Group Discussion Facilitator Training Guide

post by jessica_mccurdy · 2021-01-24T17:19:50.688Z · EA · GW · 1 comments

Contents

  Group Discussion Facilitator Training Guide
    
    and Guiding Thoughts
    Resources
      Other Resources for Facilitators
    Training Sessions Resources
      Mandatory Training
      Optional Training 1: Facilitating EA Content, Addressing Concerns, and Common Misconceptions to Avoid (highly recommended for intro fellowship facilitators): 
      Optional Training 3: Moderator Moves - Discussing Examples and Additional Practice: 
    
      Mandatory Training
        My notes for the future:
      Optional Training 1: Facilitating EA Content, Addressing Concerns, and Common Misconceptions to Avoid (highly recommended for intro fellowship facilitators): 
        My notes for the future
      Optional Training 3: Moderator Moves - Discussing Examples and Additional Practice: 
        My notes for the future
None
1 comment

Group Discussion Facilitator Training Guide

I recently put together a training for the ~100 facilitators of EA Virtual Programs (Intro Fellowship, In-Depth Fellowship, and Precipice Reading Group). I aimed to make the training broad enough to be generalizable to other programs so that I could share it afterwards as a resource for organizers who might want to run similar trainings. In this post I will cover our rationale for the training, the feedback we received, and all of the resources used so that it can be run by other organizers. I hope it proves helpful and I am looking forward to hearing feedback!

Acknowledgements 

I received a lot of help putting this together. I want to thank Will Payne and Catherine Low for first proposing that this training be run, Emma Abele and Aimee Watts for their feedback and ideas, and Kuhan Jeyapragasan for his feedback and for creating the resources for the session on talking about EA. I also want to thank Will Payne, Eve McCormick, Thomas Woodside, and Eui Young Kim for helping me record the training videos for our session on moderator moves. 

Rationale and Guiding Thoughts

We think the facilitator of a group has a really big role in how valuable a discussion ends up being and that this is something that one has to learn how to do effectively. In the past, one bottleneck for running big fellowship programs and discussion groups has been not having enough skilled moderators. We hoped by creating a training program we could reduce this bottleneck by quickly skilling up new facilitators. 

Our training was based on the premise that some things (such as tips and tricks) can be written down and some things (such as how to swiftly and carefully facilitate discussions) are best to be practiced with others. Given this premise, we collated written resources in an information document* and ran several zoom training sessions with a focus on practicing and discussing the most important information we wanted facilitators to be aware of.

*Most of this info is in this post but if you would like to see the original document we sent out to facilitators you can email me at jessica.mccurdy@yale.edu

Written Resources

We collected these tips and tricks based on the most common problems and solutions noted in a survey of experienced facilitators. 

10 Facilitation Tips and Tricks

Other Resources for Facilitators

Virtual Training Sessions Resources

Mandatory Training

Optional Training 3: Moderator Moves - Discussing Examples and Additional Practice: 

Feedback

Mandatory Training

How could the training be improved? (70 responses)

What was the most valuable part of the training? (82 responses)

What was the least valuable part of the training? (56 responses)

My notes for the future:

How could the training be improved? (18 responses)

What was the most valuable part of the training? (20 responses)

What was the least valuable part of the training? (9 responses)

My notes for the future

Optional Training 3: Moderator Moves - Discussing Examples and Additional Practice: 

How could the training be improved? (4 responses)

What was the most valuable part of the training?  (6 responses)

What was the least valuable part of the training? (4 responses)

My notes for the future

1 comments

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comment by BrianTan · 2021-02-07T03:57:09.930Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thank you so much for these resources! I particularly liked the training videos. I think your acting was great in them Jessica!

I'll share these with facilitators for our 2 upcoming virtual fellowships here in the Philippines. We will likely try to hold 1 training session using some of the content above too :)