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close this bookAquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)
close this folderChapter ten: Program design - week one
View the documentSession I-1: Trainee arrival
View the documentSession I-2: Orientation
View the documentSession I-3: Expectations, rules and norms
View the documentSession I-4: Individual focusing
View the documentSession I-5: Pond observations
View the documentSession I-6: Processing - pond observations
View the documentSession I-7: Personal Interview - week one
View the documentSession I-8: Processing of week one - bridge to Peace Corps, goal setting

Session I-2: Orientation

Total Time: 4 hours, 35 minutes


· Complete and collect all required Peace Corps forms, discuss Peace Corps policies and address any other administrative business;

· Provide overview of training program;

· Introduce staff and trainees;

· Provide the trainees with important logistical information;

· Provide opportunity for trainees to discuss their expectations of training and address those expectations;

· Present rules of the program and suggest that trainees develop a set of norms;

· Explain the assessment component of the program;

· Make announcements to prepare trainee for upcoming events.

Overview: The Orientation Session is the first formal meeting and serves as a welcome and introduction to the program. It is unlike most of the other activities that will occur in the program in that it has more of a lecture format (with staff members doing most of the lecturing), and it is considered more "pre-training" than actual training. It does, however, set a tone for the program and demands attention to detail and careful planning on the part of the staff in order to ensure a smooth, professional and comfortable atmosphere. The Orientation Session should serve to answer most of the trainees' more immediate questions about the general flow and logistics of the program and to fully address any necessary administrative business so that trainees leave the session prepared to begin training the following day.

30 minutes

1. Designated staff member(s) arrive at orientation area and make all necessary preparations. Set up includes:

· Arrange chairs, blackboard, flip chart stands (be sure posters, prepared newsprint, etc. are within easy reach of the speaker and stacked in the order in which they will be used);

· Be sure chalk, erasers, extra newsprint, markers and tape are conveniently placed for the speaker;

· Prepare table with extra copies of all mandatory and optional forms, sign-up sheets, etc.;

· Prepare a table or box for the collection of completed forms;

· Set up a table and chair near the entrance with trainees' name tags, markers and a box with check-off list for collecting photos as trainees arrive;

· Set up refreshments area (this may involve putting water in coffee urns, filling ice chests, or whatever is appropriate as well as putting out cups, spoons, etc.);

· Be sure rest room facilities are clean and properly stocked.

10 minutes

2. Trainees arrive. A trainer greets them as they come in, collects a visa photo from each trainee with the trainee's name on the back, and gives each trainee his/her name tag.

Suggest that trainees who prefer to be called by a nickname write it on the name tag with a marker. Keep a list of any trainees who have not brought visa photos, and instruct them when and where to meet a trainer to have a photo taken. Trainees are seated.

15 minutes

3. The Project Director welcomes the trainees and presents an overview of the organizational structure of the training program, the training facilities and any other appropriate introductory information. The schedule for the orientation meeting is presented, and the training staff and any visiting Peace Corps or local officials are briefly introduced.

35 minutes

4. The Project Director (or visiting official from Peace Corps) gives a brief introduction to Peace Corps and goes through all of the mandatory and optional forms. He/she should have a copy of each form on hand to show trainees, as well as extra copies available for them to use. The trainees are given time to complete all of the forms as the Project Director goes over them, answering their questions as necessary. With the help of one or two trainers, all forms are collected. In addition to the Peace Corps forms, trainees are given two copies of a handout that lists the Grounds for Separation and the Assessment Dimensions for the program. They sign one copy and return it. The other copy is for them to keep in their personal files.

40 minutes

5. The Project Director (or visitor from Peace Corps) goes through the Peace Corps Policies with the trainees. Trainers participate by offering examples and observations from their own Peace Corps experience. Medical Policies are covered briefly (to be covered in more depth by the medical officer) and handouts on Malaria and AIDS (as well as any other handouts supplied by the medical office) are distributed.

15 minutes

6. Trainers should have refreshments (coffee, tea, soft drinks) available.

10 minutes

7. Each staff member introduces him/herself to the group, giving a brief description of his/her academic and work background and Peace Corps experience.

30 minutes (adjust based on size of group)

8. The Project Director or another staff member asks trainees to divide into pairs and spend ten minutes interviewing their partners. After the ten minutes, the group rejoins and each trainee introduces his/her partner to the group. Information provided should include (but not be limited to) the trainee's home state, university attended and academic major, country of assignment, and a brief statement about why the trainee first considered joining Peace Corps. Each introduction should be limited to approximately one and a half minutes, though usually they are shorter than that.

