I 2 3 4
EGEA’s Training Group is a spin-off working group formed by members of the Activities & Events Committee and the Scientific Committee. The Group first emerged in late 2008 as a Committee subgroup that later evolved into autonomous task force, with two prime goals: to develop the first ever training platform within EGEA, and to foster along a training culture for the Association. In late spring 2009, the drive towards the formalization of a comprehensive Training Strategy for EGEA gained considerable momentum. The Training Group engaged with developing an action plan in order to present an in-house EGEA training programme in due time. Group consultation yielded an original training scheme, which formed the basis for extensive peer scrutiny during the Group’s Live Meeting on August 2009, in Bielsko-Biała, Poland.
The current report is a direct workproduct of the Group’s recent activities. The Final Report constitutes a synopsis of the Group’s vision for the development of a competent Training Framework in the European Geography Association. Furthermore, it outlines a workable project to transform the Group’s vision into first concrete results, with identified objectives, expected outcomes, specified quality standards and determined milestones. Finally, this report complements the Training Group’s efforts to trigger multiplier effects towards building a common learning strategy for EGEA.
2 In the field of student associations, successful players are not necessarily those that start with the biggest network, most resources, huge reputation or best structure. They are the ones that learn and adapt the quickest. In the long run, knowledge and learning can be EGEAâ€™s only sustainable competitive advantages among other student-run organizations. The Training Group actively contributes towards setting up a learning strategy within the spirit and aims of the Association that will enable young geographers to reach their full potential. The Group has taken up a proactive stance towards continuing development of EGEA members, and considers resourcesâ€™ allocation for learning and training as a strategic decision for EGEAâ€™s future. 7
Having an association driven only by its common values and commitment to Geography can no longer be enough to run the 21st century. For such an association as EGEA it is not enough to merely survive between cohorts of geography students. A learning organization should continually expand its capacity to create its future. A learning climate encouraging personal responsibility for own learning and development, accompanied by flexible organizational structure, can advance personal growth and development into EGEAâ€™s own organizational growth and development. Training courses can affect competencies and skills of young geographers, and can set the route to extend membersâ€™ motivation in all parts of EGEA.
The Group’s vision should not be scaled down to another offer of events in the established palette of EGEA activities. The Training Group is attempting, instead, to introduce a whole new learning culture for EGEA, on which the Group invites all members to rethink of learning as an experience; an experience not restricted to training courses. Our mission includes offering opportunities for development of competencies (knowledge and skills), motivation, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and organizational management. The Group’s training strategy supports equally collective and individual learning, learning from peers, learning from experiences, allowing mistakes, experimentation and diversity in learning styles as diverse are the various learning experiences.
We foresee to inspire a new generation of young geographers to discover their talents and seize personal development opportunities, to qualify EGEA staff with compelling skills, to distinguish EGEA’s own team of trainers, to affect EGEA’s capabilities to adapt to the external environment and manage change, and to use results of learning to achieve even better results for our Association. 9
The EGEA University is filling the gap in EGEA’s training capacity. The University will be EGEA’s most decisive step in transforming itself into a Learning Organization. We are envisioning a process of continuous learning where individuals can share their knowledge and enable the association to learn as well. EGEA as Learning Organization creates and acquires knowledge, organizes it, disseminates it and mobilizes it to solve issues. The EGEA University is destined to: • Become EGEA’s training platform, offering training courses for Geographers through non-formal learning
• Enrich the personal development opportunities, individual skills and competencies of EGEA members • Create and support a talented pool of young members, skilled trainers and young leaders that will pursue EGEA’s organizational aims • Stimulate a new learning culture and knowledge production within EGEA; foster innovative training tools and methods [continued]
• Enhance the quality, impact and sustainability of EGEA actions and activities
• Employ existing training resources and create new synergies within the Association, and beyond it, with other student-led organizations • Highlight meaningful values of associative life (personal growth, volunteerism, socialization, networking, leadership) • Sustain organizational performance, by coordinating EGEA learning strategies with individual learning goals, youth learning policies, and formal Geographical education
EGEA’s main training activity will operationalize two different clusters of training objectives. On one hand, it will aim to translate individual learning outcomes into training objectives. On the other hand, the EGEA University will offer training courses that address the organizational development objectives of EGEA and enable participants to effect organizational improvements when starting using their newly-acquired knowledge and skills. 12
The pilot Training Event is a training activity, carried out by the Training Group of EGEA, which will usher in the development of the EGEA University. This Training Course should constitute the first step towards the creation of a comprehensive strategy and a coordinated approach for training in EGEA. The training activity is developed and implemented by a twofold organizational structure: â€˘ The Steering Committee (Training Group) is responsible for setting the training objectives, designing and monitoring the implementation of the activity, and evaluating the training event. â€˘ The Training Course Team will be the multicultural team of expert trainers and event assistants that will take care of the educational and logistical implementation and evaluation of the training courses, as defined by the plans of the Steering Committee. 14
The preparation and design phase of the pilot Training Event started on June 2009, while the implementation will last from April 2010 till December 2010 (including pre-event preparation and evaluation). The Steering Committee will select 30 active EGEA members that will participate in this 8-day pilot Training Course in late July 2010.
