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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 Tip: The De-Escalation Line Dance
April 17, 2018

Facilitation Quick Tip: The De-Escalation Line Dance

By BA Laris, MPH | April 17, 2018
Program Manager, ETR

In a recent training on Crisis De-Escalation, the simplest activity we did turned out to be the most effective at helping participants think about how to “take it down a notch.” The De-escalation Line Dance is a quick, fun and powerful activity that gets participants talking about the obvious and subtle messages we send—and receive—in crisis situations.

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Tags: Crisis, Crisis de-escalation, Training design, Facilitation Quick tips
De-Escalation Techniques: Coping with Students & Clients, Coping with Our Lives
April 10, 2018

De-Escalation Techniques: Coping with Students & Clients, Coping with Our Lives

By BA Laris, MPH | April 10, 2018
Program Manager, ETR

The news and my social media feed keep screaming at me. FINANCIAL CRISIS! POLITICAL CRISIS! ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS! PERSONAL CRISIS!

It feels like everyone is facing a catastrophe. This barrage of uncertainty is highly distressing (especially for this “the glass is always half-full” ETRian).

By B.A. Laris, MPH
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Tags: CISP, HIV, Crisis, Professional development, Crisis de-escalation
How to Design an Effective Staff Retreat: A Lesson from Life
March 13, 2018

How to Design an Effective Staff Retreat: A Lesson from Life

By Sarah Axelson, MSW | March 18, 2018
Director of Training, ETR

When is the last time your organization held a staff retreat? Did it help you accomplish your organizational goals?

A few weeks ago, ETR held its annual staff retreat. I was genuinely inspired. The planners of this event offered some valuable lessons for any organization on how to design effective and engaging retreats.

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Tags: Staff retreat, Training design, Professional development
Facilitation Quick Tips: I Usually Say Yes to This
November 16, 2017

Facilitation Quick Tips: I Usually Say Yes to This

By Gina Lepore, MEd | November 16, 2017
Research Associate, ETR

Here’s an engaging and powerful activity that’s a great way to introduce a learning process related to consent in sexual or romantic relationships. It’s ideal for a Training of Educators or Training of Trainers. With adaptation, it can also be used as a classroom activity with teens or young adults.

By Gina Lepore, MEd
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Tags: Affirmative consent, Facilitation Quick Tips, Facilitation, Training design
Facilitation Quick Tips: Say the Color, Not the Word
October 5, 2017

Facilitation Quick Tips: Say the Color, Not the Word

By Lia Cassanego, MPH | October 5, 2017
Professional Learning Services Specialist, ETR

Here’s an activity will energize and engage your group. But wait! That’s not all! It will also astound participants with the mysterious workings of our brains.

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Tags: Training design, Professional development
Facilitation Quick Tips: What I Liked About That...
August 15, 2017

Facilitation Quick Tips: What I Liked About That...

By Tracy Wright, MAED | August 15, 2017
Project Director, ETR

Here’s a tip that can instantly set a positive tone for live virtual events. Have something up for early joiners to do prior to the start of the training. That lets them know immediately that the trainer is prepared and the training will be interactive. It also gets people engaged right away, so they’re less likely to get distracted by their email or Twitter feed!

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Tags: Facilitation Quick Tips, Virtual trainings, Training design, Training
Can Greek Mythology Help My Time Management Skills?
July 18, 2017

Can Greek Mythology Help My Time Management Skills?

By BA Laris, MPH | July 18, 2017
Research Associate, ETR

I am always trying to make connections. I want to think about problems in new ways. Like most trainers, I like to find strategies that help me translate ideas into bite-sized morsels. I believe play is good for learning, too. Recently, I had a serendipitous opportunity to put all of these interests to work.

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Tags: Professional development, Community Impact Solutions Project, Training design, time management
Facilitation Quick Tips: Walk/Stop
July 5, 2017

Facilitation Quick Tips: Walk/Stop

By Jodi Bernstein, MEd | July 5, 2017
Capacity Building Specialist, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands

Here’s a warm-up or “wake up” activity that is fun, challenging and energizing. It gets participants moving around the training space, stimulates their brains and invites alertness and laughter. It also offers an opportunity for the facilitator to normalize the making of mistakes.

Based on an activity developed by Humor That Works.

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Tags: Training design, Professional development, Facilitation Quick Tips
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!

By Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES
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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.

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES
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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!

By Tracy Wright, MAED
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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!

By Chris Wilson-Smith
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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!

By Debra Christopher, MSM
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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?”).

By Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES
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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. 

By Cody Sigel, MPH, CHES
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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.
By B.A. Laris MPH
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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.

By Tracy Wright, MAED
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Tags: Training design, Learning objectives