10 minutes

9. The Master Trainer or another staff member informs the trainees about the basic logistics of the program. Information to be covered includes:

· Emergency names and phone numbers or locations (for example, where to reach the medical officer, Training Director, Master Trainer, etc.);

· Trainees' mailing address and arrangements for outgoing mail; Phone numbers where trainees can be reached or messages can be left for them;

· Lodging (where) and meal arrangements (schedules);

· How shopping and other personal needs can be met;

· Arrangements for recreational activities, if appropriate (for example, safe places to jog, availability of a volleyball net or basketball court, etc.);

· Normal departure times of vehicles for routine training activities;

· Normal training hours.

40 minutes (Optional - See last point under Trainer Notes)

10. A. (5 minutes) Ask trainees to jot down some of the expectations they have about training. To help them with this suggest that they think about what they will need to get from/do in training in order to be effective overseas, and/or to think in terms of challenges they expect to face or skills they will need.

B. (20 minutes) Tell trainees that they will be breaking into small groups. Each group is to choose a recorder and a representative who will present their lists to the large group later. Within each small group, they are to spend 15 to 20 minutes discussing the lists of expectations they have as individuals, and compile a group list, on newsprint, of eight or ten main expectations that they have for training. After giving these instructions, indicate how the groups will be divided, and have them break up into those groups. (Groups should be of approximately five or six trainees each.

C. (15 minutes) A representative of each group comes up, one at a time, posts the group's newsprint and briefly runs through it, explaining the expectations listed.

15 minutes

11. The Master Trainer reviews the trainees' lists of expectations and addresses each point, giving some indication of whether or not the expectation is likely to be met during the training program. During this section, the Master Trainer can add other information relevant to the points being addressed. (For example, one trainee expectation might be that staff members will teach the trainees skills and share their experiences with the trainees. This would be an appropriate time for the Master Trainer to explain that, at least during the earlier part of the program, the trainers will not serve directly as technical resources and will not answer technical questions).

20 minutes

12. A. The Project Director or other staff member presents a general schedule for the ten weeks of training. It should be pointed out that this is a general overview of the flow of events, but that the actual schedule will be determined largely by the trainees' pace.

B. The Project Director makes some general statements about the program, including the following points:

· The program will cover all important aspects of fish culture, with some fine-tuning for the different countries;

· Most Peace Corps fisheries programs are very similar in terms of the concepts involved and the kinds of problems encountered, with only a small amount of variation in the necessary skills. This is why trainees who are going to different countries can receive their initial technical training together in a program that teaches basic, generic skills;

· Training may well be one of the more difficult things the trainees have ever done. We are accustomed to a teacher directed learning process, where there is an "expert" who supposedly knows all about the subject, all you need to know, and gives you this information. Here, we use a different kind of learning. Learning will be your responsibility. We are here to make sure this happens, to provide opportunities and make resources available. We're interested in developing skills, not collecting facts. The staff serves as facilitators rather than as instructors in a traditional sense;

· Tell trainees that expectations will be discussed again after the first week, once they have had a chance to experience the program for a while. At that time the staff's expectations of them will also be covered.

C. The Project Director discusses the assessment component of the program, and informs trainees that assessment will be discussed further after the first week. Included in this discussion is the emphasis placed on self-assessment, staff assessment of trainees, note-taking by trainers, and the schedule for personal interviews. It is also made clear that special interviews can be scheduled at any time upon the request of the trainee or staff. The Project Director briefly reviews the assessment dimensions and grounds for separation, making reference to the form the trainees received earlier.

D. (Optional - See last point in Trainer Notes) The Master Trainer explains the rules of the training program, pointing out that rules are nonnegotiable, unlike norms. He/she also recommends to the trainees that they get together to develop a set of norms among themselves. Norms are negotiable policies that will enable them to coexist as comfortably as possible. Suggested topics for norms include smoking in common areas, noise,lights out, sharing of responsibilities for keeping rooms, vehicles and work areas clean, etc. Rules may include:

· No smoking in classrooms or vehicles;

· No open alcohol in vehicles;

· Vehicles depart on time;

· Sessions, meetings, and activities begin on time;

· All training activities are mandatory unless otherwise specified;

· Unauthorized absence is grounds for administrative separation per Peace Corps Policy. A written request is required to obtain authorization to be absent;

· Trainees are to represent Peace Corps responsibly in the local community;

· Trainees are to follow the rules of Individual Training unless otherwise specified.

