to conduct a brainstorming session
Explain the goals of the brainstorming session first: "The
goal of our brainstorming session is to develop guidelines as
to how the group would like to work together". Articulate
this task in full to the group and then note it down briefly as
a title on the blackboard or sheet of paper.
Next, introduce the procedure to the group by explaining the
main rules, clarifying in more detail when necessary. Emphasize
that after completing the list of ideas, each participant will
have a chance to discuss any suggestions, and that the process
of brainstorming itself is designed to generate as many ideas
as possible, not to evaluate their quality. It is important to
mention any time limits, so that the group knows how long they
have to accomplish the process. All ideas should be noted down
in the same words as articulated by the participants.
Upon completing the brainstorming, organize and discuss
suggested proposals and articulate each idea in a well-formed
If at some point the group stops generating new ideas, you may
move them along by adding your recommendations or comments.
Have one member of the training team organize the ideas and distribute
them to the group later in the program.
Small group discussions
What is it and why it is
Facilitators very often form small groups when working
with participants to make it possible for them to share ideas
through discussion. Especially when time is limited, this technique
allows for all the participants to express their opinions, discuss
the problem in a more convenient and comfortable setting, and
helps the participants to communicate more openly with each other.
How to conduct small group discussions
1) Divide the large group into groups of 4
– 5 persons (if the size of the large group allows; in case
of smaller groups, working in pairs might be a good option);
2) Clearly state the task you
want the participants to complete;
3) Allot 5-15 minutes to complete
4) Ask the participants of
the small groups to share and discuss their experience and joint
ideas with the larger group.
What is it and why it is
Most exercises implement the feedback technique. This allows
the facilitator to uncover possible reasons for any misconceptions
or unsatisfactory understanding of new ideas and information.
How to implement feedback
1) The facilitators ask
questions at the beginning of the exercise to learn to what extent
the participants are familiar with the subject, and to introduce
them to it.
2) At the end of the exercise
facilitators ask questions to see what the participants learned
from the class and to strengthen their understanding of the subject
is it and why it is useful?
During the training exercises the facilitators should encourage
a group discussion of the problem providing the participants freedom
to express their opinions about the problem and proposals for
its resolution. Guided discussion of new information is used
to help participants develop a better understanding of the training
How to conduct a guided discussion
1) Guided discussion is conducted through
using the “question-answer”
2) The group is guided towards
the desired conclusion through a sequence of short and concise
to which they are asked to provide concrete short answers.
3) The questions should be
formulated in a way that will help guide the group toward understanding
4) If someone in the group
makes an erroneous conclusion, it is preferable not to point it
out, but rather to bring the group to the correct conclusion through
a chain of questions.
5) After the questions have
been answered, the facilitator should analyze and discuss the
responses, and summarize the group’s conclusions.
Role-playing or simulation
What is it and why it is useful?
Role-playing, or "learning through acting", is a technique
that requires participants to perform a task in a realistic situation
simulating "real life". This type of exercise is an
effective means to take in and absorb the content and substance
of new ideas. It facilitates an active understanding of the information
and gives participants the opportunity to apply new skills and
abilities. The simulation serves as a rehearsal on how to conduct
future activities. By recreating models of real situations, which
"play out" a problematic scenario, the participants
are given the opportunity to see the situation from perspectives
other than those they might be taking in reality. Both the participants
and the facilitators have an opportunity to see “hidden
obstacles” that may arise in dealing with the problem and
can then explore alternative ways of addressing them.
The participants not only rehearse their own behavior in
a particular situation, but also have the opportunity as a group
to evaluate how effective the staged resolution of the problem
Role-playing is one of the effective methods to learn and
gain experience. An individual is likely to remember their personal
feelings more intensely and for a longer period of time. The
role game helps to analyze how people behave in a certain situation,
how to evaluate and predict their reactions. Therefore, to gain
the maximum effect from the role game, proposed situations should
be as close to reality as possible.
How to conduct a role-playing
There are three stages to a standard role-play exercise:
(1) the set-up, (2) the play, (3) the follow up. 1
In the set up stage, the training team describes the scenario
and assigns roles to the participants. If the participant plays
a particular role in reality, it would be more effective to assign
a different role to that participant during the role-play exercise.
Another option is to put together a single page description
of the scenario to be worked out by the role-play participants.
Alternatively, it may be useful to write one-paragraph
descriptions of the key role players. A description can include
the main objectives and concerns of the person in that role, perhaps
can include some key dialogues or a statement to be read by the
person playing the role.
