What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing!

(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)

Facilitation Quick Tips: Shoulder Tap
May 10, 2017
Facilitation Quick Tips: Shoulder Tap

By Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES | May 10, 2017
Health Education Training Coordinator, ETR

Looking for an activity to close a training? Here’s one that provides a lovely way for participants to reflect on the impact they've made on others in the training group, and the impacts others have made on them. Everyone leaves feeling warm and fuzzy!

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Tags: Professional development, Training design
8 Things Great Trainers Say
April 27, 2017
8 Things Great Trainers Say

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | April 27, 2017
Senior Editor, ETR

Yesterday I spent some time with an extraordinary group of people. They're not the kind of folks you're likely to see on TV or read about in the news. They're the kind who go out into their communities every day, do their work with commitment, and make a world of difference.

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Tags: Training of trainers, Professional development
Facilitation Quick Tips: Tech Evolution
April 4, 2017
Facilitation Quick Tips: Tech Evolution

By Tracy Wright, MAED | April 4, 2017
Project Director, ETR

Ready for a quick activity to build community while discovering differences and commonalities? Tech Evolution will get you there!

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Tags: Facilitation Quick Tips, Professional development, Training design
Facilitation Quick Tips: To Tell the Truth
February 2, 2017
Facilitation Quick Tips: To Tell the Truth

By Chris Wilson-Smith | February 2, 2017
Project Coordinator, ETR

Are you working with a group that’s ready to laugh, move around a bit and get to know their colleagues at the start of a training? Are you the kind of trainer who likes to start out with something lively and engaging? This may be just the FQT you’re looking for!

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Tags: Professional development, Training design, Facilitation Quick Tips
Facilitation Quick Tips: I Resolve
January 3, 2017
Facilitation Quick Tips: I Resolve

By Debra Christopher, MSM | January 3, 2017
Director, Professional Learning Systems, ETR

How will participants change their approach to their work, given what they’ve learned in their training? This group activity combines thoughtful reflection with an opportunity to state intentions. A handshake, virtual or real-life, seals the deal!

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Tags: Facilitation Quick Tips, Professional development, Training design
7 Tips to Make You a Stronger Facilitator
October 20, 2016
7 Tips to Make You a Stronger Facilitator

By Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES and Tracy Wright, MAED | October 20, 2016
Professional Development Consultant and Project Director, ETR

Originally published here on Beth Kanter's blog.

The first time you facilitate a training, you start developing your own personal list of tips for great facilitation. You try out some things that work, and they go on your list (“I can’t wait to try that again!”). Chances are you also try out some things that don’t work, and they go somewhere else.

Some go into the trash (“I am never again going to ask people to take off their shoes as a way to break into small groups!”). And some go onto a wait-and-see list (“How come that worked so well when I watched Deb do it, and it was such a flop when I tried it?”).

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Tags: Professional development, Training design
SuperCamp! Shaping and Sharpening Trainer Skills
September 9, 2016
SuperCamp! Shaping and Sharpening Trainer Skills

By Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES | September 9, 2016
Professional Development Consultant, ETR

Have you ever been to a truly extraordinary training event? The kind where you actually look forward to completing the feedback form at the end because you’ve learned so much and had such a great experience?

Those are the kinds of trainings I love to attend, and also the kind I love to deliver. Here at ETR, we strive to make every training event we deliver the kind that makes our participants feel equipped, confident and inspired to do their best work and have the most impact. As a training team we never stop working on continuous improvement efforts that make this a reality. 

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Tags: Training design, Training of trainers, Evidence-based interventions
Situational Leadership: Awareness and Productivity
September 2, 2016
Situational Leadership: Awareness and Productivity

By BA Laris, MPH | September 2, 2016
Research Associate, ETR

The other day I was part of a group text that made me want to laugh, cry, celebrate and scream all at the same time. My 19-year-old son had shared a photo of his first day in his biology lecture hall. He included an estranged family member. I had once told him I wished this person was more integrated into “normal” family exchanges.

Once again, I found that my son has the uncanny ability to push me to grow and accept, challenge myself, and live my principles—more than any other person I have ever met personally or professionally.

And that brings me right to the point of this post: situational leadership.

