Management is one among the skills needed for a DIET faculty. This sections deals with this functional area.
Skills of Managing Materials
In any training situation, instructional materials play a major role. These materials must be managed and maintained to ensure that they are appropriate and available to the trainees when needed.
For purposes of resource management materials can be divided into four basic categories:
- real items
Managing Instructional Materials
A Trainer should, before the start of a programme, make and keep a checklist of all the materials needed.
A trainer should decide
o how many copies of materials are required
o when they are required
o whether there are facilities to get the materials types, photocopied etc.
It would be a good thing to check power points, cables, etc. a day before the AV aids are to be needed.
What happens when an OHP / cassette recorder does not work?
It is important for trainers to keep alternative materials ready and prepare for contingencies. A trainer who depends solely on one set of materials is bound to ‘fail’ at some point of time. A ‘successful’ trainer is one who can visualize not just the training programme but also prepare for contingencies.
SKILLS OF MANAGING HUMAN RESOURCES
Much of the skills of interacting with trainees has been discussed in 8.3.3. In this section we will look at some other aspects of managing human resources. To have to become a learner again and sit in a classroom absorbing ideas and doing tasks is very often a difficult thing for adult learners. The trainer, who is also the resource person, should learn to manage this mindset of the trainees and see that maximum benefit is derived by the trainees on the course/ programme.
Let us consider the learning situation and the important events in that situation,
Gaining Trainee Attention
This is the most important step in a training-learning situation. How can a trainer gain and sustain the interest of the trainees? There are three ways of doing this:
- use varied transactional mode
- use relevant and interesting materials
- be accessible to trainees
Informing the Trainee of the Objective
You need to inform the trainee of what is going to happen during the learning event so they can focus on that event and sort out what is relevant and what is not. Remember, trainees are adults and are capable of making the judgement.
Stimulating Recall of Prior Experience/Knowledge
Trainees should be able to put the new information/experience into a context based on what they already know. It is therefore important that the learning event contains something that causes them to recall a prior event/experience, evaluate it and use it as the foundation on which to build the present event. For example, brainstorming about the elements that go into micro-planing will help trainees recall and gather all points they know about this are. The next part of the session can be built on the outcome of the brainstorming session.
Presenting the Stimulus Material
When new material is presented, it is important to tell the trainees the facts, knowledge or skills that are associated with the materials and the context in which they operate.
Providing Leaner Guidance
One of the most important things a trainer can do is to provide a means of encoding the information. In providing a means if encoding the information, In providing learning guidance, a trainer could show the steps involved in carrying out a task or suggest how the trainee could complete the task.
Eliciting the Performance
This is where trainees are expected to respond to all that has gone on before and demonstrate their learning .It is important that this part of the event is not confused with evaluation; learners here are still learning, they are not being tested.
Providing Feedback about Performance Correctness
In this part of the learning event, the trainer gives feedback to the trainees so that they can determine if they have performed correctly. If learning has taken place, trainees have to be able to judge how well they have performed according to set criteria. This is an important element in training programmes with adults if credibility of the learning event has to be established. The feedback should be given in a friendly, interactive mode, so that trainees are not put off by the idea of feedback.
Assessing the Performance
Performance assessment is concerned with trainees demonstrating their total understanding of the topic. A methodology appropriate to the topic of the learning event has to be evolved to assess.
Whether the outcome of the assessment is productive and positive or non-productive and negative depends to a large extent on the attitude and behaviour of the trainer.
All the points mentioned above deal with managing the learning-learner event in the classroom. The trainer, before during and after the course has to act as counsellor to trainees; guiding them in academic and non-academic areas. The trainer who knows and understands this role can be sure of running a more effective training programme than a trainer who sees his/ her role as limited to delivery training without taking into account the human aspect of training.
Before the training programme, the trainees might wish to know
- What to study, what the content of the course/material is, and how relevant it is to their needs.
- What technique to use. They might also wish to know something about time management.
In this situation, the trainer is an adviser. By sharing the apprehensions and hopes of the trainees she/he establish an important linkage and becomes a trusted counsellor. A trainer who lays down the law and say that something HAS TO BE DONE. Without discussing the matter with the trainees becomes a ‘dictator’ who will most probably be obeyed in letter if not in spirit. She/he might not gain the trust of trainees.
During the training programme, the learners may wish to meet the trainer outside training hours and discuss certain issues. These could
- some problem with, the content of the materials, no matter how well they are prepared or Presented
- doubts about how assignments should be done, how they should be prepared.