The Play Stage:
During the play stage, the participants act out their roles
and the play is carried out.
If the role-play becomes too long, then the facilitators
can give the participants a time warning of one or two minutes,
and then end the play after that.
The Follow Up:
It is important for all the participants to discuss what
happened during the role-play. They may question individual role-players
to ask why they took a particular position, made a certain statement,
or undertook an action. The explanation and the resulting discussion
is important for the participants to obtain a greater understanding
of the social dynamics related to a particular "real life"
Sometimes a role-play session may generate strong emotions (anger,
dismay, disagreement), especially if some role-players take the
play too seriously, and take extreme positions. The follow-up
discussions offer the facilitators an opening to explain that
these reactions were caused by the structure of the situation,
not by the stubbornness of the individuals playing the roles.
It is not necessary to avoid strong emotions; rather, it is an
opportunity to reveal the nature of some "real-life"
situations, and to encourage participants to be sensitive to the
different assumptions, values, goals and positions that may be
taken by different persons actually in "real life".
See the Tips for Facilitators page for more information
to use role playing. The model
session from the addressing the problem block also exemplifies
the use of the role
What is it and why it is
Mini-lectures (10-15 minutes long) provide an opportunity
to deliver new information necessary for future work that would
assist the participants in better comprehending the problem and
making correct conclusions.
How to conduct a mini-lecture
1) It is important to remember that
the facilitators’ mission is not only to offer the required
information, but also to convince the group members that this
information is important for considering and resolving the given
problem. Therefore, mini-lectures often include additional questions
or a short exchange of ideas;
2) Mini-lectures conclude with
a collective discussion or exercise, where participants can apply
the new information in practice;
3) It is desirable to distribute
the information discussed during the mini-lecture in printed hand-outs.
Resource exercises are activities that supply the training
session participants with the required resources to accomplish
psychologically complex exercises, and to develop self-defense
mechanisms against unpleasant memories and experiences. Resource
exercises also assist the group in the quickest possible recovery
after discussing concrete, tragic cases of violence against women.
The resource exercises include "icebreaker",
or getting acquainted exercises, aimed at relaxation and releasing
tension, increasing participants’ comfort level and group
cohesion, developing an atmosphere of mutual support, etc. These
exercises can be used to set a tone for the time a group will
be together during training. Icebreakers
should not be used to avoid dealing with anxiety but rather to
provide a less threatening environment.
Other training methods include:
Self-tests given before, during
or after the course
The purpose of the self-tests is to determine what the
participants already know about the issue in question, to monitor
their progress during the training workshop, and to assess the
knowledge and skills that have been acquired or developed as a
result of the training course. A typical self-test consists of:
1) True or false questions
3) Ranking issues
What is it and why it is useful?
Case studies typically examine the interplay of all variables
in order to provide as complete an understanding of an event or
situation as possible. This type of comprehensive understanding
is arrived at through an in-depth description of the situation
being evaluated, the circumstances under which it occurred, the
characteristics of the people involved in it, and the nature of
the community in which it is located. Case studies allow the
participants the exposure to settings and contexts that they might
not otherwise experience. However, it is important to remember
that if the case study is based on a real life situation, the
names of those involved should be changed. For an example of
how a case study is used in a training session click here.
How to conduct a case study exercise
1) Distribute written hand-outs;
or write the case on a flipchart or blackboard so all participants
can read and analyze it together;
2) Have the participants discuss
3) Have all participants give
some type of response, either written or oral (it would be helpful
to have a format for the participants to follow, e. g. a set of
questions and tasks to help structure the discussion.
1) May be video taped.
2) May be live and spontaneous.
3) If instructors are doing
the demonstration, they should rehearse it.
4) If participants are included,
select people who are not likely to be embarrassed to present
in front of the group.
1) Group visits to a relevant institution
may provide valuable perspectives.
2) The purpose of the visit
should be explained in advance, and participants should be instructed
to pay attention and record their observations.
1) Composed of a panel of presenters
or experts. A panel discussion is particularly effective when
presenters have expertise in different aspects of a topic.
2) One presenter should act
as a facilitator to enable the greatest possible participation
and to provide a summary at the end of the discussion.
3) Should include exchanges
between panel members themselves and between panel members and
1. Adapted from Role
Playing and Simulation Games: A Training Technique, by Phil
What is a Training | Needs
Assessment | Goals and Objectives
Organizing a Training Workshop
| [Preparing the Training Program]
| Conducting Exercises | Training
Methods | Tips for Facilitators
| [Model Sessions]
| Final Remarks
Guidelines for Developing a Training