Really Short Webinar: Situational Leadership
  • 15 Minutes in Focus series on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Thursday, September 8, 11:00-11:15 am PDT: Moving Beyond Static Leadership Styles: Making Conscious Decisions About Leading From a Strategic Perspective. Register here.
  • Check out our schedule, sign up for upcoming events and listen to archived webinars here.
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Tags: Community Impact Solutions Project, Leadership, Webinar, Parenting
Masterful Marketing:  Resources, Tips and Strategies from the Field!
July 19, 2016
Masterful Marketing: Resources, Tips and Strategies from the Field!

By ETR | July 19, 2016
Note: We're posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference July 19-21.

“You can’t affect the health and well-being of youth if no one knows you exist,” proclaims Kathy Plomer, MPH. Kathy is a member of ETR’s DASH Professional Learning Collaborative. In a perfect world, she acknowledges, doing good work would be enough to get people’s attention, support and participation.

“But we don’t live in that perfect world,” she continues. “Sometimes you need to employ some good, old-fashioned marketing techniques to get noticed.”

Laurie Bechhofer, Kathy Plomer, Timothy Kordic, Nicholas Slotterback. Masterful Marketing: Resources, Tips and Strategies from the Field. Wednesday, 7/20/16, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Poster #503 in the Sustainability Section, East Foyer of the Key Ballroom.

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Tags: Professional development, OAH TPP, Nonprofit marketing, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
Connecting the Dots: Research, Program Development & Delivery, Professional Development
July 18, 2016
Connecting the Dots: Research, Program Development & Delivery, Professional Development

By ETR | July 18, 2016

A dynamic group of ETR researchers and professional development specialists will be presenting posters and panels at the upcoming Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference. The conference takes place in Baltimore July 19-21. The theme is “Connecting the Dots: Collaborating to Achieve Lasting Impacts for Youth.” We’ll be posting here about some of their presentations over the coming days.

We hope you’ll keep an eye out for these posts. Even if your work isn’t specific to the field of adolescent sexual health, you’ll find insights and information useful for program developers, health education researchers, front line providers and people who design and deliver trainings.

The conference hashtag is #2016TPP. Check the LinkedIn Teen Pregnancy Prevention Networking Group to hear more about TPP and to connect with attendees.

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Tags: OAH TPP, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
Memory and Learning: A Formula for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Impact!
July 18, 2016
Memory and Learning: A Formula for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Impact!

By ETR | July 18, 2016
Note: We're posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference, July 19-20.

Learned anything new lately? Your brain is being bombarded by massive amounts of information every minute—sights, sounds, words, smells, sensations. What happens to all of that info? Thankfully, most of it is forgotten. Your brain takes a look at it and decides what to ignore and when to pay attention.

If you’re an implementer working with teens to build healthy skills for pregnancy prevention, you’ve got critical messages and skills you want these learners to attend to. What should you do? Use amazing brain science to make learning stick!

Debra Christopher, MSM and Tracy Wright, MAED. Memory and Learning: A Formula for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Impact! Wednesday 7/20/16, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Poster #107 in the Program Delivery & Improvement Section, East Foyer of the Key Ballroom.
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Tags: Learning, Memory, Neuroscience, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, OAH TPP
Sharing Learning Objectives: Think Like a Marketer, Not an Instructional Designer—Part 2
July 12, 2016
Sharing Learning Objectives: Think Like a Marketer, Not an Instructional Designer—Part 2

By Tracy Wright, MAED | July 12, 2016
Project Director, ETR

Are you a trainer or facilitator? You can improve the delivery of your learning opportunities by spending a little more time thinking like a marketer, and a little less thinking like an instructional designer.

In Part 1 of this post, we reviewed the use of learning objectives to support effective instructional design. I suggested that while carefully constructed learning objectives are a vital step in the design of a learning opportunity, they may not be the best choice when promoting or delivering a training.

Remember, the three most important purposes of sharing learning objectives with participants are:

  1. To describe what the event is about.
  2. To focus learners’ attention on the critical content.
  3. To motivate people to act (e.g., register for the event, attend the event, change their behavior as a result of the event).

Let’s look at some different but effective approaches to achieving each of these ends.

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Tags: Training design, Learning objectives
Sharing Learning Objectives: Think Like a Marketer, Not an Instructional Designer—Part 1
July 6, 2016
Sharing Learning Objectives: Think Like a Marketer, Not an Instructional Designer—Part 1

By Tracy Wright, MAED | July 6, 2016
Project Director, ETR

Do you design or deliver trainings? Then try something with me. Think about your answers to these two True/False questions.

