In addition to the training online, could we do some kind of “orientation” that might include doing a practice round as a group (just students)?
An orientation or practice is a great idea! Getting the hang of how to phrase open ended questions; remembering to use the yes, and concept; practicing how to record and ensure you are echoing and acknowledging all contributions can be hard at first. It’s also good to remind students that the more you can make it about imaging/inventing/making up the story - the better - remembering that there are no wrong answers and the story doesn’t have to be “polished” or “make sense” the way they might be used to.
In the Student Volunteer Resource Guide in your Toolkit, we’ve provided a few items that may be helpful during an orientation phase:
- Student Volunteer/Service Learning 101 has some great tips for getting started and some ideas about what to expect. Especially getting to know your aging services site which includes any volunteer orientation or paperwork that may be required by them.
- Challenges That May Pop Up goes over a few common pitfalls and how to address/avoid them. It could be helpful to role play a few of these scenarios.
- In the Appendix there is a “Recap of Training” is not intended to be a checklist or something you should bring with you when you facilitate. But in a practice session it may be nice to ensure you remember and understand the reason for each step. In addition, it may be a helpful tool for reflection after facilitating: Did you remember each step? How did each step go? If you forgot a step, how would it have changed the session? How would you do steps differently next time?
In addition, you may want to visit our where you will find short presentations like an Intro to Aging as well as Identifying Ageism in Intergenerational Spaces.
Lastly, inviting at least one staff member of your aging services partner to join your Creative Campus and take the online training can go a long way in ensuring that they are aware of sessions should work and can be of additional support to students.