The Training Course team will be largely composed of experienced trainers in the youth field who could also be accompanied by informal EGEA facilitators. The cost of the pilot Training Event will be partly covered by participation fees, and can be possibly co-funded by the European Union through the YOUTH Programme â€“ Action 4.
Aim & Objectives The aim of the pilot Training Event is to serve as model activity in the development of EGEA’s own training platform, the EGEA University. This training activity will contribute to the personal development of EGEA active members and personnel training of EGEA potential trainers and staff. The strategic and learning objectives of the pilot Training event include: • to contribute to the development of a sustainable learning strategy and quality training programme, namely the EGEA University
• to facilitate a process of competencies development for EGEA activities’ organizers and EGEA young leaders • to create the first group of skilled trainers, able to develop and implement quality training activities for EGEA • to offer a motivational participant-centered learning environment, using innovative learning methods and training tools 16
Target Group The pilot Training Event is intended for 30 active members of the Association. The participants will be young people with relevant experience in EGEA or in intercultural youth work generally, needing to develop further their knowledge, competencies and skills. The desired participants have the potential to employ their training competencies in acting as training multipliers within the Association, in bringing about change in their local entity environment and organizational improvements in EGEAâ€™s management. They will be supported by an institutional body of EGEA (entity, Committee, Board) in which they are committed to use their developed competencies after the training course. They should be able to communicate effectively in English, and they should be ready to engage and actively participate in the whole duration of the training programme (preparation, implementation, evaluation).
Training Strategy The training strategy for the pilot Training Event was fostered during the Training Group’s live meeting in Poland on August 2009. The meeting yielded a needs’ assessment for EGEA, conducted on four levels. Firstly, we conducted an organizational analysis, focusing on EGEA’s aims, its main competencies, its strategy and the ongoing developments. Then we did a personnel analysis, with regards to the EGEA volunteers that contribute on the organizational management and development of the association. Following that, we conducted a task analysis, profiling the main agents needing training within the association. A direct outcome of this analysis was the identification of three distinct groups of trainees:
•The Leaders group •The Trainers group •The Activities’ organizers group Finally, we performed an environmental scan, pinpointing the resources that EGEA can provide as input to the training event, as well as the features that EGEA lacks, like experienced trainers, that should be traced in EGEA’s external environment. 18
Educational Approach & Methodologies The educational approach of the pilot Training event has been developed by the Steering Committee. This approach emerged from the learning objectives stated above. The main principles are to create a participant-centered intercultural training activity, where individuals can learn from each other, and from situations encountered during the training courses. Participants will be facilitated into mutual learning situations from experienced trainers, where they can contribute with own EGEA experiences. The Steering Committee plans to use extensively the local environment at the training location and various training spaces to enrich the learning process. Also, the training programme has been structured accordingly, in order to offer harmoniously working time, social time and free time for participants and trainers.