  1. When designing a learning opportunity, the first thing you should do is construct your learning objectives. This best-practice step guides effective training design. (T/F)
  2. When promoting the learning opportunity or delivering the training, best practice calls for sharing these same learning objectives with participants. (T/F)
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Tags: Professional development, Training design, Learning objectives
Say It With Research: 4 Ways to Deliver Effective STD Messaging for Youth
May 19, 2016
Say It With Research: 4 Ways to Deliver Effective STD Messaging for Youth

By Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES | May 19, 2016
Professional Development Consultant, ETR

The history of sex education in the United States is fraught with horror stories, from fear-based tactics to blatant misinformation. Sadly, ineffective sex education is not a thing of the past. A recent CDC report shows that most middle and high schools around the country are not implementing effective approaches to sexuality education. It’s no surprise that statistics about the impact of STDs on young people are discouraging.

What’s more discouraging perhaps is that we have answers and proven effective programs and strategies that we could use to bring about positive change. When it comes to framing our messaging around STD prevention with youth, we should be using research to guide us to results!

Let’s take a look at four educational strategies educators can easily apply. Trust the science and the behavior change theories of public health and we will see a difference! 

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Tags: STDs, STD prevention, Research, Evidence-informed interventions, Youth
Facilitation Quick Tips: Good News Headlines
April 25, 2016
Facilitation Quick Tips: Good News Headlines

By Tracy Wright, MAED | April 25, 2016
Project Director, ETR

Celebrating is good! It’s not something we need to save for the end of a professional development (PD) session, meeting or project. Starting PD or a meeting off by reflecting upon and celebrating incremental accomplishments is a great way to energize the group and honor the hard work that’s been done.

I’m always looking for something new and different to do during PD sessions, whether live in-person or live virtual. This activity is a modification based upon the activity titled “Good News Graffiti” from the work of Dr. Roger Greenaway and his website on active reviewing.     

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Tags: Professional development, Training design, Facilitation Quick Tips
Facilitation Quick Tips: Head-Heart-Feet
March 28, 2016
Facilitation Quick Tips: Head-Heart-Feet

By Teagan Drawbridge, MEd, MSW, Shira Cahan-Lipman, MEd, Jennifer Hart, MPH | March 28, 2016
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

This end-of-the-training activity gives participants a chance to reflect on what they’ve learned, identify key takeaways and inspire one another by sharing practical action steps they plan to take. Appropriate for in-person trainings and adaptable for live virtual events.

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Tags: Training design, Professional development
Facilitation Quick Tips: The Quiz Review
March 2, 2016
Facilitation Quick Tips: The Quiz Review

By Michael T. Everett, MHS | March 2, 2016
Project Director, ETR

This activity uses a participatory quiz to reinforce knowledge and learning. Teams develop quiz questions, then try to answer each others’ questions. Keep score. The team that knows the most wins!

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Tags: Training design, Professional development, Community Impact Solutions Project
State of the Art Professional Development: Are Your Learning Objectives on Track?
February 23, 2016
State of the Art Professional Development: Are Your Learning Objectives on Track?

By Tracy Wright, MAED | February 23, 2016
Project Director, ETR

Writing clear, measurable, achievable objectives that guide your training design is a critical part of good professional development. I call these healthy objectives. But creating them can be a bit tricky. In fact, in our Training of Trainer programs, we often find that writing healthy objectives is one of the skill areas where participants most need support.

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information out there. Anyone with an Internet connection can discover exactly what objectives are, how to write them and how to share them with learners.

And, unfortunately, there’s a plethora of information out there. Anyone with an Internet connection can find dozens of different opinions about what objectives are, how to write them and how to share them with learners.

In other words, it’s difficult to find clear consensus on the what, why and how of learning objectives.

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Tags: Professional development, Training design, Learning objectives
Quick! Free! Updated! Graphics for Your Trainings & Presentations
February 2, 2016
Quick! Free! Updated! Graphics for Your Trainings & Presentations

By Tracy Wright, MAED | February 2, 2016
Project Director, ETR

In 2015, I wrote a post about finding cheap or free graphics for trainings and presentations. However, like many things in our work—and everything related to technology—change has happened at a meteoric pace. Since that first post, many more new graphics sites have been born.