E. (Optional - See last point in Trainer Notes) The Master Trainer explains Individual Training, i.e., unless otherwise specified, all training activities should be considered to be individual. Individual training means that trainees work independent of one another, not independent of the staff, the training program, or other resources that become available. This is an extremely critical aspect of the training program. Reassure trainees that group activities and sharing of ideas will be built into the program as well, but that they will be notified about those activities as they occur.

5 minutes

13. The Master Trainer or another staff member makes announcements about what will follow for the remainder of the day, departure times for tomorrow, meeting time for evening slide show, etc. Included in these announcements is that trainees are to turn in any technical materials they brought with them to training. Explain that this is an important aspect of the program, reminding them of the comments made earlier about training being a different way of learning. Assure them that their materials will be returned to them later in the program. Designate a specific time and the staff member to whom they should give their materials. Ask them to bring two lists of everything they are turning in ·one to be signed by the staff member and held by the trainee as a receipt, the other to be filed by the staff.

Resources and Materials:

· All staff members, including Project Director;

· If feasible, visiting Peace Corps officials (representative from OTAPS, Country Director, etc.) can provide a formal welcome from Peace Corps and help cover Peace Corps Policies;

· Comfortable meeting room, adequate chairs and tables;

· Prepared posters to be used during meeting. Suggestions include:

· Overview of the organizational structure of the program;

· The schedule for the day's meetings and activities;

· Training Class I.D. Numbers and Project Codes (to help in filling out forms);

· Trainees' mailing address and phone number while in training;

· Emergency contact names, numbers, addresses or locations;

· General ten week schedule, for example:

· Week One: Introduction to Peace Corps and Aquaculture Training
· Week Two: Introduction to Field Work and Fish Culture Concepts
· Week Three: Basic Pond Management
· Week Four: Surveying and Site Selection
· Week Five: Advanced Site Selection
· Week Six: Pond Construction and Extension
· Week Seven: Aquaculture as an Applied Science
· Week Eight: Fish Culture in the United States (refers to field trip)
· Week Nine: Country Specific Aspects
· Week Ten: Harvesting, Final Reports and Interviews;

· Flip chart stand and newsprint pads;

· Name tags;

· Polaroid and film;

· Markers, Masking tape, Blackboard, chalk and eraser;

· Extra copies of all mandatory and optional Peace Corps forms;

· Two copies per trainee of Grounds for Administrative Separation and Assessment Dimensions;

· Copy of Peace Corps Policies for Project Director;

· Medical handouts;

· Sign-up sheets for people who require eyeglass neutralization;

· Trainees' checks and sign-up sheets, if appropriate;

· Notebook paper and pens;

· Refreshments and supplies (i.e., coffee, tea, soft drinks, cups, spoons, etc.).

Trainer Notes:

· The logistics involved in this meeting are complicated. Every detail should be assigned to a specific staff member, and staff must be sure to walk through each detail the day before the meeting to be sure everything is prepared;

· All staff members should wear name tags. In addition, staff should be dressed neatly and somewhat formally;

· The visa photos that are collected are to be put on a poster in the office to aid staff in learning trainees' names as quickly as possible;

· Trainees should have received the Peace Corps forms in their invitational packets and should have arrived at training with all mandatory forms completed. However, it is very common for trainees to have forgotten them, never to have received some of them, or to have been confused by them. This is why staff should have copies of all forms on hand and should go through each form;

· Trainees who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses will need to see an optometrist for eyeglass neutralization. Providing a sign-up sheet during Orientation will enable staff to know how many trainees will require this, and facilitates scheduling of appointments;

· Handouts about some medical issues may be provided by the Peace Corps Medical Office and should be distributed, but staff should refer trainees who have questions about medical issues to the medical contractor or Peace Corps Medical Office;

· It is possible that trainees will have their first appointment with the medical contractor following this meeting. If this is the case, they should have been instructed to bring their WHO cards, if they have them;

· If the meeting will be followed by a shopping trip in town, provide some suggestions during the announcements, pointing out any relevant information about field conditions (for example, there are a lot of mosquitoes so they may want to purchase insect repellent, or the sun is very strong so they should have hats and water bottles, etc.);

· The trainer who is the contact person with the lodging staff may want to arrange a meeting in the evening to discuss the upkeep and rules of conduct for the lodging facilities;

· These sections are optional during Orientation. These sections can be covered in a separate session (see session entitled: Expectations, Rule and Norms) that follows the Orientation session, either in the afternoon of the same day or the morning of the following day. This will depend upon the day of the week upon which the trainees arrive and how the first day or two has to be scheduled.