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Brianne McDonough, Courtney
Newman, Amy Player-Smith
1. OLs will learn to successfully set expectations for new students.
2. OLs with identify non-verbal cues
3. OLs will sele...
• Divide the meeting participants into groups of four or five people by having them
number off. (You do this because peopl...
What Are Their Expectations?
• Setting group expectations is a proactive way to get through the year in a positive manner....
Materials Needed:
• Sheets with scenarios written on them
What’s it About?
• You have emphasized how important it is for O...
Materials Needed:
• Resource List and Key
• Campus Map (optional)
• Worksheet provided on spreadsheet for students to comp...
• Stereotype Chat: Place a paper on each person's
back with a characteristic on it (Valley Girl, Smart,
Happy, Rich). Don'...
Materials Needed:
• Paper for OLs to jot down ideas
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBeHiPabqBE
Best Approaches
• Here’s...
Materials Needed:
• paper and pencils
• list of OL tough questions
What’s it About?
• Practice makes perfect...or at least...
Questions to include:
• Will you be able to set expectations for new students?
• Do you better understand non-verbal cues?...
Orientation Leader Training: Overview
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Orientation Leader Training: Overview

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I developed this orientation leader training as an assignment in my graduate program. I worked collaboratively with two of my classmates, Courtney Struble-Newman and Amy Player-Smith. This presentation provides an overview of the training we designed for student orientation leaders. The institution would be a public four-year institution.

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Orientation Leader Training: Overview

