What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


Making Information Accessible: New Section 508 Standards
July 26, 2018

Making Information Accessible: New Section 508 Standards

ByTamara Neff, MA | July 26, 2018
E-Learning Curriculum Developer, ETR

One of our core values at ETR states, “We believe everyone should have the same access and opportunities in life.” This resonates with me deeply, as it directly connects to one of my personal tenets as an eLearning specialist and instructional designer: to provide quality learning experiences for everyone and anyone with a desire to learn. At ETR, I want people to easily find the valuable information and training we provide, and to be able to meaningfully apply it.

By Tamara Neff, MA
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Tags: Health equity, Equity, Accessibility
Tips for Supporting Attitudinal Shifts
July 5, 2018

Tips for Supporting Attitudinal Shifts

By Michael Everett, MHS | July 5, 2018
Project Co-Director, ETR

Why do we deliver trainings? To share information, to build new skills—and sometimes, to help people get a whole new attitude. In my previous post, I discussed the ways emotions and feelings can influence attitudes, along with the importance of helping training participants succeed in achieving positive attitude shifts.

When participants can look honestly and thoroughly at the emotions and feelings that shape their attitudes, they’re in a better place to make a shift.

By Michael Everett, MHS
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Tags: CISP, Training design, Professional development, HIV, Attitudes
When the Problem is Not the Problem: Emotions, Feelings and Attitudes
June 26, 2018

When the Problem is Not the Problem: Emotions, Feelings and Attitudes

By Michael Everett, MHS | June 26, 2018
Project Co-Director, ETR

Are you a trainer? If so, you are likely to already know this truism. Changes in knowledge come pretty easily. Changes in skill take a little more effort. But let’s face it—changing attitudes sometimes feels impossible.

By Michael Everett, MHS
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Tags: HIV prevention, Emotions, Attitudes, Professional development, Training
Messing Up: Using Humility to Become a Better Trainer
June 20, 2018

Messing Up: Using Humility to Become a Better Trainer

By Sarah Axelson, MSW | June 20, 2018
Director of Training, ETR

It’s 10:30 on a Thursday night, and I’m somewhere over the Midwest, flying home. I’ve spent the last few days training a group of professionals who, for the most part, I haven’t worked with before. The training as a whole was fantastic. Well-planned, intentional, engaging, and the list goes on. I couldn’t be more proud of our team for putting it together. 

What I wasn’t proud of was my own section, or more specifically one activity within the day-long session that I delivered.

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Tags: Facilitation, Training, Professional development
Putting Intentional Advocacy Into Practice: Two Examples
May 29, 2018

Putting Intentional Advocacy Into Practice: Two Examples

By Michael Everett, MHS | May 29, 2018
Project Director, ETR

I believe in the power of advocacy. It fits nicely within my belief system. But more than that, I’ve seen the power of advocacy at work. This is a strategy that can transform and empower organizations.

Today, I’m pleased to share two stories with you from organizations that participated in the Intentional Advocacy project.

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Tags: CISP, HIV, HIV prevention, Intentional advocacy, Advocacy
Facilitation Quick Tips: 3 Tips to Enhance PowerPoint Slides
May 10, 2018

Facilitation Quick Tips: 3 Tips to Enhance PowerPoint Slides

By Lia Cassanego | May 10, 2018
Professional Learning Services Specialist, ETR

Here’s a different type of quick tip: a set of tips to help any trainer deliver more effective PowerPoint presentations. If you’re newer in the PowerPoint world, or you’ve never had a chance to learn about best practices in slide development for trainings, these tips can help.

In 15-20 minutes, you can learn to give your slides a whole new attitude!

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Tags: PowerPoint, Graphics, Training design, Facilitation Quick Tips, Training design
Facilitation Quick Tips: Group Haiku
May 2, 2018

Facilitation Quick Tips: Group Haiku

By Debra Christopher, MSM & Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | May 2, 2018
Ambassador for Health and Learning (DC) & Senior Editor (MQ), ETR

Sometimes, you want training participants to spend some moments in reflection to distill the essence of a message. This Group Haiku activity does exactly that! Groups work together to synthesize an essential point of information. In the process, they are likely to connect to each other with a shared understanding and vision as well.

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Tags: 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

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