Sharing Course Curriculum

Our various committees and programs each operate like a small business with their own human resources and training needs. Let's explore the ways in which we might ensure effective and consistent training of our instructor volunteers.
Chris Williams Chris Williams
May 01, 2015

The Mountaineers depends on a steady stream of new volunteers to bring fresh energy, ideas, and innovation to what we do. Therefore it's critical we remember to help these new volunteers be successful and feel rewarded by their roles. 

Preparing to Instruct as a Volunteer

One of the things that stood out in our recent Volunteer Survey, was that fewer than half of those who volunteered to be course instructors reported feeling "adequately prepared" to do their jobs. To better prepare our future leadership, we strongly support housing course information for instructors in a central location - ideally on a well-designed committee page and/or on a course template (under the "Course Materials" tab). From personal experience, I can tell you that it can be difficult to have multiple "google drive" accounts where different committees house course curriculum information. Recently I became involved in an extensive argument with google as I tried to convince the robot that I did indeed intend to log into a different account than I normally do to access the sea kayaking curriculum I was preparing to present. I struggled to organize the multiple platforms on which my virtual existence resides (work email, personal email, committee email - all with different google drive accounts). 

Making course materials more easily available will make people more willing to try instructing AND ensure that all course volunteers are providing students with the same learning experience. I know that many committees have effectively housed information off-site through things like google docs and other ways of sharing resources. However, we have seen NEW volunteers i
nadvertently get "left out of the loop" if someone forgets to invite them to share resources like that. Things work pretty well so far...but can't they always get just a little better? 

The Benefits of training our trainers by creating "one-stop shopping" for them to access curriculum

If every volunteer expected - and found - the curriculum for all of the many courses they may teach at in their committee folders/pages, there would be less searching, emailing, and waiting when they try to get up to speed. Instead of reaching out to a course leader, they would be able to begin "studying" right away. Making sure everyone is operating on the same information will also support and drive future professional development and expansion of programs by ensuring that every instructor has access to the new opportunities or training that is being provided. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for consistent teaching practices by utilizing our committee folder structures. We believe this can help address some of the issues reported in the recent volunteer surveyVisit your profile page to quickly access your committees and courses and think about what the best way to "house" curriculum for instructors is. Also don't forget the "Shared Activity Resources" folder for sharing information across the entire organization. Small steps like this (even though inconvenient) add up and eventually improve the impression of the entire organization, thereby increasing the power of our voice in the greater community. 

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