Introduction – smart.radiotraining.eu

We remember, SMART Train the Trainer consists of three stages:

1) The syllabus
2) The assessment
3) The certificate

The Syllabus, assessment and certificate belong together: During the SMART course participants learn new methods to better meet the needs of specific target groups. In the SMART course, participants already develop their own course, training or coaching. They present the draft at the end of the SMART Train the Trainer course. On the basis of the assessment, SMART is concluded with certification. Certification is awarded to those participants who critically and reflectively deal with their methods, who see themselves as learners, who adapt their methods, and who show that they are willing and able to adapt to their target groups. The learning process is the goal, not a finished training with skills that could be checked.

The „SMART Assessment Tool“ provides methods to survey the learning outcomes, reflections and feedbacks on the „SMART Train-the-Trainer“ courses.

SMART trainings are offered by experienced trainers from radio and broadcasting for trainers who want to deepen their knowledge, who want to expand their target groups and adapt to their specific needs and require additional methods.

The assessment accompanies the trainers and the learning trainers (further on called „participants“) during the courses. Most importantly the assessment is not a testing tool, that decides failure or success, but should make learning process visible and reflective.

At SMART Train the Trainer courses we speak of „trainers“ as facilitators of trainings for „learning trainers“, who want to provide trainings, coachings or courses for sensitive target groups with specific needs.

We expect more challenges and demands when we offer workshops for migrant women: the exposed life circumstances have to be taken into account. Attention is given to additional competences in dealing with difficult life circumstances. Refugees may have experienced trauma. They have to go through asylum procedures. They are looking for work or in camps and have limited freedoms. The don’t know if they may be allowed to stay and what the next day may bring.

Vision impaired people may need special orientation aids on the radio and labels on technical equipment. Instead of visual methods, haptic forms of learning are needed. Travel to the radio or learning location will also have to be clarified in advance in order to be able to participate in the course without barriers.

For people with learning disabilities, attention span will need to be considered. The learning units will be shorter, in simple language, repetitive and practical instead of theoretical.

But the SMART methods are also meant to develop any other radio workshop! With SMART, we want to impart a quality of learning that is oriented towards processes, participation, reflection, the dialogical development of learning content and the practical acquisition of skills.

SMART is intended to train experienced and new trainers, multipliers and to expand our own didactics. In addition, the SMART methods will also be available online as a toolbox of methods to make radio training and coaching more varied.

The assessment accompanies the train-the-trainer workshops as a qualitative assurance and feedback method to make the learning processes comprehensible.

The assessment tools are kept simple because we wanted to keep the effort low and to encourage reflection and discussion.

In addition, the assessment tools are adaptable for on-site or online courses as needed.

Last remark at the end of the beginning: SMART is not a fixed curriculum, but is adapted from course to course by the trainers and participants. The assessment promotes the learning experience and represents the attitude of free radio that we are always learning, especially when we train.

Note on the wording: we call the overall SMART Train the Trainer lecture as a „course“ that consists of particular „workshops“!

Note on participation: It is highly recommended to participate in all the workshops and not to miss any, due to the integrated approach of the course.

Note on success in learning, not in testing: SMART is a very communicative „train the trainer“ course. We are all learners, the facilitators and the participants. The success of SMART depends on the willingness to learn, to adopt and to communicate. The final certificate represents this process-orientated learning & feedback approach.

The SMART Assessment is composed of six query areas: one concerning the Trainers, five concerning the learning trainers (further on called „participants“)

For the Trainers

  • Trainers Protocols

For the Participants („Learning Trainers“)

  • The Self Evaluation
  • The “One Minute Paper”
  • The “Learner’s Diary”
  • The workshop presentation
  • The final discussion with feedback

Each assessment tool is used in specific phases, questioning different contexts. The aim of the assessment is to promote statements as a basis for discussion among trainers and participants.

SMART does not only want to convey methods, but also an approach to how trainers deal with their target groups.

Essential are those qualities that are asked for in the self-evaluation. These cannot be tested or measured. They show up in conversations, discussions, in behaviour, i.e. in qualitative data, not in quantitative data.

It would be a contradiction to SMART if we had developed a test procedure that had as its goal a test that could be passed or failed.

Instead, both the trainers and the participants of SMART trainings themselves go into reflection, self-examination, to see if their demands meet the needs of target groups. However, checking this is not possible through rigid test procedures and fixed questionnaires, but through discussion in the group, where all participants contribute and discuss their experiences, their knowledge.

Every SMART assessment tool relies on feedback and the willingness to listen, to adapt, to want to learn, to respond to needs.

Failure in a SMART course would mean that no readiness, no learning through feedback would be evident.

Success or failure would then not be evident through failure in a test, but in practice, confirmed by the people participating in the course and finally also in self-knowledge.

SMART starts with practical everyday competences that are particularly required in free and community radio, such as listening, responding to needs, clear communication, skills in feedback and non-violent communication, showing appreciation, moderating groups and dealing with conflicts, etc.

From here, the SMART methods can be used to additionally reach the specific needs of our target groups even better.

The SMART methods are effective when they are used with good preparation for the target group and appropriately developed workshops.