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Developing and Implementing Effective Training for Volunteers

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An introduction to the methods and manners of Technical Writing. How to design and implement new training materials.

An introduction to the methods and manners of Technical Writing. How to design and implement new training materials.


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  • 1. Designing and Implementing Effective Training Materials for Volunteers
  • 2. When you see these symbols:
    • Main ideas
    • FYI (you may need this later)
    • Cool Idea
  • 3. Overview
    • The importance of effective training materials
    • Where do I begin?
    • How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • How do I implement the training materials?
    • Once the materials are created and the training completed, am I done?
    • Hands-on: Designing the perfect job aid
  • 4. The Importance of Effective Training Materials
  • 5. The importance of effective volunteer training materials
    • Have you ever had a negative volunteering experience?
    • Could this have been solved with better training materials?
    • Could this have been solved with better training?
  • 6. One Department’s Volunteer Experience
    • Learning from the Eugene Police Department
      • Volunteer program needed evaluation
      • Initially volunteer opportunities were limited
      • Once opportunities expanded, people responded
      • Quality training became crucial to the department.
        • Training sessions consist of:
          • Orientation
          • Overview of the organizational chart
          • Handbook review (31 pages of material)
          • OJT training (including field training & academy training)
  • 7.
    • A clearly written, accurate guide to volunteer job duties & expectations
      • Including policies and procedures, forms & agreements and reference materials
    • Comprehensive training
    • Monitored O.J.T. (on the job training)
    • Follow up checks for quality assurance
    What do you mean by “effective volunteer training materials”?
  • 8. Where do I begin?
  • 9. Where do I begin?
    • The 1 st three principles from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People apply here!
      • Be Proactive
      • Begin with the End in Mind
      • Put First Things First
  • 10. Where do I begin?
    • What does your volunteer need to know?
    • Have you done their job? If not, do it yourself!
    • Assess the tasks and take notes about the process
    • Define the outcome – what do you want to achieve?
    • Select the 3 M’s : M ethods, M edia, M aterials
    • Research current materials used for training
  • 11. Where do I begin?
    • Doing the job yourself & assessing tasks
      • Clear your mind, walk through the process slowly and carefully, taking detailed notes
        • DO remember to jot down your concerns
        • DON’T forget to write down a step!
      • Do the job using your notes
        • Did you remember EVERYTHING? Chances are, you will need to do this several times. Repeat the process with every re-write of the original notes.
    • CPI: C ontinual P rocess I mprovement is an
    • added benefit – who knows better than you?
  • 12. Where do I begin?
    • What do I want to achieve?
      • Knowledgeable volunteers
      • Simpler training process
      • More time for self
      • Less work for others
      • Satisfied workers & recipients
      • Better work flow
      • Clearly defined goals for volunteering
      • Written policies, procedures & expectations
  • 13. Where do I begin?
    • The 3 M’s
        • Methods
          • Style guide
          • Technical approach (ASSURE, ADDIE)
          • Casual approach
        • Media
          • Written materials
          • DVD/Video recordings
        • Materials
          • How will they be produced?
          • What type of materials will they be?
          • What will they cost?
  • 14.
    • Methods – Style Guide
      • What is a Style Guide
      • Why is a Style Guide useful?
        • Standard way of writing materials
        • Answers questions before they are asked
        • Helps all members of an organization keep things uniform
      • How do I create a Style Guide?
        • Use other people’s guides as templates
        • Use other manuals as examples
    Where do I begin?
  • 15. Where do I begin?
    • Methods – Technical Approach
    • ASSURE
    • A nalyze Learners
      • S tate Objectives
      • S elect Media, Methods, and Materials
      • U tilize media and materials
      • R equire Participation
      • E valuate and Revise
  • 16.
    • Methods – Technical Approach
    • ADDIE
    • A = analyze - Identify a performance deficiency
    • (training = intervention)
    • D = design - Writing performance objectives
    • sequencing content, selecting instructional methods
    • D = development - Creation of instructional materials
    • I = implementation - Installation and maintenance
    • E = evaluation - Validating and summative evaluation)
    Where do I begin?
  • 17. Where do I begin?
    • Methods – Casual Approach
    • Nothing wrong with “casual”
      • Generally less work involved in creating materials
      • Has few defined parameters to track
      • Anyone can write it, add to it, edit it
  • 18. Where do I begin?
    • Media – Written Materials
    • Guide
    • Manual
    • Job Aids
    • Pamphlet
    • Flow chart
    • Other examples of written materials
  • 19. Where do I begin?
    • Media – DVD/Video Recordings
    • DVDs and Videos are portable and show step-by-step training processes for volunteers
      • Remember to use mainstream media
      • Use volunteers as actors!
      • Always use a script (you can use your jobs aids/handbook/manual as a script outline!)
    • Offer e-learning opportunities by presenting streaming media on the web
    • How do I create and upload videos ONLINE at virtually no cost to my organization?
  • 20. Where do I begin?
    • Media – DVD/Video Recordings
    • WELCOME TO YouTube!
      • How do I make a video?
        • You’ll need a way to capture digital movies
          • Camcorder
          • Digital Camera
          • Web cam
      • How do I get my Video on YouTube?
        • Quick Capture
          • A way to record directly to YouTube
          • Find more information in the YouTube Help Center
      • Great example: Dickinson College Volunteer Training
