the individual grew up in or has been influenced by. “Interculture” is the intermediate “hybrid culture” which is created when several different cultures are joined together and create a new, often unprecedented new culture.
Social norms and intercultural understanding are closely linked, because they are formed through the social norms inherited through constant interaction with the people closest to the individual, and the society in which he or she has been brought up. When moving from one society and culture to another, these social norms can vary, and sometimes these variations can be considerable. Not realising that these differences exist, can have grave consequences. For this particular segment of the target group, the toolbox section about “Tolerance to Differences”, provides important tools to work with and develop awareness of differences of one self and perception of others and how to deal with these.
In general, the Toolbox aims to focus on the development of an individual’s strengths and resources and working in groups to assist him/her to become aware of and consider the strengths, skills, and resources of others. These tools can therefore also be extremely helpful in creating awareness of cultural differences, and how to deal with situations such as being faced with differences. (See activity 16 Perceptions and Tolerance to Differences from the toolbox.)
Creating Critical Cultural Awareness
The development of critical cultural awareness is essential for the target group. To ensure successful integration, he or she needs to avoid becoming stuck in negative stereotypes, over-generalisations, and limiting beliefs. To help us achieve this, Michael Byram (1997, 2012) has demonstrated the importance of critical cultural awareness. His perspective ons intercultural competencies is based on the following five dimensions;
Figure 4 Model of intercultural communicative competence
Diagram of Michael Byram’s (1997) Model of Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) Müller- Hartmann, Andreas / Schocker-von Ditfurth; Marita (2007). Introduction to English Language Teaching. Stuttgart: Klett.
But what does this mean, and how can these areas be implemented in an intervention session with the target groups?
Attitudes and values are learned from a very early age. Every person is influenced by the people in their immediate surroundings, i.e. parents, teachers, and friends, but this can also include media and other influences. Attitudes are the unwritten rules, by which we live our lives and make our choices. It cannot be taken for granted that the target group is aware of these attitudes and beliefs, and it is imperative that the facilitator has the ability to reflect curiosity about, and is open to, other cultures and beliefs. It is also important that the facilitator is willing to relativize his or her own values, beliefs, behaviours, understand where differences come from, and have the ability to see how these might look from the perspective of an outsider.
How can this be implemented in the programme?
During discussion with target groups during programme, the end user must include as many perspectives and suggestions as possible. This can be achieved through the use of brainstorms to engage participants in bringing their own views to the discussions. One can also include opportunities to meet people from a workplace, or from the local community, to have discussions and get to know their attitudes and beliefs and create opportunities to learn about each other. The trainer can introduce topics based on values and attitudes and help the participants create questions to ask the guest. Make sure the participants have been prepared for the guest and emphasise the importance of keeping an open mind and respecting the views of others. The trainer can ask the target group to reflect on their beliefs about their host culture in conjunction with visits or encounters with locals regarding products, practices, and perspectives.
Skills of interpreting and relating
This describes an individual’s ability to interpret, explain, and relate events and documents from another culture to one’s own culture.
How can this be implemented in the programme?
Once the target group has spent time examining their attitudes and beliefs, participants can start to engage in tasks that encourage thoughtful and rational evaluation of perspectives, products, and practices related to the host culture. The toolbox chapter relating to Transitional skills includes activities that can be used for this purpose.
This will enable participants to draw from knowledge acquired during earlier phases to defend, with proof of rigorous inquiry and thoughtful reasoning, their beliefs about the host culture. Once the target group has acquired a deeper understanding of the target culture, their beliefs and attitudes will change, resulting in a more profound understanding of the host culture. Especially applying disputations to beliefs, and working with the cognitive diamond, is relevant in this stage.
This can also be achieved by working with tasks that involve taking the time to read, analyse or interpret scenarios (e.g. videos, role plays, narratives, podcasts). It is possible to, for example, discuss examples where conflicts arise due to misunderstandings. Set a scenario for the participants and ask them to analyse the situation. What has happened, why, and what do participants suggest could be done differently to circumvent the conflict?
Skills of discovery and interaction
The ability to acquire new knowledge of a culture/cultural practices and to operate knowledge, attitudes, skills in real-time communication and interaction.
How can this be implemented in the programme?
