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RandomEA comments on Students for High-Impact Charity: 2018 Update - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: baxterb 09 August 2018 01:37:56PM 3 points [-]

We experimented with this model in the early days of SHIC and didn't have much success, but it may have been partly because we didn't have the bandwidth to adequately prepare and support the university students who had volunteered. We are considering a second attempt with a stronger training/support system in place. Some of the limitations we suspect are:

  • As @Khorton mentioned, we place a lot of value on good presentation skills in order to engage the students. Thus we prefer instructors to have some background in teaching or public speaking.

  • Better-than-average knowledge of the relevant topics may also be a key component, as participant questions can be fairly complex. We have been slowly compiling a list of FAQs that future instructors can use in training.

  • As a substantial amount of time and effort goes in to training an instructor, it may only be cost-effective if that instructor is able to commit to running a fair number of workshops. Many university students/local group members are unable to make that commitment.

We believe that these limitations are potentially surmountable, but haven't made any plans as of yet to test this model further.

Comment author: RandomEA 09 August 2018 01:43:56PM 1 point [-]

Could you put together a handbook and/or video that could be sent to all trainees or is it critical that there be interaction between the trainer and trainee?

Comment author: Khorton 09 August 2018 01:58:55PM *  2 points [-]

Perhaps a mentorship model could also work with a few dedicated volunteers. They could shadow and watch a presentation by a trained staff member the first time, then team teach with the staff member 2-3 times, before teaching on their own. This model would hopefully mean that minimal extra staff time is spent on training, but volunteers are still able to deliver high quality presentations.

Comment author: baxterb 09 August 2018 02:07:52PM 0 points [-]

Great idea, thank you!

Comment author: baxterb 09 August 2018 02:07:18PM 1 point [-]

Could you put together a handbook and/or video that could be sent to all trainees or is it critical that there be interaction between the trainer and trainee?

This would be along the lines of what we would consider doing if we explore this model further. However, I think there would still need to be a vetting process of some kind so that the we can be confident about the quality of the content and delivery.