Defining goals and format

Training plans are naturally unique for every participant group, and Mapeo training sessions can go in many different directions depending on the trainer’s strengths and participants’ needs. Working through the questions below can be a good first step in defining your training plan.

What are the goals of the session?

The goals of a Mapeo training often fall under one the umbrellas below, but of course your goals will vary depending on your team's priorities and needs:

  • Tool-centered: Provide a general overview of the Mapeo tools or focus on specific Mapeo features. For example, training on how to collect observations, or on how to synchronize Mapeo Mobile with Mapeo Desktop

  • Context-centered: Train on the workflow and concrete tasks that users are expected to perform in a specific context or project. For example, training to the monitors on the workflow they are expected to carry out (e.g. collect observations with Mapeo in the case of X or X, send an alert to X person via the X app, sync with X person, etc.)

Who will be involved?

When planning a training session, it’s important to know who the participants will be and what their interests, needs, and skills are. Mapeo can be used by participants of all skill levels if training sessions are tailored appropriately. You can find tips on this on Tips on engaging with participants with various skill levels.

Participants’ goals are also important to get clear on. With good communication, the participants' realistic goals become the goals for a Mapeo trainer and are incorporated into the training plan.

It is the responsibility of the trainer to design and adapt sessions based on the participants, to ensure they are able to gain the skills and confidence needed to accomplish the necessary tasks in a mapping or monitoring project.

What will be the format of the training?

Mapeo training events can be in-person or virtual. Each has its benefits and limitations, which must be considered when deciding the goals, participants, and scope of the activity. For example, virtual events allow participants to join from anywhere with an internet connection, while in-person training sessions allow for better hands-on demonstrations and exercises with participants.

  • IN-PERSON training event

    • Strengths

      • Mapeo is an offline-first tool that makes it possible for people in remote areas with limited or no internet to collect and exchange data, and these offline workflows are much better trained in person in the same context.

      • A safe, friendly, and relaxed space with ample opportunity for peer learning can be easier to foster in person than in virtual contexts.

      • It is much easier for a trainer to observe participants in person in order read the room, identify which aspects are harder to learn, and change plans if needed.

    • Weaknesses

      • Normally it is more expensive, as it has to gather people from different places.

      • Depending on the context, it might be impossible to do this given time or logistics required, or because of location of the trainer, etc.

  • VIRTUAL training event

    • Strengths

      • It allows the involvement of participants located in distinct areas.

      • It tends to be cheaper than organizing an in-person training.

    • Weaknesses

      • Virtual training events have the challenge of requiring that participants have knowledge of virtual learning platforms. If you end up organizing a virtual session, remember that it is always better to use the virtual platforms that are already known by the participants or to separate dedicated training time to train them on the use of these new platforms.

      • It is more difficult to read the room and have a sense of how people are following the session.

      • The Internet signal can be weak in some areas, so expect sudden losses of connection by participants joining from rural areas.

      • It can be more challenging to maintain momentum, have people work together, and remain focused. Participants' ability to remain focused on a computer screen for training is likely less than in a face-face meeting.

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