- problem of coping with the course and the stress it generates. Or, they may have personal or study problems.
- need of support in relation to their jobs -like getting permission to attend a programme, time-offer research etc. They may wish to know how to integrate their study with their work.
As mentioned earlier there may be problems that a trainer can do nothing about. Or there may be problems she/ he can deal with. In either case, being a patient and sympathetic listener goes a long way in sorting out problems. Advice given by a sympathetic listener has greater chances of being heard than the advice of a perceived ‘unsympathetic’ person.
After the training programme, trainees might need advice on
How to train further
How to improve their performance at the DIET
What resources they can use to become better trainees
The linkage established sometimes ends with the valedictory function or a few hours after that, In other cases, it endures, supported through letters, telephone calls or occasional face-to-face interaction.
The mind map below covers all important factors of classroom management The points about classroom management that we have discussed in other sections are:
Personality of the trainer
Types of Equipment
In this section we will consider some of the other aspects mentioned in the mind map
The Plan versus Flexibility
It is a good idea to prepare a lesson plan. It helps the trainer to know where she/ he is going, what the aims and means are. But it is very bad if the plan is rigid and has no flexibility .A rigid lesson plan makes a trainer ‘blind’ to the needs and responses of the trainees.
In the training situation, the ideal lesson plan should be in terms of check lists. The general areas could be:
What is to be taught? (Contents)
What are you going to do in the lesson? (Methodology)
What aids are you going to use? (Materials)
Anticipated difficulties (Crisis Management)
The trainer could ask himself/herself some questions before the lesson/training session.
- Are the trainees going to learn something in this lesson?
- Are they going to enjoy the lesson? Is it going to be varied and satisfying?
- Does the lesson/session as a whole have a sense of coherence and purpose?
- Does the lesson/session connect up with what went before? Is there linkage?
- Is the lesson/ session opening up new areas of knowledge and practice?
If the answer is YES, then the lesson/ session is sure to be a success.
Instructions don’t just happen. They have to be planned carefully. Planning instructions helps the trainer to be clear, natural and unambiguous.
Once instructions are planned, the trainer has an opportunity to check through the instructions and see that errors are eliminated. The trainer can also grade the instructions. Group Dynamics
The most difficult factor to control in group work is time. It is very easy to lose track of time when group work is going on. The reasons could be
- The trainer might dislike disturbing the group when they are absorbed in group work
- The trainer himself/herself may not be aware of the passage of time.
- The trainer might want the results of the particular group work, and may so allow the group work to continue
If the timings are not adhered to other components of the course get disrupted. So keeping to the time while doing group work is very important.
Planning the group work in detail helps the trainer to get an idea of the time the activity will require.
A good idea for the trainer would be making a note of the approximate time required for different activities in the lesson/training session plan. This will keep the activities on track.
Once the trainer is aware of the time available for group work she/ he can pace the activity accordingly. Do the groups brainstorm for 5 minutes and come up with a few points or do they discuss in detail for 30 minutes and come up with a presentation? Such questions are solved when the trainer is aware of the time factor. The other issues relating to group work have been discussed in detail elsewhere.
Class Seating Patterns (Who Sits Where?)
In a traditional classroom, the pattern of seating (which incidentally reflects the pattern of teaching) is as follows:
The teacher keeps moving from group to group to check whether the task is being carried out satisfactorily.
In pair work, where student work simultaneously in pairs, the teacher is again available for help.
The three patterns mentioned are appropriate in both teaching and training situations. In a training session however, a few more patterns, based on the type of transaction are available possible for PANEL discussion.
You will notice that the trainer has to maintain a low profile in some types of activities; in others she/he works collaboratively; at other time she/he is totally in the background, only responding when trainees ask for help.
For good classroom management, a trainer should know and plan the level for a control she/he should exercise for a level of control she/he should exercise for a particular session or training.
Let us finally sum up what a trainer should be able to do to manage a class successfully. Given below are some points
- Attract attention.
- Start-up, greet, socialize.
- Deal with different space and furniture arrangement.
- Deal with early arrivals and late comers.
- Ask people to do things.
- Thank people.
- Elicit information.
- Indicate error.
- Explain things
- Check understanding.
- Describe narrate.
- Query meaning
- Handle discipline problems.
- Offer and accept help and apologies
- Move to closure.
- Predict what’s coming next time.
- Set tasks.
- Vary style of voice, movement & manner
- Be normal, be human. (from woodward, 1991.p.50)
You can download Activity Sheet from here Activity Sheet - Management Skills