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Questions about being a facilitator
Is the role of facilitator right for me?
- I am not a digital expert, in fact, I’m a bit of a technophobe myself.
- I have never delivered training before.
- I am busy and do not have a lot of time to run workshops.
Many different people, with different skills and backgrounds are great facilitators.
You do not need to be a digital expert to be a great facilitator of digital skills workshops – the role of a facilitator is principally to support the learners’ learning journeys. That is why we talk about being a “facilitator” rather than a “trainer”.
You also do not need experience in delivering training. The six training modules will give you the foundational knowledge and skills that you need to deliver fantastic workshops.
Even if you do not have a lot of time, you can still run workshops. The practical guidance section contains a range of guides, checklists, and even ready-to-use questionnaires to help you organise workshops.
You can learn more about the role of a facilitator by completing the module My Role as a Facilitator.
Questions about the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section
What can I find in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section?
Who is the training designed for?
The training in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section is intended for anyone interested in organising digital skills workshops to tackle the digital divide.
How much time do I need to complete the training?
The total duration of the six core training modules’ recordings is less than 2 hours. However, you may not need to complete all six modules if you are already familiar with some of their content,
Do I have to complete all the training?
No, you do not have to complete all the training or read all the practical guidance documents.
However, we recommend that all potential facilitators watch the training modules. If you would like some advice about where to start, you can take a look at our recommended material for 1st time facilitators or for experienced facilitators.
Is there a specific order in which I should complete the training?
Do I have to complete the training in one session?
You can complete the training in one session if you wish to do so, but you can equally complete the training over an extended period of time – whichever suits you best!
If I complete the training in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section, do I have to organise a workshop?
You do not have to organise a workshop if you complete the training in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section. You can apply your learning from the training in different ways – for example when helping individuals with their digital learning journey one-to-one.
Do the materials in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section cover delivering workshops online?
In the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section you can find a variety of materials to help you plan and deliver online workshops. For example, Guide: Planning Online Workshops and Guide: Delivering Online Workshops (found in the Before a Workshop and During & After a Workshop sections).
Is the training in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section the same as the Library of Resources?
The training in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section is not the same as the Library of Resources. The ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ materials are designed to train people to become digital skills workshop facilitators, whereas the Library of Resources contains materials that facilitators can use with participants during digital skills workshops.
Do I have to speak English very well to understand the training for Facilitators?
All the training materials in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section are in English so an intermediate level of English is necessary. If you struggle to understand the training modules, you can re-watch them or re-wind sections of them.
Who created the materials in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section?
The Digital Travellers Project created the materials in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section.
Is it possible to print the materials in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section?
You can download and print all the materials in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section.
Can I reproduce the materials in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section?
You can reproduce any of the materials in the ‘Becoming a Facilitator’ section, as long as you do not use them for commercial purposes.
Questions about organising Workshops
Who should I invite to participate in my workshops?
Digital skills workshops can be relevant to a wide variety of people whose lack of digital skills prevents their full participation in society. To help you choose who to invite to your workshops, we recommend that you complete the training module Working with Vulnerable Groups and read the practical guidance document Reaching out to and Interacting with Specific Audiences (found in the Before a Workshop section).
How can I reach out to potential participants and ensure no-one is excluded?
There are many ways to advertise your workshops to potential participants, both via traditional (posters etc.) and more unusual (bookmarks in library books etc.) means. You can find other ideas in the training module Working with Vulnerable Groups and the practical guidance document Reaching out to and interacting with Specific Audiences (found in the Before a Workshop section).
To ensure no-one is excluded, keep in mind that you may only be able to reach some groups via non-digital means if their pre-existing digital skills are very limited.
Also, some vulnerable people might exclude themselves from learning opportunities such as workshops due to a lack of confidence in their own abilities and a fear of being the weakest learner. It is therefore important to use inclusive language and reassure potential participants that they are not alone.
Is running workshops online right for me?
Online workshops may sound intimidating, but they have lots of benefits including reaching even more potential participants – for example those who do not wish to travel in the dark or those who cannot leave home due to caring responsibilities.
