Time frame: Approximately 10 minutes per trainee
• Evaluate trainees' technical comprehension, and ability and willingness to apply information;
• Motivate trainees to maximize their learning through making the best possible use of their ponds as learning tools;
• Help trainees identify aspects of their pond management that need further thought, modification or action.
Overview: This is not a session design. It is a set of trainer notes that describe the procedure used for implementing pond interviews. Although staff members interact with the trainees at their ponds several times a day, this time is used for more formalized interviews dealing specifically with the trainees' pond work. The interviews take place at the ponds. By asking the trainees specific questions about their management practices and the observations they have made, trainers not only have an opportunity to evaluate the trainees comprehension and work, but also provide the trainees with some food for thought and a reminder of their accountability in their pond work. The questions asked often help trainees focus on aspects of their management they would like to explore further, pique their curiosity about some aspect of their ponds or fish that they had not previously considered, evaluate some of the actions they have already taken in their pond work, or give them ideas for additional management activities.
• Each staff member is assigned certain trainees to interview;
• Each staff member carries a clipboard, on which he/she has one form for each of the trainees he/she is to interview. The forms have the date, the trainee's name, and the questions to be asked in the interview with spaces between each one for the trainer to make comments about the trainee's responses;
• Staff members should review the questions among themselves prior to the interviews. They should make sure they all interpret the questions the same way, that they are consistent in the kind of information they expect to obtain from each, and that they have similar ideas about the kinds of notes they will take during the interviews;
• When the trainees arrive at the training site, they are told to remain at their ponds until a trainer has spoken with them (they will be going directly to their ponds each morning for daily pond time in any case, but it is helpful to give them these instructions anyway in case interviews run late, or in case some trainees plan to spend part of their time away from their ponds to get fertilizer or do some other pond related task);
• For each interview, the trainer approaches the trainee at hihe/sher pond. The trainer informs the trainee, in a polite but formal tone, that he/she will be asking him/her some questions about hihe/sher pond this morning. The trainer has hihe/sher clipboard out and the form prepared so that he/she can make notes as the trainee responds to the questions;
• The trainer asks the trainee the questions listed on the form, noting down the trainees responses as well as other comments (for example, the trainer might note that the trainee knew a great deal of the information without looking in hihe/sher notebook, or that the trainee seemed enthusiastic and eager to discuss hihe/sher pond work in depth, or that the trainee had extremely disorganized notes and was unable to find information requested, etc.);
• The trainer should try not to deviate from the questions listed, though an occasional follow-up question may be unavoidable based upon the trainee's response.
• Upon completion of the interview, the trainer thanks the trainee, provides information regarding the meeting time for the next activity (or whatever is appropriate), and leaves the trainee to resume hihe/sher pond work. The trainer should then go to a reasonably private location to quickly fill in any notes he/she needs to make on the form regarding the interview before continuing on to the next trainee.
• An example of a first pond interview form follows:
First Pond Interview
Date:_____________ Trainee's Name:_______________________________
1. What is the surface area of your pond?
2. What are your thoughts now about your stocking technique?
3. Exactly what did you stock? (Species, weight, number). How do you know?
4. What is actually in your pond now? How do you know?
5. What have you learned so far about the fish in your pond? (Should include whether or not they are on feed and how they know)
6. What have you learned so far about the water quality in your pond?
7. What have you done for your fish today?
8. May I please see your records?
9. How can you best use this pond to maximize fish production and your own understanding of fish culture? What are your short term plans for your pond for the next few days?