Filming and sharing participants exchanges – part 1.

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Human capital
Let’s start with bit of maths. Three open courses a year (on average, per trainer) and 21 participants (on guesstimate) per course. That’s around 63 people, almost as many nationalities and professional backgrounds. Year in, year out, multiplied by the number of trainers on campus (how many, 40, 50?), that makes for a lot of people…

These people, their knowledge and experience, constitute one of the main asset of the international courses we run on the ITCILO campus. And our training methodology, the famous Turin Learning Approach (yes, it is famous, isnt’it?) is largely based on getting the most of this incredible human capital.

For some time now, I have included in my programmes specific sessions dedicated to participants exchanges. But I wanted to go a little further, and in particular, I wanted to remember these exchanges and I wanted that the participants themselves remembered them. So I thought about filming them.
One of the first test examples you can find here.. More extended examples will be presented later.

by Nicolas Serrière

The benefits of filming
Filming has been a feature of many programmes in the Centre, but often as a means in itself, for instance to train people to use cameras or to get used to talk on camera. In this instance, I did not want to use the camera as a training aid, but as a way to record and eventually share messages by distributing the video clips on the course CD-Roms or as DVDs. The experience proved positive and participants have been very enthusiast about their multimedia package (in the best of the cases, I was able, with some assistance, to distribute the CDs at the end of the course, otherwise they had to be sent separately).

Moreover, there is one additional, if indirect, benefit of filming. Installing a filming set makes the whole exercise appear a lot more serious and important. Participants feel that their input is given the value it deserves, which, in turns, impacts the quality of the interventions themselves. By progressively building up a database of quality interventions and showcasing them, I can even reinforce this virtuous circle.

A question of time
A main obstacle in organising, filming and sharing participants is time. The set up itself doesn’t take long but the filming and sharing steps are very time-consuming. Having too many participants wanting to contribute, for instance, poses a problem. It is difficult to spend more than a day, even in a 2-week programme, to participants exchanges. Asking everyone to contribute is counter-productive, but asking people to volunteer and write in advance on a flip chart the topic of their presentation may be one way of operating a natural selection (it certainly has worked for me). For very big groups, there may be a need for regrouping people under specific themes. The other very time-consuming step is the actual video processing and sharing of the video clips: the possibilities are endless and ever increasing: short quicktime video clips? Full-fledged DVDs? Streaming sequences? video-casts? Many questions, many possibilities which I propose to deal with in the second part of this article, after the summer break.

But until we get to that, you may have your own experience to share in regards to, on the one hand, filming training sessions and, on the other hand, exploiting the results. So, according to you, what works and what doesn’t work?

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