Train the Trainers consultation
Reviewing Train the Trainers May-June 2013
How you can help
We have now completed our first year of this programme in 2012-13. 32 people have been accredited on three different courses, two in London and one in Manchester.
We agreed to reflect on its successes and challenges through a review.
But one piece of advice I have received from more than one community member 'don’t judge too quickly – these things take time'. I agree but we can learn a lot already.
Our events are our showcase to the world. They need to be of high quality with competent and sympathetic trainers. Conversely badly run, boring sessions will alienate potential editors.
Aim of review
- To review the programme to date, its progress, its value and do a simple SWOT analysis.
- Questionnaire of participants
- Interview with providers, i.e. Midas and Andy Mabbett and Charles Matthews
- Data gathering
- Producing final report for discussion
- Using feedback from attendees directly from the training weekends (Gathered at time and from Survey Monkey poll).
Issues to particularly consider
- Accreditation and its purpose + methods
- How the courses work:
- How were the days for the participants
- Follow up / refresher days
- Learning materials to take away
- What did they learn
- Are they using these skills?
- The use of the VLE and its next steps
- How do we make it more accessible?
- Location of courses and the future
- Future potential
- How we are using the trained people
- Helping them initiate training -offering template options
- What support do they need?
Measuring the programme
- How many training days delivered?
- How many trainees kept editing
- How many edits did they make, how many pages created?
- How we support the newbies after their training
Analysis of impact and potential impact.
Recommendations for future progress or cessation.
Education Committee discussion
A discussion by the Education Committee on the subject of reviewing the Train the Trainers programme can be found here.
- Initiated Wednesday 22 May 2013
An extensive follow-up questionnaire was sent out to participants recently in order to gauge their feelings on reflection, what use they had made of the training and whether they had any suggestions for the future. This is a comprehensive survey of 27 of the participants. Thanks to Richard Nevell and the respondents for their hard work.
Particular issues to consider
There seem to be no serious issues regarding the quality of the training (4.41 out of 5 rating). The vast majority of participants were positive at the time and remain positive looking back at the weekend.
“The confidence the workshop gave me was an enormous boost. In fact I cannot overstate how transformative this has been for my work and my life in general. Specifically I feel a lot more confidence to lead training workshops, not just to take part. I welcome the emphasis on professionalism and the insight into the variety of skills that can be employed in training. In particular, the workshop honed my social perception, because the trainers were extremely perceptive and quickly picked up the social dynamics in the room in a way that I would not have thought possible.”
It is important to stress that our volunteers have given up at least two days to do the course. They deserve training of high quality. The trainee’s comments suggest this has been achieved and that they felt their weekends had been well used, (especially the couple who fell in love).
We need to make sure all 32 trainers feel appreciated and kept in touch with throught regular emails or calls to check up on how their sessions are going. Accreditation and its methods
A decision was made that to give due weight to the training it would be good to accredit the training. Outside accreditation would prove very time consuming and expensive. Instead Midas were to offer accreditation in association with our identified lead trainers.
Trainees were observed. After the course they would receive some initial feedback. That would then be supplemented with a detailed phone interview with much more detail about what they had achieved. The categories in which people were accredited are:
Technical (the how to of editing) Membership Institutions
Four were nominated as Lead Trainers owing to their exceptional skills.
Midas would then share their assessment with the lead trainers for agreement. Certificates would then be issued.
In practice this has been an overly slow process and recommendations are made at the end of this report.
There has been little criticism of the approach we have taken. Accreditation has ensured that we take our responsibility to the people we seek to train seriously. The differentiation has meant that we can be sure that we are using people of appropriate skills. There is a need to speed up the system. Owing to a need for 100% approval from the lead trainers this has taken many, many months.
A simplified system is being proposed.
Location of courses
It is essential that we take the training to the trainees. We need to be able to plan ahead though in order to get people signed-up. There was terrible indecision from the board over the third course. It is a testament to those involved that the Manchester session was fully subscribed and such a success. This is an operational matter and should not be the subject of months of board debate.