  1. 1. Brianne McDonough, Courtney Newman, Amy Player-Smith
  2. 2. 1. OLs will learn to successfully set expectations for new students. 2. OLs with identify non-verbal cues 3. OLs will select the correct approach to address non-verbal cues. 4. OLs will be able to reference campus resources. 5. OLs will learn techniques to field difficult questions 6. OLs will understand the expectations for working with peers, students, and administrators throughout orientation. 7. OLs will learn techniques for communicating with prospective students and their families 8. OLs will understand the importance of setting appropriate boundaries
  3. 3. • Divide the meeting participants into groups of four or five people by having them number off. (You do this because people generally begin a meeting by sitting with the people they already know best.) • Tell the newly formed groups that their assignment is to find ten things they have in common, with every other person in the group, that have nothing to do with work. No body parts (we all have legs; we all have arms) and no clothing (we all wear shoes, we all wear pants). This helps the group explore shared interests more broadly. • Tell the groups that one person must take notes and be ready to read their list to the whole group upon completion of the assignment. • Ask for a volunteer to read their whole list of things in common first. Then, ask each group to share their whole list with the whole group. Because people are your best source for laughter and fun, the reading of the lists always generates a lot of laughter and discussion. You can also catch the drift of the conversation in the small groups based on the transitions made from item to item. • This team-building icebreaker takes 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the number of groups. To keep the activity to ten minutes, after seven minutes of brainstorming together, I usually tell the groups that the lists they have created are perfect, no matter how many items they have, and debrief.
  4. 4. What Are Their Expectations? • Setting group expectations is a proactive way to get through the year in a positive manner. Materials Needed: • 3m sticky pads • Markers • Sticky notes in three different colors, with several for each person Here’s What You Do: • Give each person a clump of sticky notes in three different colors. • On the green ones, have them write what they expect of their fellow group members (one thought per note). • On the yellow ones, have them write what they expect of their supervisor/advisor (one thought per note). • On the pink ones, have them write what they expect of themselves (one thought per note). • When everyone is done, identify a section of wall for each of the three types of expectations. Have folks put their sticky notes in the appropriate sections. Ideas that are similar should be clumped together. • Ask a returning OL to facilitate the compilation of each of the three types of expectations. This person will work with the group to pare their sticky notes down into a workable expectations contract that everyone agrees upon. This can be written on easel paper. Do this with each of the types of expectations. • Make sure that all staff members feel comfortable with these contracts. • Once they are, have each person sign the newsprint contract to signify their commitment. Post these expectations in a location where they can serve as a constant reminder of your group’s commitment. Notes & Variations: If you have too many OLs and the group exercise seems cumbersome, consider having small groups come up with bullet points for a group contact. For instance, one group can be assigned to develop expectations regarding communication while another develops expectations about getting work done. Have groups share their creations with the large group by posting them on newsprint. Then, develop your group contract using this preliminary work.
  5. 5. Materials Needed: • Sheets with scenarios written on them What’s it About? • You have emphasized how important it is for OLs to be good listeners. However, it is equally important for them to freshen up their observation skills and learn to listen with their eyes. This activity will help them clue into nonverbal cues. To begin have the group split off with their assigned OL partner. As pairs have the OLs take this short online assessment (link below) on recognizing different facial expressions. Ask OLs to talk through with one another what denotes this expression as being different from the other options on the quiz. http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/ei_quiz/ After the OLs have completed the quiz (allow 10-15 minutes) ask the larger group to come together to quickly discuss. Have students share by asking these probing questions: • How did you and your partner do identifying the specific emotions? • Which ones were most difficult? Which ones were easy? What Do You Do? • Break the larger group up into four teams. • Explain to the OLs that communication involves both talking and listening. And that listening is best accomplished by using both your ears and your eyes. • Introduce the adaptation of the game ―Charades.‖ • Assign each of the four groups one of these scenarios. • During an ice-breaker between sessions, a student is visibly uninterested and bored with the game that has been chosen. • During Q&A, a parent is disappointed with an the explanation of the visitor policy in their student’s residence hall. • While getting ready for an upcoming session, you notice your OL partner is confused about the schedule and what they are supposed to be doing. • At the beginning of the day, during registration, a student feeling sad about leaving home for the first time. • Tell each group that they will be acting out their scenario to the class. This should include setting the scene, acting out the emotion and scenario, and approaching the concerned individual. Allow 15 minutes for the group to prepare for their presentation. • When the groups are ready, bring the larger group together and have the students present their scenarios. After each scenario has been played out, have the group answer the following questions. As the facilitator, add in your suggestions as you see fit. • How did the OL recognize the emotion and what was going on in the scenario?, What did you think about their response and approach to addressing the individual?, What might you have done differently?, What other factors might you have taken into consideration? (cultural) Debrief:
  6. 6. Materials Needed: • Resource List and Key • Campus Map (optional) • Worksheet provided on spreadsheet for students to complete. Here’s What You Do: • Split OLs into groups of three or four. In these groups, students will be given the student resources spreadsheet and they will be asked to fill in the missing information. Groups will be given one hour to complete this worksheet. They may venture across campus, use the institution’s website or call the office. Tell groups to meet back in this room promptly within the hour. • After the hour is up, ask students to share which resources were most difficult to track down or gather information for. Which ones were they unfamiliar with? Review the location, contact person and hours of each resource. • This activity allows OLs to become better acquainted with specific
  7. 7. • Stereotype Chat: Place a paper on each person's back with a characteristic on it (Valley Girl, Smart, Happy, Rich). Don't let them see what you are putting on them. Let the participants wander around and talk to each other, treating each other as they might treat someone with that characteristic. Afterward have everyone guess what characteristic they had and tell how they felt (good way to start a discussion on stereotypes or a cultural program).
  8. 8. Materials Needed: • Paper for OLs to jot down ideas • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBeHiPabqBE Best Approaches • Here’s a great place to start when it comes to talking about facilitation styles. Different groups of people may be looking for different approaches when it comes to orientation presentations. Have your OLs break down into small groups and consider what styles might work best for the following groups. Allow each group 15 minutes to jot down their ideas. • A mixed group of transfer students • New students (all first-time freshman) • Parents/family members (mixed ages, siblings included) • Other (veteran students, adult-learners, international students, .etc) • There may be other groups you want to consider as well, depending on your student population. Have the groups list different concerns and obstacles that they would take into consideration when facilitating a session for each of the groups. Ask OLs to consider their audience and how this may impact their approach. For example, group expectations, learning styles, language, target audience, .etc. • After each group is ready, bring the group back together. One by one go through each of the audience types and ask each of the groups to share any special considerations they came up with. Spend approximately 15-20 minutes sharing. Make sure OLs have considered how their language/responses to questions and concerns may vary depending on who is in the room. However keep in mind, that you should not stereotype a certain population due to your preconceived notion. Plan for Q & A Sessions • It’s easy to ask, ―Does anyone have any questions?‖ at the end of a presentation. However, this important wrap-up component will be even more successful if you are sure to do a few intentional things: • First of all, listen carefully. • Don’t interrupt, even if you know how you’d like to respond mid-question. • Rephrase the asker’s query and respond appropriately. • Take this time to re emphasize some main points from your speech. • And don’t be afraid to say, ―I don’t know but I’ll find out.‖ This garners much more respect than bluffing your way out of a question does.
  9. 9. Materials Needed: • paper and pencils • list of OL tough questions What’s it About? • Practice makes perfect...or at least it makes one a little more comfortable and confident! That is what you want your OLs to feel when they tackle the tough questions that are sure to come their way during Orientation. What Do You Do? • Ask returning OLs to help you compile a list of tough questions they received in the past and type those up. Provide some room for note- taking underneath each question. • Create a ―fishbowl‖—asking OLs to form a sitting circle. • Pass out the tough questions sheet and invite them to take a few moments to review the questions. Next ask for volunteers—two at time—to role-play the questions. Ask one to play the role of OL and the other to play the role of the new student asking one of the tough questions listed. Following the role-playing, spend some time as a team after each question talking about the answer given by the OL player and other possibilities in responding to the question. What Else Did They Learn? • You Don’t Have to Be a Know-It-All • This is a great time to encourage OLs to be comfortable saying ―I don’t know‖ rather than trying to answer questions they just don’t know the answers to. Additionally, you may want to take a few moments talking about how to handle participants who are displaying anger when asking their questions. Help OLs learn how to diffuse anger quickly and be helpful in finding an answer to the question at hand.
  10. 10. Questions to include: • Will you be able to set expectations for new students? • Do you better understand non-verbal cues? • Do you feel more comfortable addressing the non-verbal cues? • Do you know where to find buildings and landmarks on campus? • Do you know what resources the school has to offer? • Do you know where to locate those resources? • Facilitation • Do you feel more comfortable answering the tough questions?

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