The division of tasks during the exchange
What are workshop methods?
What are workshop methods really? It’s a set of planned activities aimed at achieving a selected goal by a group of people. As an organizer or co-organizer of an international project, it seems crucial to choose the appropriate methods that fit into the program of your project and allow you to achieve the planned results. Importantly, the methods take various forms and purposes (see the list of workshop methods); some of them require a large contribution of the lecturer, and others – most importantly – the greatest possible activity of participants.
This choice should be well thought out. After choosing a specific method for an individual task / part of the schedule, break down the planned work into prime factors: create an accurate, but most importantly, flexible scenario, taking into account as many guidelines as possible, it may turn out to be an important support for the selected person leading the activity / workshop.
If you want your participants to work in groups on the second day, and develop posters with a definition of, for example, ecology, you must plan your entire working day carefully. It is important that they consider the very concept of what it means to them before noon. You can choose the brainstorming method in each group, you can start the day with an informational film on a given topic, or even go for a walk in the area. In the afternoon, however, the groups should work strictly substantively – so the person organizing the workshop must show them the methods of work, provide them with tools (e.g. paints, markers, sheets of paper) and define the time frame of a given activity. This is how you should think about each day of your replacement.
What is the role of leaders of national groups during the exchange?
They are one of the most important people during the project (of course, right after the participants of the exchange)! They are sort of the head of the “exchange family.” They are the ones who coordinate the contact between you and their national groups. They are a kind of a connecting link, and also – if agreed upon when preparing for the exchange – they can be responsible for some parts of the program.
The tasks of group leaders include (obligatory):
constant contact with leaders of other national groups,
constant contact with participants coming from their country,
constant contact with the organizers and co-organizers of the project,
creating a space in which each of the participants will be able to talk about their comments, problems, suggestions for further activities, etc.,
being a connecting link between participants and other leaders, organizers and co-organizers,
coordination of the national evening,
part of the integration,
coordination of national / group evaluation,
conducting substantive classes.
What is the role of the project organizer during the exchange?
It is the implementer, and thus, the project coordinator. Creator of both an idea and an application. Without them, the project would never have happened. Remember: you are the natural leader during the project! However, remember that while you have a lot of responsibility, it is worth acting together. Do not make important decisions without consulting the other parties of the exchange, except for the absolute safety of the group.
The tasks of the organizers can be divided into: 1) technical and 2) substantive. The first group includes tasks such as ongoing contact with the center where the project takes place, dealing with matters related to the transport of the group, catering, room equipment, delivery of materials, group safety, etc. The second group deals with what is most interesting – that is simply the implementation of the program.
You are responsible for the execution of each of the activities planned in the pre-agreed program. The substantive success of the project depends on you – you need to know what is going to happen every day, during each class, and make sure that everything is prepared for it in advance (are there materials, does the group know where to meet, are the leaders prepared, is the room fully equipped, is the coffee break ready, etc.). You are also the last resort to any problems, inaccuracies or questions from participants.
Of course, in addition to hard work, we ensure that you have a lot of fun waiting for you. However, do not forget that it is you, not someone else, who guards the sense of comfort of participants and the implementation of program assumptions.
Why is it worth involving all participants at every stage of the project implementation (division of tasks in a group?)
Of course, the postulate that everyone is fully engaged is a utopia. However, it’s always worth trying! Acting as an organizer, we should not give up attempts to activate all participants at every stage of the project implementation.
We believe that in the course of talks and arrangements made before and at the beginning of the exchange (see: INTEGRATION), one of the most important things that you should agree on as the whole group is a clear division of tasks and your expectations towards each participant (what the group expects from you and the leaders, and also what you expect from the group). So make sure it is clear from the outset what the expected effects of the exchange are and what tasks must be performed to achieve them. At the same time, show participants different roles that they can fulfill on this path (e.g. being a leader of a workshop group, but also using artistic and photographic talents – in a media group that takes care of documentation from the event, linguistic ones, if someone would like to document your activities in a form of a journal, etc.). So that each of the participants could be fully involved at the (most comfortable) stage of their choice, of course participating in all other activities.
It’s just easier this way.