The pilot Training Event will attempt to encompass a diverse collection of training methodologies. It will possibly include orientation sessions, facilitated discussions, simulation games and role-playing, experiential learning in teams, Open Space Technology, Future Factory, workshops and seminars, etc. Innovative methods will also be tested in the daily evaluation by the participants. 19
Structure of Training Courses The training programme is designed as single learning process with three parallel training sessions, in which tailor-made workshops will be offered for the three distinct groups of trainees identified above. Additionally, as a responsible self-directed learner is a key concept of the eventâ€™s educational approach, participants will have the opportunity to determine their training curriculum and choose two elective training sessions. The Steering Committee has predetermined the training modules that will be offered for each cluster of trainees. The main concern here has been to maintain a balance between soft skills and functional skills. The three preliminary sets of training modules are presented below, and will be enhanced with the assistance of the Training Course Team. In the final phase of the training programme, all participants will actively contribute in reviewing the whole pilot Training Event and reflecting on how to use this activity as springboard for the development of the EGEA University, EGEAâ€™s main training platform. 20
PROPOSED TRAINING MODULES
Structure of Training Courses Trainers Group
Activitiesâ€™ Organizers Group
Strategic Planning Team Management
Career Development / Personal Branding Fundraising
Public Relations / Communication 21
Phase Five Phase Six
D e sc ri pt i o n o f Wo rk NEEDS ASSESSMENT conducted at the live meeting in Poland Proposals on TRAINING COURSES and design of TRAINING PROGRAMME FINAL REPORT for EGEA UNIVERSITY DECIDING on final dates & deadlines Research for FUNDING options Research for ACCOMMODATION Research for potential TRAINERS Preparation of eventâ€™s BLOG Writing the EU GRANT application Steering Committee LIVE MEETING in Istanbul to REVIEW the Work plan & EU GRANT application Following External Funding results, INVITATATIONS to TRAINERS start INVITATIONS to EGEA bodies & EGEA entities, youth organizations and sponsors Preparatory Team LIVE MEETING at the training event venue Applications are SHORTLISTED ACCEPTANCE LETTERS are sent VISA requirements are resolved Payment of participation Fee Preparation of Training LOGISTICS (training material, documents, t-shirts, certificates of attendance, etc)
D e adline s
August 2009 Late November 2009
December 2009 Late December 2009
Spring 2010 Early Spring 2010
June 2010 Early July 2010
Evaluation 1. An ex-ante evaluation, when participants are firstly defined, to see if their expectations match the intended training programme and make adjustments 2. Ongoing evaluation daily â€“ thematic evaluation (oral/visual and written feedback) 3. Final evaluation on the last day (where methods appraised? Goals and objectives were attained?) 4. Ex-post evaluation, 6 months after the training (impact on personal development of the participants, assessment of entire Association and quality of new EGEA activities)
Funding The development of a viable training project demands substantial investment of resources. In order to create a solid base of financial resources we plan to diversify our funding portfolio. We will primarily seek external funding from European Union’s dedicated YOUTH Programme on European training courses. Our grant application will be submitted on the February 1st deadline. Furthermore, we will approach willing corporate sponsors and institutions. A part of the total budget will be covered from own funds, from the participation fees. Funding from European Union’s YOUTH Programme – SubAction 4.1 for EGEA can also be directed towards the pilot Training Event.
Potential Trainers One of the most important determinants for the success of the pilot Training Event is the selection of dexterous trainers that can customize their educational approaches into EGEA’s specific context. We highly value EGEA’s own informal facilitators that can contribute equally and assist professional trainers in the educational process. Therefore, we foresee a balanced representation of external and in-house trainers. Potential trainers will be shortlisted by late January 2010. 25
Training Venue We consider that the training venue should be cost-efficient, within easy reach for all participants, avail the training procedure with appropriate indoor and outdoor facilities, and possibly attain a symbolic European essence. The Council of Europeâ€™s Youth Center in Strasbourg, France, meets all the above criteria, and will be our intended hosting venue.
Promotion & Communication As the pilot Training Event will be neither the start nor the end in EGEA training activities, we promote an open, outward communication campaign that will increase the projectâ€™s visibility and impact. We intend to utilize all available EGEA media to promote the pilot Training Event inside the Association. We also plan to use a web blog in order to maintain a constant flow of new information about the projectâ€™s development through the phases described above.
EGEA UNIVERSITY Final Report 2009