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close this bookA Trainer's Resource Guide (Peace Corps, 1983, 199 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentEvaluation of trainer's resource guide
View the documentPeace Corps training philosophy
View the documentAssumptions underlying the peace corps training philosophy and goals
Open this folder and view contentsStandards for Peace Corps training
Open this folder and view contentsPlanning
View the documentAdministrative checklist
Open this folder and view contentsTraining concepts
View the documentBehavioral objectives
View the documentIntegrated training: Effective volunteer
Open this folder and view contentsTraining evaluation
View the documentPeace Corps: Final training-Evaluation report
View the documentProject training plan
View the documentTraining session plan

Training session plan


TITLE OF SESSION: Indicates the subject area being presented.

TIME: Total time to present the session.

OBJECTIVES: Tells what the session should accomplish. The objectives explain specifically what and why the trainees should learn, understand or do. In addition, the objectives provide a way for staff and trainees to evaluate the session and the amount of knowledge, skills or understanding that the trainees have gained. At the beginning of the session it is a good idea to review the objectives and have them visible.

OVERVIEW/RATIONALE: A brief summary of what is to happen in the session, mentioning related sessions, training events, and themes.

PROCEDURES/ACTIVITIES: Sequenced and timed steps which describe what trainer and trainees are required to do at a particular point in the session. Questions and steps for generalizing and making applications are included here.

MATERIALS: Handouts and supplies used in the session are listed here.

TRAINER NOTES: Advice and explanation of activities and steps; different opinions and approaches to the session are included here.

RESOURCES: Books, manuals, and people providing information beyond the scope of the session are listed here.

Time: 3 Hours

Day Three, Morning



1. To identify criteria for giving feedback effectively
2. To identify criteria for receiving feedback effectively
3. To practice giving and receiving feedback.




1. Trainer sets climate by asking what comes to mind when one hears the word, "feedback."

2. Trainer provides rationale . . . feedback is sensitive issue and requires skill to use effectively. However, it is essential ingredient in adult learning and learning by experiences or experiential learning theory. Feedback is a mirror for observing our own behaviors.

10 minutes.

Trainers need to be able to use feedback for their own learning, and they need to be able to coach others on how feedback can be used.

3. The two TOU trainers should stage a role play - one giving feedback to the other. Do some things well and some things not so well. Let the role play go for 5-8 minutes. Then ask for observations.

"What did you see happening?"

"What strategy was _______ using?"

"Was it working?"

"What was _______ 's strategy?"

"Was that working?"

"What would you have done differently?"

20 minutes.

De-role the role players - yourselves. Let them hear how it felt to be both characters.

20 minutes

4. Brainstorm a list of criteria for giving feedback (or do a lecturette on attached handout).

Make another list (or give lecturette) on receiving feedback effectively.

10 minutes.

5. Trainers set up situation for practicing feedback Give the role of Lynn, the trainer, to half the group; give the role of George (ia), the training manager, to the other half. Have the groups work together to plan the approach of their character, (5-10 minutes), and choose a person to play the role.

Set up the role play. Let it go for 5 minutes or so. Process it.

"What did you observe?"

"How were examples of giving feedback effective?"

"Not so effective?"

"What about receiving? Effective and not so effective?"

20 minutes.

De-Role Players.

6. Generalize -- What did you learn about feedback as a result of our activities and discussions. (Note: one learning should be that not all behaviors should be "fed back," e.g., Lynn's boyfriend's behavior in role play}

7. How will these learnings on feedback be helpful?

8. Close with referring to goals. Link to practice training.

Materials Needed

Role Plays

Feedback Handout- see option 1


You are a trainer working for the first time on a PST program for SUBA.

The 10-week cycle has just ended. You are exhausted, but elated. You think the program went well, considering all the hassles, using those new Core Curriculum materials for the first time. You think you learned a lot about training. You especially liked working with you co-trainers. This morning, you have a meeting with the training director, George (ia). You have asked her/him to give you some feed on how you did as a trainer. You like George (ia), but do not feel entirely comfortable with him/her as you find her/him a bit distant You are on your way to her/his office and are planning what you internal to say.

George (ia):

You are the training director for SUBA. You have held this position for two years. The PST cycle just completed was your 4th training cycle. On the whole, you think this cycle went pretty well. You are quite pleased with how the staff used the new Core Curriculum materials. The training staff was effective and worked quite well together. This morning, you have a meeting with Lynn, one of the trainers who delivered the 10-week training cycle. Lynn has requested this meeting and wants you to give her feedback on her training. As you reflect back on Lynn's work, these things come to mind:

- Lynn was an extremely collaborative team worker. She was well-liked by her colleagues.

