Tool 26: Designing Curriculum Training

Many busy educators can relate to the image of dusty notebooks, digital media and books that sit on shelves and never get used. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste! Your dazzling new curriculum materials are more likely to be put to use if you provide staff and volunteer training.

Consider these tips when designing curriculum training:

  • Invite and prepare others to facilitate with you. Volunteers who have piloted the materials are very credible with other volunteers, for example.
  • Create a safe, caring, experiential learning environment.
  • Build icebreakers and introductions around the content of your materials. Use actual activities from your new curriculum if appropriate.
  • Illustrate the need for high-quality materials in this content area. An interactive activity that encourages the participants to come up with the reasons works very well.
  • Provide a short overview about the materials and the background of their development. Describe what content, activities and other information are included.
  • Incorporate design elements into your presentation from your new curriculum.
  • Have participants do as many activities as possible from your new materials. The vast majority of people learn more from doing than from reading and hearing.
  • Model strong teaching and facilitation skills for the participants.
  • Provide teaching tips and suggestions for making the best use of the new materials.
  • Give participants an opportunity to think in groups about how they might incorporate the materials into their work with people. Have small groups share ideas with the whole group. Be prepared to share additional suggestions.
  • Provide copies of the materials to each participant if possible. Minimally, have several copies available for people to examine.
  • Provide a packet of information that includes sample activities - particularly those used as part of the training session.
  • Give participants extra copies of promotional literature and ordering information and invite them to share the information about your new curriculum with others!
  • Leave ample time for questions, comments and closing remarks.
  • Ask participants to give you evaluative feedback on the training and their impressions of the new materials by completing a written survey before they leave.

If you’d like to review sample agendas used to introduce and train around sections of the Michigan 4-H Youth Development Communications Toolkit, refer to Sample Training Agendas.

Last Updated: July 29, 2009; Last Reviewed: April, 2009
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