CHAPTER - 5
4.0 Guidelines for Resource Persons
4.0 Guidelines for Resource Persons
As this training material relies heavily on interactive group work sessions, here are some guidelines on how to be an effective resource person.
In a case study based training approach, the resource person serves more as a:
· facilitator of the group learning process
· technical adviser as needed, and a
· catalyst for participants' learning process rather than a lecturer, story teller or instructor
Here are some guidelines on how to be an effective trainer
1. Be sure that you have read and understood thoroughly the participant's notes before you meet your group. There's nothing like being prepared and more familiar with the case study scenario than the participants are !
2. Before every session, take time to visit you assigned meeting room and check the:
· Seating arrangements. There should be a large enough table surrounded by enough chairs for the participants and yourself.
· Equipment and supplies such as flipcharts, flipchart papers, marker pens, white / black board, board eraser, masking tape, transparency sheets, writing pads, ball pen / pencils, calculator etc.
· Physical conditions of the room. There should be sufficient lighting the room temperature should be comfortable, noise should be as low as possible etc.
3. During the initial group meeting, it is important to set an informal and friendly atmosphere. It is suggested that you
· Introduce yourself, preferably asking everyone to call you by your first name, and then let everybody introduce himself / herself in a similar manner. Do not waste time stating positions and respective organisations etc., which should have been done on the first day anyway.
· Then ask if the objectives and purpose of the exercise, which have been previously discussed in the plenary session, are clear to them
Sample objectives are
· Identify and understand the options that SMEs can employ in their pollution prevention program.
· Evaluate the feasibility and suitability of these options in view of technical, environmental, financial, organisational, and social criteria and constraints.
It will be useful to know whether the majority of the group members have actually read the text provided, which states the background and the problem.
If they have not then you will need to direct them to focus their attention first on what is needed to be accomplished by the end of each part.
4. If your group gets involved in diverse issues, try to steer them back on the right track by asking relevant questions rather than telling them what to do.
5. Give technical assistance and supplementary information as needed without spoon feeding the participants. However, do not lecture or dominate the group discussion process.
6. Although you need not stay with your group for 100% of the time, it is expected that you:
· Spend at least 80% of the time with them during regular sessions. The crucial times are at the beginning, middle, and near the end of each group work sessions.
· If they decide to work beyond the prescribed regular time, just make sure that they are on the right track, your presence during overtime is not mandatory, but voluntary.
7. There will be critical parts during the identification of options, followed by technical, environmental, and economic evaluation, where your technical advice will be most needed by your group.
The best way to assist the participants is by giving only the advantages and disadvantages of the options in question. Let them weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves whether to take or drop the option.
8. If you encounter any question about the technical content of the material that you have not been briefed on, discuss it with the Team Leader and agree on how to tackle the situation. It may well be that the other resource persons need to be duly advised on the particular question.
9. See to it that you compare notes, exchange hints and share strategies with other resource persons so that you can assist on another, as well as guage your group's progress in comparison with the others.
10. If tension or heated argument arises among your group members, try your best (with a sense of humor) to defuse it.
11. In the case of absenteeism, approach the person / persons in question and encourage them to participate.
12. If one or two group members are dominating the discussions or doing all the work, intervene and encourage everyone to get involved. In order to do this effectively, you need to be attuned to your group's culture and trend of discussion.
13. Although division of labour is a time saving group work strategy you must ensure that it is not done to the extent that there is no peer learning and discussion occurring. It is counter productive for group members to work individually on these exercises.
14. The most productive, meaningful and fulfilling group work is when they get to accomplish what they have to do as a team - and have fun in the process !