Some of you may be thinking (with an excited tone), “Wow! That’s great! Now I have more to choose from!”

And you’d be right, of course. More sites means more photos.

However, others of you may be thinking (with a less-than excited tone), “No! Now I have even more sites I need to search through endlessly, trying to find the perfect image for my presentation.”

And you’d be right too, of course. 

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Tags: Professional development, Training design, Graphics, E-learning
Facilitation Quick Tips: Board of Ideas
January 26, 2016
Facilitation Quick Tips: Board of Ideas

By Regina Firpo, MPH, CNC, MCHES | January 26, 2015
Director of Innovations, ETR

This is a group activity that can be used for reflection, idea generation, problem-solving, consensus-building and affirmation. It can also provide a nice change of pace for the group’s energy because it is both silent and physically active.

I learned this activity from Mary Harthun, a master educator at Arizona State University. I’ve used it many times in trainings and in day-long workgroup meetings, with both adults and youth. It allows participants to reflect, share and construct a compilation of what they’ve learned. 

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Tags: Training design, Virtual trainings, Adult learning
HIV & AIDS: Our Free Fundamentals Course Fills the Gap
January 21, 2016
HIV & AIDS: Our Free Fundamentals Course Fills the Gap

By BA Laris, MPH | January 21, 2015
Research Associate, ETR

People are talking about HIV and AIDS. You hear it, see it, Google it. Yep. There is a lot of talk.

But are people listening?

At ETR’s Community Impact Solutions Project (CISP), we believe members of the HIV prevention workforce are a vital part of this HIV and AIDS conversation. They need and deserve state of the art training to understand the many changing aspects of HIV and AIDS to help protect themselves, the community and families, friends, and partners.

Check out our free HIV Fundamentals E-Learning course here. Intended for frontline staff, outreach workers, case managers, prevention educators, patient navigators, peer leaders and program managers working in HIV prevention and care. Also appropriate for administrators, board members, consumer advisory board members, volunteers or staff members of CBOs and ASOs.
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Tags: HIV, HIV / AIDS, Online learning, Community Impact Solutions Project
Facilitation Quick Tips: Song Scramble
January 4, 2016
Facilitation Quick Tips: Song Scramble

By Salem Osland | January 4, 2016
Director, WISE Iowa

From Golden Oldies to Hip Hop, this activity was music to our ears! It was conducted during the October WISE annual meeting in Denver. The amazing Salem Osland led the group in what turned out to be an energizing, fabulously fun, community-building energy break. It also highlighted the untapped talent in the room. Who knew? Highly recommended if you need an energy shift and a bonding experience during training.

—Deb Christopher, MSM, Director, Professional Learning Services, ETR

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Tags: Professional development, Training design
Facilitation Quick Tips: Holiday Cheer
December 11, 2015
Facilitation Quick Tips: Holiday Cheer

By Debra Christopher, MSM | December 11, 2015
Director, Professional Learning Systems, ETR

As the winter months and the holidays approach, here are three simple Facilitation Quick Tips that might tap the spirit of the season! We’ve adapted a couple of classics and added a new one of our own that are suited to this winter season. With a little imagination, these can all be adapted for other holidays or special events. 

Get ready to be grateful, throw snowballs and make an A-to-Z list!

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Tags: Professional development, Training design, Facilitation Quick Tips
Facilitation Quick Tips: 1-3-6
November 3, 2015
Facilitation Quick Tips: 1-3-6

By Debra Christopher, MSM | November 3, 2015
Director, Professional Learning Systems, ETR

This is an extremely grand processing activity used by my mentor and friend, Pat Wolfe, when she conducts her Training of Trainers on The Brain and Learning. It gets all the minds in the game and culminates in ideas and actions that nourish the group! 

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Tags: Training design, Professional development
Tic-Tic Boom: Being the Work and Doing the Work
October 29, 2015
Tic-Tic Boom: Being the Work and Doing the Work

By Michael Everett, MHS | October 29, 2015
Project Coordinator, ETR

What responsibility do HIV/AIDS organizations have concerning the wellness of staff who are also Black men who have sex with men?

I have pondered this question often throughout my 15-year career in HIV services. 

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Tags: HIV, HIV / AIDS, MSM, Black MSM, Webinar