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Preparing and Structuring a Training Event. By: Rainer Zachmann. Unit: M03U03. Content. From goal to curriculum Training methods Training materials Course organisation. Introduction. A training event should be based on a training needs assessment (TNA).

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Preparing and structuring a training event

Preparing and Structuringa Training Event

By: Rainer Zachmann

Unit: M03U03


  • From goal to curriculum

  • Training methods

  • Training materials

  • Course organisation


  • A training event should be based on a training needs assessment (TNA).

  • The curriculum gives an overview of the training programme and helps in planning.

  • This Unit describes training methods, materials and course organisation.

From goal to curriculum1
From goal to curriculum

  • Course organisers:

    • analyse the background of the training event;

    • assess the initial situation;

    • analyse the root causes of problems;

    • determine the goal for the expected situation.

From goal to curriculum2
From goal to curriculum

  • The curriculum should be based on a training needs assessment.

  • The curriculum defines the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSA) to be addressed.

The curriculum
The curriculum

  • Expected learning outcomes,

  • Content,

  • Methods,

  • Learning materials,

  • Evaluation instruments.


  • Learning outcomes should be SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.

  • Avoid vague formulations,

    such as “to know” or “to understand”;

    better use "to explain".

An example of an objective
An example of an objective

  • After completion of the PGIS Training-Kit, trainees will be able to:

    • identify opportunities and constraints;

    • design PGIS interventions;

    • collaborate with local communities;

    • take informed decisions.

Training methods1
Training methods

  • People learn best by what they see and do and less well by what they only hear.

  • The best approach combines several senses.

Training methods2
Training methods

  • Use:

    - presentations for increasing knowledge;

    - practical exercises for improving skills;

    - role plays for influencing behaviour and


  • Allow trainees to participate.

Lectures and presentations
Lectures and presentations

  • Lecturing is one-way communication;

    it transfers information to a large group.

  • Trainers should not load too much information into one session.

Lectures and presentations1
Lectures and presentations

  • Lecturers should use visual aids that are specifically designed for a lecture.

  • Visual and oral communication address complementary areas of the brain:

    "whole-brain learning".

Group work
Group work

  • Group work is a most efficient.

  • A group possesses more knowledge than any individual.

  • All group members should participate actively.

  • Trainers should prevent a few people from dominating the group.

Group work1
Group work

  • There are many kinds of group work:

    • in “Snowballing”, a group discussion begins in pairs of participants;

    • for group rotation, a common method is called “the world café”.


  • Trainers present a key question to the participants.

  • Everyone contributes ideas.

  • All ideas are valid; there are no "wrong" ideas.


  • A variation of brainstorming is to collect ideas on meta cards.

  • Group cards into categories.

  • Everyone participates.

Case studies
Case studies

  • Provide an opportunity to elaborate on real situations.

  • Trainers present the cases in writing and/or visually.

  • Provide appropriate information.

  • Should not be overloaded with details.

Demonstrations and exercises
Demonstrations and exercises

  • Involve most of human senses.

  • Most appreciated by trainees.

  • Should relate to the theoretical introductions.

  • Trainers should conduct trial runs before involving trainees.

Field visits
Field visits

  • Allow to demonstrate and practise techniques and experiences which are not available at the course venue.

  • Every visit should contribute to the whole picture of the course.

  • Objectives for each visit must be specified.

  • Trainers should visit the fields before going there with trainees.

Training materials1
Training materials

  • Support communication, teaching and learning.

  • Serve as future reference materials.

  • Simple notes, textbooks, audiovisuals, computer-assisted procedures and Internet-based simulations.

Training materials2
Training materials

  • Good training materials are:

    • developed for a specific purpose

      (such as the components of the PGIS-TK);

    • targeted at specific audiences;

    • oriented towards the learning outcomes.

Training materials3
Training materials

  • Good training materials are:

    • presented in a simple, yet technically correct way;

    • tested and evaluated;

    • attractive to users.

Training materials4
Training materials

  • Trainers should not expect perfect materials right from the beginning.

  • Training materials evolve over time.

  • Written materials and visual aids are most commonly used.

Written materials
Written materials

  • Include pamphlets, handouts, bulletins, textbooks, etc.

  • Presented in hard copy or electronic form.

  • Authors should consider content, writing and formatting.

Visual aids
Visual aids

  • Include multimedia, transparencies, electronic presentations (PPTs), posters, etc.

  • Contain text, tables, graphics, drawings and photographs.

  • Should be based on carefully prepared written documents, such as written training materials.

Visual aids1
Visual aids

  • Improve communication.

  • Enhance the impact of presentations.

  • Consider recommendations for design, quantity of information, fonts, graphics, etc.

Course organisation1
Course organisation

  • Includes planning, preparing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and following-up on course content and logistics.

Course organisation2
Course organisation

  • A course director may be responsible for the overall course organisation.

  • One coordinator or committee may take care of content and another of logistics.

  • Coordinators should work with checklists specifying responsibilities and schedules.

Course content

Training needs assessment

Course announcement






Resource people

Training materials




Course content

Course content1
Course content

  • Coordinator maintains contact with resource people.

  • Coordinator should keep content lean: KISS: Keep It Short and Simple.

  • Include a little less than might be required.

Course content2
Course content

  • In principle, coordinators should:

    • prioritise what trainees must, should or might learn;

    • follow a logical organisation;

    • move from general to specific, simple to complex, known to unknown.

Logistical arrangements

Secretarial services


Travel arrangements




Training facilities




Social activities

Emergency provisions

Logistical arrangements

Logistical arrangements1
Logistical arrangements

  • Coordinators should consider climate, vegetation season, cropping pattern and cultural and religious calendars.

  • Opportunities and facilities must allow practical work.

Logistical arrangements2
Logistical arrangements

  • Course duration should be short.

  • Coordinators should plan well in advance, but be prepared to plan on short notice.

  • Trainees need time to obtain official permission and visas.

Course organisation3
Course organisation

  • Coordinators should organise carefully, use common sense, avoid last-minute improvisation … … but be prepared to do so.