The next course should not be in London but preferably in Wales, supporting the Living Paths project, or Scotland to build capacity. Other areas could be considered.
We need to think hard about how we proceed. We have probably come close to training all established community members who are at present actively involved in Wikimedia UK. We now need to spread our net wider to Wikimedians who may not have been community activists and/or people with a desire to educate who may want to work with us. In the long term the Visual Editor should make the training of newbies easier.
How we are using the trainers
The simple answer is not yet well enough. We need to encourage more editathons and newbie training sessions. We also need to create a map of where they are based/are willing to train to identify areas where we are strong and weak.
We need to know who is doing what. We should create and maintain a table that shows how many sessions are being delivered and by whom to spread the load.
Without doubt we have yet to make best use of the people we have trained. About 60 session days have been delivered. “I am dying to get involved with more training workshops.” “I’d happily lead or help out with any training workshops.”
Economics of the programme
The budget in 2011-12 was £21,587, (budgeted at £20,000) but included funding for the Virtual Learning Environment VLE) and in 2012-13 £19,420 plus £2000 for the VLE.
Training has therefore cost up to £1000 per person. This includes two days training, an hour’s personal phone feedback and all accommodation and travel expenses for trainers and trainees. With 60 sessions so far that makes a cost of around £350 per session delivered. The unit cost is likely to reduce significantly with the number of events we have planned.
We are under great pressure to measure our efficacy and one of our metrics will involve the cost benefit analysis of this programme.
Realistically I would expect our volunteer trainers to be able to offer around 8 sessions a year and maintain involvement for three years as a minimum. This would make a cost per session delivered of around £45 per session which would be acceptable to my mind. Analysis of impact and potential impact Despite some initial reservations the training has been appreciated and popular. There has only been one criticism from a community member about the process and one, rejected, complaint about how the tendering had worked.
We need to be smarter in analysing how the people who received the training from our trainers regard the training they receive, and feedback is more regularly being collected in the past. We need to be rigorous in our evaluation.
There are many ideas in the feedback for how we can improve Train the Trainers. I would suggest that we need to ensure quality control by having lead trainers or others observe sessions on a regular basis.
A key measure will be retention of editors and we need to pay special attention to supporting new editors through follow-up contact and support
Recommendations for future
Overall I believe that we are on the right track and it is my opinion that the project should continue with the following recommendations. The training has been of a high quality and the benefits are beginning to be felt. As a charity we need to find more opportunities to use our trainers and keep them engaged in the meanwhile.
- That the WMUK community is approached to find more opportunities to use our trainers.
- That the fourth Train the Trainers is held in the Autumn outside London. Possibly in Wales to link in with the Living Paths Project or failing that in Scotland or an area where we currently need trainees.
- That £20,000 is put into the budget for 2014-15 to facilitate two more sessions.
- That as part of the 2014-15 programme we consider the possibility of including some refresher support for previous participants.
- That a tender for a further two years is opened in February 2014.
- That the accreditation system can function without the agreement of all lead trainers. Any two should hold the authority to approve Midas’s recommendations.
- That the Virtual Learning Environment is extended to include the best material from our wider community with work undertaken to increase its accessibility.
- That the recommendations of the May 2013 Education Committee are considered particularly with a view to establishing reliable measurements of the course and its impact.
- That one volunteer or failing that a member of staff is designated Train the Trainers liaison with the task of keeping in touch with the trainers, with quarterly email news and making sure they are given the opportunity to use their skills.
- That a map on office wiki is established showing the approximate area where the trainers are willing to run sessions.
- That a chart of sessions delivered is created and maintained on office.
- That emphasis is given to measuring satisfaction from those receiving training from our trainers.
- That regular monitoring of delivery is made by lead trainers or others to ensure standards are maintained.
- The retention of editors will be vital to the success of our whole programme and we need to pay special attention to supporting new editors through follow-up contact and support.
- The comprehensive review be shared with Education Committee and staff for lessons learned.
- That, following a volunteer suggestion, we create short profiles of our trainers for people to see that will emphasise the quality of the programme.
- That we consider holding courses on weekdays.