If you have access to or can get access to a computer/laptop, microphone and camera (often built into devices), you can run workshops online. There are also lots of resources available which can help you lead workshops online, including Guide: Planning Online Workshops and Guide: Delivering Online Workshops (found in the Before a Workshop and During & After a Workshop sections).
How can I overcome a lack of equipment and connectivity?
You could consider using alternative venues for your workshops including, but not limited to, administrative/government buildings, schools, places of worship or even stores such as laundromats (with the venue’s permission). Alternatively, you could consider forming a partnership with another organisation which could provide equipment.
How can I keep my workshop participants safe online? And similarly, how can I empower my workshop participants to keep themselves safe online without panicking them by talking about online dangers?
From the outset, integrate ideas around internet safety into your workshops to build up your participants’ awareness of the issues slowly without overwhelming or scaring them.
When introducing new E-safety concepts, try to avoid long lists of scary worst-case scenarios and instead focus on the positive actions to reduce risks – e.g. if you use strong passwords with combinations of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters, you can reduce the risk of identity theft dramatically. This will empower participants, rather than scaring them.
How can I ensure that my workshops are accessible?
Thinking about potential accessibility issues – for example a communication barrier or steps to venue – is a great start. Talk to your participants to find out their accessibility needs (you can use the Needs Assessment for Workshop Participants, found in the Before a Workshop section, directly or as a guide) and work with your participants to find solutions. Consider forming partnerships with other organisations who can help you overcome the barriers identified. For example, if the barrier is the lack of appropriately adjusted technology, find an organisation who can provide this during your workshop.
How can I build trust with my workshop participants?
Building trust with your participants is important to ensure that they can learn during your workshops. Simple things such as listening actively and being encouraging and supportive of participants can make a big difference. For specific ideas and concrete examples of how to build trust with participants, complete the training module Creating a Positive Learning Environment and Working with Vulnerable Groups.
How will I know if the workshops I deliver are successful?
To assess the success of your workshops, you can consider questions such as ‘What worked well during my workshop?’, ‘Do I think the workshop was valuable/useful for the participants?’ as well as ‘What could have worked better during the workshop?’. You can find a list of these questions in the practical guidance document entitled Guide: Evaluation After A Workshop (found in the During & After a Workshop section).
Another great way to know if your workshop was successful is to talk to participants! You can ask participants to fill in the Post-Workshop Questionnaire for Workshop Participants (found in the During & After a Workshop section) or use its questions as the basis of a conversation with participants.
What can I do to make my workshops more successful?
There are lots of ways to make your workshops even better. If you haven’t already done so, you can complete the six training modules, browse the practical guidance documents, or read the Do’s and Don’ts, which are based on the experiences of fellow facilitators.
Alternatively, you could consider delivering workshops with a colleague. Even for experienced facilitators, working as a team (when possible) is easier, more fun and even more effective for participants.
Do I need any additional resources to deliver the workshops?
Generally, you do not need additional resources to deliver workshops. Some workshop activities in the Library of Resources require additional resources, but you can choose other activities if this poses a problem.
How can I ensure all the end users participate actively in the workshops?
Sometimes some workshop participants may struggle to engage in workshops, for example because of psychological barriers. The module Working with Vulnerable Groups can help you to consider barriers to workshop participation. Also, the module Creating a Positive Learning Environment contains practical ideas about how to engage participants and the resource Animate your Audience with Energizers (found in the During & After a Workshop section) provides further activities to encourage active workshop participation.
How can I prevent something going ‘wrong’ during a workshop?
We all want our workshop to run as smoothly as possible, but sometimes things will go ‘wrong’ during workshops. This happens to even the most experienced facilitators and it is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. In fact, if something does go wrong during a workshop, it can be a great opportunity for you to model a positive mindset and to demonstrate to workshop participants that no problem or error is insurmountable. To ensure that your workshops run as smoothly as possible, it is best to have a back-up plan in case of a technical problem. For example, an activity your workshop participants can do whilst the technical issue is being resolved.