The trainer should create activities that encourage participants to consider new values and beliefs based on their own discoveries during situations of cooperative investigation. This means working to control the direction of own learning while the role of the trainer is that of a guide throughout the process of discovery. It is not the trainer’s role to push a personal viewpoint on the target group. The end user should instead create an open environment of inquiry in a way that inspires participants to discover the origins of judgments or stereotypes independently.
This is not only related to knowledge on one specific culture, rather:
- Understanding how social groups and identities function
- Knowledge about social processes and the results of these
- Understanding other people and oneself
- Understanding individual and societal interaction
- Knowing and remembering facts about other countries
- Awareness and knowledge about auto stereotypes (on own culture)
- Awareness and knowledge about hetero-stereotypes (culture of others)
How can this be implemented in the programme?
Brainstorm the social groups that exist in the host society, as well as the target group’s countries of origins. Look for similarities between these societies. In this situation the participant can take into account the information from the other class members and learn about their backgrounds.
Use the Cultural Iceberg to illustrate social norms and discuss how this can be useful when interacting with others. Draw an iceberg on the board, and place words in the iceberg, where the participants help find nouns and/or verbs to write in the three levels. (see iceberg diagram on page 10 for inspiration). Have the target groups work on and do presentations about their home countries and invite guests from the local community for question and answer sessions about living in the host society.
Critical cultural awareness
The ability to evaluate critically on the basis of explicit criteria, perspectives, practices, products in one’s own and other cultures. Dealing with people from another culture always involves the task of evaluating the culture. This evaluation often leads to some sort of generalisation or stereotyping. When aiming for a critical evaluation of another culture, the participant must have acquired the other four levels of competences (Attitudes, Skills of Interpreting and Relating, Skills of Discovery and Interaction, and Knowledge), including a critical perspective on one’s own culture.
How can this be implemented in the programme?
Participants must be presented with opportunities to practice the skill of critical evaluation. Participants need to learn how to evaluate the practices, products, and perspectives of the host culture. Therefore, participants need time to identify and reflect upon preconceived ideas, judgments, and stereotypes toward individuals from the host culture. It is inevitable that a certain amount of predetermined ideas will be introduced to intercultural conversations. For this reason, it is the role of the trainer to guide participants in considering the origins of these preconceived notions, provide assistance in questioning the validity of these, and determining whether or not these judgments are rational or unsound.
The LIVE2WORK project has produced various tools and materials free for all to use, adapt and translate, and we strongly recommend that professionals who have participated in one of our workshops pay it forward, and train others in the use of the tools. In this way, we create a multiplier effect by spreading the knowledge to as large a group as possible. As we wish to receive and make use of feedback from end users, we would be very happy, if workshop participants can fill out the workshop evaluation form (see Questions and Answers section for link to the form). This will help us to continue to adapt and perfect the materials to the needs of the people actively using them.
This guide is intended to assist professionals, who have attended a LIVE2WORK workshop or successfully completed the online learning course on the LIVE2WORK learning platform, in running their own LIVE2WORK workshop for colleagues and peers. In this guide, we refer to the participants, or learners (attending a LIVE2WORK workshop) as end users, and the trainer (running the LIVE2WORK workshop) as the workshop facilitator. When referring to the people that the respective end users work with in their professional situations, we refer to target groups. This guide will introduce workshop facilitators to a selection of adult learning theories that can assist them in running inclusive, motivational, and efficient LIVE2WORK workshops.
The LIVE2WORK project intends to address policy issues regarding tackling unemployment.
Until now, efforts have mostly been focused on getting adults to enter the workforce, rather than ensuring a good match between labour market needs and the skills available in the person in question. This disparity causes problems; not only does it place the individual in a position of not being able to meet the requirements of the company, but the company does not acquire the most qualified work force that it needs. Hence, we do not meet the employment objectives. For more information about employment issues, see The Conceptual Manual chapter 2.1.4.
One of the major issues that the partners in the LIVE2WORK project are faced with, is the tendency for many unemployed, low skilled people that eventually do enter the work force, find themselves unemployed shortly after. There may be various reasons for this, but one of the main causes, seems to be, in the experience of the LIVE2WORK consortium, due to a lack of the necessary transitional skills awareness, to successfully transition to the new life situation. For more information about skills issues, see The Conceptual Manual chapter 2.1.5.
