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.