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.)


What Pre-Flight Safety Speeches Teach Us About Safer Sex
March 8, 2018

What Pre-Flight Safety Speeches Teach Us About Safer Sex

By Mia Barrett, MEd | March 8, 2018
Research Associate, ETR

I spend a lot of time traveling for my work as a research coordinator. I’m in airports and on airplanes all the time. I board my plane, find my seat and listen to the flight attendant deliver the pre-flight safety speech. As a sexuality educator, I’d like to see us teach that sexual interactions should come with a similar safety briefing.

By Mia Barrett, MEd
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Tags: Sex education, Safer sex
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
Being the Change: Succession Planning for Organizations
May 25, 2017

Being the Change: Succession Planning for Organizations

By Dharmit Shelat, MD, MPH | May 25, 2017
Graduate Assistant, Tulane University | 2017 Kirby Summer Intern, ETR

ETR recently hosted an exciting event in New Orleans. It was Be The Change: Implementing Core Strategies for Sustainable Organizations for Impact in the South.

The institute focused on sustaining HIV prevention programs in the southern regions of the U.S. This was my first introduction to ETR’s Community Impact Solutions Project. They offer tools, resources and technical assistance to help HIV prevention organizations perform at their best.

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Tags: Community Impact Solutions Project, Organizational development, Transition, Kirby internship
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
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.     

By Tracy Wright, MAED
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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!

By Michael T. Everett
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Tags: Training design, Professional development, Community Impact Solutions Project
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. 

By Regina Firpo, MPH, CNC, MCHES
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Tags: Training design, Virtual trainings, Adult learning
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!

By Debra Christopher, MSM
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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! 

By Debra Christopher, MSM
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Tags: Training design, Professional development

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