  • 21. Where do I begin?
    • Materials – How will they be produced?
    • Guides/Handbooks/Manuals/Job Aids
      • Binding vs. Binder
      • Packets
      • Folders
      • Sleeves
    • DVD or Video Media
      • Direct to website
      • Offer actual DVD or Tape
  • 22. Where do I begin?
    • Materials – What type of written materials
    • are they?
    • Guides Binding
    • Manuals Binders
    • Handbooks Packets/Folders
    • Job Aids Sleeves
  • 23. Where do I begin?
    • Materials – What will the cost be?
    • Binding Machines
      • Investment, one-time cost + bindings
      • Volunteers can be trained to use these
      • Materials look professionally designed
    • Copy centers
      • Ask for discounts!
    • Office Supply Stores
      • Discounts for bulk quantities
  • 24. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
  • 25. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • Finalize your Style Guide
    • Evaluate your current materials
    • Outline any new materials to be written
    • Rough draft your new documentation
    • Send out final drafts with SME Sign-Off
    • Print your material and compile based on the size/shape of the documentation
    • Review and evaluate your materials periodically
  • 26. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • Finalizing your Style Guide
      • What will your materials look like in general?
      • Have you addressed all abbreviations and acronyms?
      • Have you decided what your “Design Basics” will be?
        • Standard practices
        • Layout
        • Statements/Missions/Disclaimers text
      • Don’t forget your Document Review & Sign Off checklists!
  • 27. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • Evaluate your current materials
      • Do training materials currently exist?
      • Yes – if yes, review materials for correctness
          • Are they correct? If so, you may just need to reorganize the material to reflect your Style Guide.
          • If they are incorrect, you will need to update with the correct information and go through checklist and sign off process
      • No – If no, prepare to write out processes in detail and create an outline for your materials
  • 28. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • Outline any new materials to be written
      • Outlines can be extremely valuable and revealing
      • Consider a Split-Page design to outline
        • Half page of outline, half page for notes to update your outline
      • The more detailed the outline, the easier your materials will be to write
      • The trick to creating a great outline is DETAIL – not DESCRIPTIONS
  • 29. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • Rough draft your new documentation
      • Once you have your detailed outline, you can begin to add your descriptions and content
      • Do not fear if your materials initially lack cohesiveness, now is the time to get the data down on paper
    • Once you have completed your draft, read through and check for organization of your ideas, clarity of statements, correct grammar usage and correct punctuation
  • 30. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • Send out final draft with Final Checklist and SME Sign-Off attached
      • What is a SME?
      • Give clear guidelines about due dates for return
    • Edits
      • Expect edits from SMEs
        • Edit for CONTENT ONLY, no reason to rewrite sentences unless others really believe they are misleading
        • Remember: Everyone has a different writing style
        • Try to remain detached from your work – don’t take the edits personally!
  • 31. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • Print your material and compile based on the size/shape of the documentation
      • Ask yourself “Is this a guide, a manual, a job aid” and compile based on the answer
      • Why ask that question first?
        • For manuals in binders, you may want to print and copy on three-hole-punched paper
        • For some Guides and Job Aids you might want to copy double-sided
        • You may need to make changes to your materials at the last minute depending on edits from SMEs
  • 32. How do I design the written materials to train someone effectively?
    • Review and evaluate your materials periodically
      • One of the most important steps of ADDIE
      • This insures that outdated information is removed from your material on a regular basis
      • Corrections (missed steps, changes in processes) are caught and updated in this step
      • Effectiveness is obtained through evaluation
        • If it IS broken, it needs to be fixed
        • If it doesn’t make sense, explain it better
  • 33. How do I implement the materials?
  • 34. How do I implement the materials?
    • Easy does it
      • Don’t break the bank or stress yourself out!
      • Consider implementing the new material when old material is outdated & needs changing
      • Start small – Job Aids!
    • First things first
      • Implement most often-used materials first if possible
    • Quality vs. Quantity
      • Make sure your information is correct, complete, revised, reviewed and READY!
  • 35. How do I implement the materials?
    • Training sessions
      • Invite newcomers and “oldies” to attend the same training session (or sessions) together
    • Replace all old materials
      • This is INVALUABLE.
      • May take time, bad materials hide in all sorts of nooks and crannies!
    • Mail out packets or job aids to current volunteers
  • 36. How do I implement the materials?
    • VERBAL SURVEY
    • Ask newcomers how this experience and these materials compare to previous volunteer experiences
    • Ask “oldies” if they like the new materials and/or changes that you have made
      • If yes, ask why
      • If no, ask why not and what they would change
  • 37. Once the materials are created and the training completed, am I done?
  • 38. Once the materials are created, am I done?
    • NO! NO! NO!
    • Remember: ADDIE model
        • A Analyze
        • D Design
        • D Develop
        • I Implement
        • E Evaluate and Revise
    • Consider written surveys!
  • 39. Hands On: Designing the PERFECT Job Aid
  • 40. Designing the PERFECT Job Aid
    • No longer than 1 page, both sides
    • Must contain all main ideas of job duties and answer general questions that would likely arise during the job
    • Must adhere to the best practices discussed in this session