- She took risks willingly, always ready to try something new and equally willing to acknowledge errors.

- Lynn worked hard and was always present.

- You are concerned that Lynn plans her sessions carefully enough and prepares sufficiently. You noted several times when she didn't have flipcharts prepared and used workshop time to write while participants waited. On other occasions, she appeared to "lose it" and forget what came next (sometimes leaving out a step).

- When Lynn gets nervous, she stutters which can be a bit disconcerting; however, it doesn't seem to happen when she is relaxed. And, it did not seem to bother her participants.

- Lynn really asks good questions. She can really focus a discussion wisely with her questions. In fact, you wish the other trainers were as good at this as she.

- Lynn's boyfriend, on occasion, drinks too much. Sometimes, it embarrasses you - like at the end-of-trailing-cycle party. He must have had a case of beer all by himself. He was a bit loud and rowdy, but didn't really hurt anything. It just isn't the image you want projected.

Here comes Lynn; collect your thoughts, and invite her into your office


Giving Feedback

Rule # 1: Give feedback only if you want to be helpful:


Feedback is most useful to others if it is:

1. Descriptive of the recipient's behavior.
2. Owned by you - not others.
3. Specific to your personal experience.
4. Solicited by the recipient.
5. Relevant to the present situation.
6. Exampled whenever possible.
7. Timely for the recipient's development.

Receiving Feedback

Rule # 1: Ask for feedback only if you are prepared to hear and learn from it.


Feedback is most useful to you if you:

1. Specify what you want to know.
2. Do not defend implied judgement.
3. Ask for examples/clarification if not clear.
4. Test it with others present.
5. Listen actively with 'ace and body
6. Assume the sender wants to help.
7. Do not treat it as the Word of God.

Useful Criteria for Receiving Feedback

Feedback from another person(s) is one important source of data which helps tell you how your actions are affecting others. Even if you "disagree" with the feedback, it is important for you to hear it clearly and understand it. If nothing else, it will tell you how that individual sees your actions and give you the choice of trying to change your behavior. People act on their perceptions of your actions and you may be coming across in unintended ways. The following are useful hints which will help you be effective in receiving feedback.

1. Remember that it is one person's perceptions of your actions, not universal truth.

2. Be active in checking out feedback with others--if two or three people give you similar feedback, there may be a pattern reflected which you might want to consider.

3. Avoid explanations of "why I did that", unless asked.

4. Ask any clarifying questions you need in order to understand the feedback.

5. Wait until the feedback has been given, and then paraphrase the major points. In any way you can, make it your goal to understand the feedback paraphrasing and asking clarifying questions are two ways to do so.

6. Use criteria for giving useful feedback to help sender be more effective.

7. Avoid making it more difficult for giver than already is (by reacting defensively, angrily, etc.).


Some criteria for useful feedback:

1. It is descriptive rather than evaluative. By describing one's own reaction, it leaves the individual free to use it or to use it as he/she sees fit. By avoiding evaluative language, it reduces the need for the individual to react defensively.

2. It is specific rather than general. To be told that one is "dominating" will probably not be as useful as to be told that "just now when we were discussing the issue you did not listen to what others said and I felt forced to accept your arguments or face an attack from you."

3. It takes into account the needs of both the receiver and giver of feedback. Feedback can be destructive when it serves only our own needs and fails to consider the needs of the person on the receiving end.

4. It is directed toward behavior which the receiver can do something about. Frustration is only increased when a person is reminded of some shortcoming over which he has no control.

5. It is solicited, rather than imposed. Feedback is most useful when the receiver him/her self has formulated the kind of question which those observing him/her can answer.

6. It is well-timed. In general, feedback is most useful at the earliest opportunity after the fiven behavior (depending, of course, on the person's readiness to hear it, support available from others, etc.).

7. It is checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is to have the receiver try to rephrase the feedback he/she has received to see if it corresponds to what the sender had in mind.

8. When feedback is given in a group, both giver and receiver have opportunity to check with others in the group the accuracy of the feedback. Is this one person's impression or an impression shared by others?

Feedback, then, is a way of giving help; it is a corrective mechanism for the individual who wants to learn how welo his/her behavior matches the intention, and it is a means for establishing one's identity--for answering "who am I?"

(1 This material is taken from the Reading Book: Laboratories in Human Relations Training (Washington, D. C.: NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science, associated with the National Education, 1969).)