According to an OECD report, “They (soft skills) are important to young people’s resilience and focus on emotional and social dimensions as well as problem-solving abilities and creativity.” To enhance employment opportunities for the target groups, we need to ensure that they are prepared in the best possible way to enter the labour market, and to safeguard that the end users of the LIVE2WORK project, have access to adequate and practical tools to aid them in achieving these goals. If the true goal of the training is to find a relationship between the development of skills and the integration to the labour market, the training should not be limited to the development of job specific skills but also to enabling and empowering transferable skills.
Several studies point out that peoples’ ability to make use of “soft skills” determines whether employment efforts will be successful or not. According to one of the studies, the assessment company, Wonderlic, “Soft Skills” are high on the priority list for the hiring managers’. The 2016 study showed that 93 percent of employers deemed soft skills to be either an “essential” or “very important” element in hiring decisions. The study reported that soft skills were in even higher demand than tech skills. And as it has become apparent that industry specific training and practical skills development cannot stand alone, it is necessary to simultaneously focus on hard and soft skills development. While it is important for employment efforts to develop professional skills, the LIVE2WORK consortium deems it essential to simultaneously work on the development and strengthening of the individual’s ability to deal with the transitions throughout the process of change. For more information about the scope/aim of the project, see chapter 1 in The Conceptual Framework.
Aims of the Workshop Facilitator’s Guide
The pedagogical materials and tools to be presented during the workshop are targeted towards all those involved in the process of building life projects with young adults (between the ages of 18 and 30) in situations of professional vulnerability, including migrants and refugees. (see figure 1.1). The main goal of this “Workshop Facilitator’s Guide” is to prepare end-users (e.g. advisors, mentors, social workers) in running LIVE2WORK workshops for their colleagues and peers in the use of the LIVE2WORK tools, and consequently, spreading the use of the tools to a wider audience, via a train the trainer concept. This will be ensured through hands-on and practical workshops, that build on the knowledge and experience of end users. The workshop is therefore structured and designed in a way to teach professional end users how to use the tools with a learner centred focus, using methodologies based on adult learning theories.
Considering the recommendations identified in the Conceptual Framework Manual (IO1 – chapter 2.3) concerning the knowledge and competences of the end users, the workshop facilitator´s guide also provides proposals and strategies of how to apply, train and developed specific skills namely regarding culturally sensitive and responsive intervention allowing greater impact and adequacy on the work developed with the target group.
It is recommended that end users attending a LIVE2WORK workshop for facilitators have knowledge about the following theoretical areas:
- social justice issues;
- traditional models for supporting individuals through the process of change;
- the impacts of systematic forces/systems theories
- clients’ concerns, and their specific challenges and barriers;
- resources and services that can support the target groups in other areas of life.
It is recommended that end users attending a LIVE2WORK workshop have the following competences:
- specific competencies for construction of life projects;
- general counselling skills;
- communication and interpersonal skills;
- intercultural understanding.
To gain more insight into the above-mentioned topics and theories, please see the Conceptual Framework.
The LIVE2WORK training workshop will present end users (see figure 1.2) to social and educational theories that will assist them in their work with the target group and introduce them to the following topics:
- Self-Knowledge – working with exploration of environment, competence and skills development, network relations and role models.
- World-knowledge – working with the environment, social network relations and role-models.
- Transitional skills – working with positive emotions, challenging thoughts and beliefs, perceptions and tolerance to differences and time management.
- Decision-making – working with design and construction of desired future, goal setting and commitment contract.
Figure 1 Target groups
Figure 2 End users
Overview of the LIVE2WORK Tools and Materials
All tools and materials can be accessed via our LIVE2WORK webpage and online learning platform.
Follow this link to access the webpage and all the materials and tools.
Or you can:
- Go straight to the learning platform here.
- Go straight to the conceptual framework here.
- Go straight to the LIVE2WORK toolbox, technical and instructional sheets, participants handouts and supporting resources here.
- Go straight to the LIVE2WORK workshop PowerPoint Presentations here.
In order to best understand and successfully train others in the use of the tools provided in this project, it is important to have read:
- The conceptual framework
- The toolbox, including technical and supporting sheets
- The Workshop Facilitator’s Guide
and to have attended either a LIVE2WORK workshop or completed the LIVE2WORK online learning course via the LIVE2WORK learning platform.