Session V-6: Introduction of seminars and seminar topics
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Overview: Up to this point, trainees have not had access to written materials, and most learning has been through observation, experience and field trips or visiting resource people. By working with their ponds, visiting other facilities, and doing a variety of field exercises that involved both application and communication of technical concepts, trainees have not only learned a great deal and acquired many new skills, but they have also been able to formulate much clearer, more specific questions than they had at the beginning of training. This point becomes evident during this session, and trainees have an opportunity to recognize the progress they have made. They know what they want to know, and they are very eager for information. At this point, they gain access to written resource materials and many other sources of information as they share responsibility for a series of in-depth, highly informative seminars.
1. The staff facilitator reviews training activities up to the present. The list of activities in which they have participated will include (at minimum) the following:
2. Ask trainees to individually brainstorm, on a sheet of paper, the questions they have about fish, fish culture and/or fish culture extension work. Tell them that this will not be handed in and will just serve as a tool for the next step.
3. Ask trainees for observations about the questions they have listed. Point out that through their hands-on work and interactions with resource people, their questions about fish culture and extension have become more focused and specific.
4. Divide trainees into small groups of about five each. Using their individual lists, they should develop a group list of the categories in which they have questions. Have them write this on newsprint.
5. Each group posts newsprint. Compare and discuss the lists.
Inform the trainees that since there is so much information to be addressed, an efficient means of doing so within the time constraints of training is necessary. Tell them that the areas they have listed will be organized into a set of topics, and that they will each be responsible for researching and presenting a seminar on a topic. Point out that these seminars will provide the bulk of specific information that they will receive in training, and that they are to be of very high quality. Also point out that they have a tremendous responsibility to one another to do an excellent job since they will be counting on each other for information on topics other than their own. Inform the trainees that, in fact, the staff considers these seminars so important that during the presentations, any seminar that is not of high quality will be stopped. "Not high quality" may mean inaccurate information, incomplete information, lack of organization, unclear or unprofessional delivery.
6. Explain that the staff has already organized the many areas they have cited into a list of seminar topics, and hang up a newsprint list of these topics. Ask the trainees to list their first three preferences for their seminar topic on a sheet of paper to be handed in. Tell them that the staff will assign their topics at a specified time later in the day. Explain that their choices will be considered, but that it is not guaranteed that they will be assigned one of the topics they have requested.
7. Trainees receive and sign for textbooks.
8. Following the meeting, the staff meets to decide on seminar topic assignments. In making this decision, the staff must take into account the trainee's preference, strengths and background. In addition, there will be some topics that have been requested by many trainees, and others that have not been on anyone's list of choices. The seminar assignments are posted later in the day.
9. Trainees are informed that they are to turn in outlines of their seminars the following morning. Outlines are to be done individually at this point, even if a topic is assigned to a pair of trainees rather than a single trainee.
Resources and Materials:
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