| Aquaculture - Training manual |
|Chapter twelve: Program design - week three|
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
• Share experiences and [earnings from field trip;
• Compare ideas about utilization of resources, information gathering, filtering and assimilation and assess own effectiveness on the trip;
• Self-assessment of the performance of the group in terms of professional comportment.
Overview: Upon return from the field trip, a session is held to process the experience. In this session trainees have an opportunity to share and discuss some of the technical information they received. Another important aspect of the meeting is the examination of the experience from the standpoint of utilization of resources, gathering and assimilation of new information which are areas that trainees may not have consciously considered before. By focusing on this aspect, they can make some interesting discoveries and exchange ideas that they will be able to apply in future situations. During this session, trainees are also encouraged to give some thought to their own comportment and actions during the trip in order to increase self-awareness, as well as help trainees who are not accustomed to thinking of themselves in a professional role become more sensitive to what this entails.
1. The trainer asks each trainee to take out a sheet of paper and write down what they feel would be five appropriate questions to ask on a quiz concerning the trip the took.
2. The trainer asks the trainees to exchange papers, and take 15 minutes to respond to the questions posed on the paper they receive.
3. The trainer collects the papers, then asks the trainees to give him/her an overview of what they saw/heard/learned on the trip. A group discussion should be facilitated which includes a brief description of the facility and personnel, the goals of the facility, and what is done to meet those goals. It should also include comments by the trainees about points they found especially interesting, and information they learned that they plan to apply directly to their own pond management. As part of the facilitation of this discussion, the trainer can refer to some of the quiz questions that the trainees have turned in to stimulate conversation or raise interesting technical points. (Note: This discussion should address technical material and insights into the aquaculture industry.)
4. The trainer asks the trainees to now give some thought to the trip from the standpoint of utilizing resources, collecting information, and filtering and assimilating that information.
5. The trainer asks the trainees to take five minutes and write in their notebooks a list of guidelines or points they want to remember about information gathering, filtering and assimilation to be applied when given the next opportunity.
6. The trainer asks the trainees to imagine that they are in the place of the resource person(s) with whom they met. What kind of day did he/she have? What impression did he/she have of the group, and by extension, of the Peace Corps? Allow a group discussion that includes some self-critique by the group regarding their own performance, manners, sensitivity, consideration, comportment, demonstrated respect, etc. In concluding the discussion, ask the group to summarize any special points they want to remember for next time in order to present themselves in the best light and promote a positive, professional image and write these on the board.
7. The trainer asks the two trainee facilitators to comment on the role they played. What did they do? In what ways to they feel they helped the group and the resource person(s)? What do they feel they could have done better? Are there any tasks they feel should be added to or deleted from the responsibilities of the trainee facilitators? Do they have any specific recommendations for future trainee facilitators? After the two facilitators have responded, open up the same questions to the rest of the group. Ask them what they found most and least helpful, and for any suggestions from their point of view for future trainee facilitators. (Remind them that they will all serve in this role at some point).
Resources and Materials:
• Blackboard, chalk, eraser.
• An option to number 2 is to collect the questions and pose them to the group at random;
• Examples of the kinds of points that should come out of the discussion in step number 4 include:
• The importance of how questions are asked, i.e., carefully phrasing in order to minimizes the danger of misinterpretation on the part of the resource person or on one's own part in receiving the response; avoiding yes/no questions in many situations; avoiding putting someone on the defensive; being sensitive to touchy areas that may be too private or may be in an area in which the speaker is not confident, etc.;
• The importance of taking copious notes. Do not trust memory when receiving a lot of new information, even details that do not seem important now may become very important later or help place a piece of information into context.
• Knowing the resource, i.e., his/her credentials, objectives, needs, priorities, etc.;
• Everyone is a resource for something; everyone has something of value to offer; and resources for information you need are not always obvious and may not be easily identified; don't be quick to make judgements;
• "Relevance", i.e., whether or not a piece of information is relevant to one's own situation is not always immediately obvious; something may become relevant later; may actually be relevant in an indirect way (the basic concept may be transferrable even if the specifics of the circumstances are different); or may be something of which one has not yet recognized the importance, etc.;
• "It depends" is a common answer given to questions. There are few, if any, absolutes in fish culture. This response is not evasion on the part of the resource person, it is simply a fact. What works, is correct, or is best in one situation may not be the best solution in another situation;
• In step number 6, the trainer should be careful not to put the trainees on the defensive. Although it might be helpful to gently bring up points trainers may have noticed on the trip (areas with room for improvement, examples of less than ideal comportment by some trainees, etc.), every effort should be made to let the trainees take the lead in critiquing themselves. If they feel this discussion is just meant as a thinly veiled reprimand by the staff, they may become defensive and close themselves off to valuable interaction;
• If time becomes a constraint, step number 7 can be delayed until the next time a field trip is planned. In preparing the group for that trip, the role of the trainee facilitators can be discussed.