Suggestions for the different sections of a training event
A training activity generally begins with an opening and introduction, followed by demonstrations and walkthroughs, a practice time, and time for questions and discussion. When possible, it also can include a demonstration by the participants. Here you will find some tips for these different sections:
Take time for making an appropriate and meaningful opening that is directed by local leaders. Mapeo is a tool designed for communities to use in their unique contexts. What is shared in the opening can help participants contextualize the possible application and impact of their use of Mapeo.
Participatory introductions are an opportunity for the trainer to hear from participants why they are participating in a Mapeo training. This becomes a collective affirmation of the effort everyone is giving in sharing the learning process.
When introducing or reintroducing Mapeo to a group, give concrete examples from other places about how Mapeo works or helped a community achieve their goal, followed by goals and expectations about what the participants will be learning about Mapeo at the current event. Allow time in this section for questions or concerns to make sure that the agenda is going to work.
For events that will include hands-on practice with Mapeo, take a moment to remind participants to charge their devices.
Show a user task or workflow once with everyone watching first.
Be specific when describing what you want to do and what you have to click/tap to do it. Often describing the shape, color, location, and when available, a label of a button in a demonstration will make it easier for participants to recall more options for interacting with Mapeo.
You can also use some support for the demonstrations, such as using a slide or a printed demo to show people on, or if you only have one device, you can walk around so everyone sees it.
Have all participants' equipment ready to use and distributed to participants. (see Participant devices )
Ask leading questions - I want to do x, Where should I click/tap?
Having a dedicated support person to help participants resolve equipment issues, and walk around the room to offer support if it's an in-person training, is essential for maintaining a flow during instructional time.
Make use of consistent learning teams. Groups of 3-6 people generally work best for Mapeo Mobile, groups of 2-3 people work well for Mapeo Desktop. You will find some ideas for exercises in Tips and suggested activities for training key features of Mapeo
Practice time is a good moment for you as a trainer to observe the participants and get a sense of which processes are harder to follow and where to dive a little deeper.
A lot of questions that come up about Mapeo revolve around design, possible use cases, and if it has the features needed by the user (check Is Mapeo right for me?). Depending on the training agenda, your familiarity with Mapeo, and your access to Mapeo resources, you may be able to answer these questions when they come up, or document the questions and return to them at the end or at a different time.
Equipment issues are often the first issues that arise so provide adequate time to troubleshoot.
You can take a look at thisFAQs section, where we gathered some of the most common questions about Mapeo.
Newly learned skills can be affirmed by asking participants to share with their peers what they were able to do using Mapeo. Even if they are unsure, it’s good to remind them that making mistakes or asking for help in the learning environment is much better than getting stuck when alone.
Mapeo is designed for community-owned data and so it is important that users are able to see the data on Mapeo and be able to talk about it in their own words.
Before finishing the practical part, consider if you want everyone to delete the data created during the simulation so that it is not mixed with the project data.
Review what was shared or learned in the session and highlight any reminders about Mapeo tasks that were particularly difficult for the participants.
Gather feedback about Mapeo and about how the learning experience went.
This can be tricky depending on the context. So, here are some practices that have worked for us:
- Instead of testing/evaluating skills gained, ask questions about where participants found pain points with Mapeo, and what could be improved. This way you can encourage discussion on the most difficult processes in Mapeo.
- Make questions around the time used to deliver each section (e.g. did we invest enough time to practice the synchronization between devices?), to identify which are the things that were more difficult to follow and require more time and attention in the next training session.
- Ask the participants to compare things. They might not want to say that something was bad, but maybe you can come up with a clear ranking by asking questions like “what was easier to learn, this aspect or that aspect?”
- Ask how effective the training session has been for them, or how useful the Mapeo tool and its processes are to them. This also opens a space to discuss where the focus of the training should be next time.
Identify any needed follow-up and how that will happen.
Give that final word to the local leaders that are present. Often during technical training, local leaders observe and identify obstacles, behaviors, possibilities, and solutions. They are the best at articulating the importance of Mapeo in the project and getting specific about the responsibilities the participants have in maintaining skills and making the quality of information high.