The appraisal of the professional development of trainers takes new steps in Europe. We seek for new ways to assess our professional competencies and support the development of practices to achieve better recognition of people working in the training field, and to contribute to the overall quality and impact in youth work training.
Last year, the International Youth Work Trainers Guild (further in the text – Trainers Guild) successfully piloted the prototype of a 360° review system to support the (self-)assessment of trainer competences and performance. The system was built around the European Training Strategy (ETS) competence model for trainers and offered an online solution to collect the feedback from training participants, colleagues and training service contractors.
Furthermore, during the Bridges for Trainers event 2016 in Vienna, SALTO Training and Cooperation Resource Centre introduced a new manual with tools and methods to support the professional assessment and development of trainers. Being present at the event, members of the Trainers Guild took the decision to initiate the design and development of digital tools to support the professional appraisal of trainers.
Based on a europewide survey and analysis of trainer needs and best practices of performing professional appraisal, the Trainers Guild together with 5 other partners presented a project proposal and secured co-funding from the Erasmus+ programme for the KA2 strategic partnership project “AppRaiser”.
Here we are, ready to share ideas and present the “AppRaiser. 360° professional development appraisal service for trainers”.
The professional appraisal of trainers will have new solutions
AppRaiser will enable the creation and offer of new web solutions for a professional development appraisal which will be adapted to the needs and practices of trainers. After registering to the AppRaiser virtual environment, trainers wishing to carry out a (self-) assessment of their professional competences and practices will find tools and guidelines to perform a self-assessment, collect feedback from their participants, trainer colleagues and training service contractors. Theses virtual spaces will also have tools to support the planning and monitoring of trainers’ professional development.
The Trainers Guild plan to support the professional development of trainers through the system of Learning Trios. Trainers will be offered systemic support from at least 2 other colleagues during the live or online meetings.
Inspired and informed by the best practices
All AppRaiser developments will be carried out following principles and methodologies which guide innovation design and progressive assessment practices:
- -> Goal-oriented design. All of the solutions will be built with the careful consideration of typical user personas, their goals and desired actions.
- -> Design thinking process. The innovation process will be managed through a well-planned design cycle: 1) observation and research; 2) ideation; 3) prototyping; and 4) building and implementation.
- -> Appreciative inquiry. A change management approach which is based on affirmation and recognises the best aspects in people, affirms past and present strengths, assets and potentials.
- -> 360° feedback/review. This model will allow to receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who are involved in and related to the training activity.
We plan to involve the wider community of trainers in the development of solutions for the professional development appraisal of trainers. If you are interested to support and/or test the developments, write to us firstname.lastname@example.org
Main features of the appraisal service
The professional development appraisal service will offer trainers a virtual environment to access and use web tools to self-assess their competencies, collect feedback from other people, as well as plan and monitor their own professional growth.
The professional appraisal process will be supported through a virtual environment and web solutions. In the virtual space, trainers will be able to take the following actions:
- -> Manage training event references (add/remove training events, describe/modify events (similar to SALTO TOY reference/LinkedIn projects)
- -> Manager user lists (add/remove users, sent invitations/notifications)
- -> Manage trainer profile (private/public, permission settings, add/modify information, account management, manage achievements using digital Open Badges)
Self-assessment of competencies
The professional appraisal for trainers starts from the self-assessment of their competencies. We will base ourselves on the ETS competence model for trainers. Trainers will be able to take self-assessment actions by using these online tools:
- -> Competence map (visual and interactive ETS competence model)
- -> Rating scales (performance-based and linked to competence assessment indicators)
- -> Evidence upload (any type of file (text, media, document), leave specific comment to explain better the -> context of the uploaded evidence)
- -> Progress bar (view and monitor the progress of self-assessment)
- -> Digital Open Badges (display and share competences, benefit from the global standard of recognition)
The professional appraisal will be strengthened with the feedback given by training participants, trainer colleagues and training service contractors. The virtual space provided will enable trainers to:
- -> Send/Accept requests to review trainer performance (sent to training participants, colleagues and contractors)
- -> View/handle notifications (push notifications and alerts when someone completed the review)
- -> View/handle reminders (set automatic reminders to be sent for feedback)
- -> Grant permissions to view/access data (manage permissions for other)
The professional appraisal will be reinforced through the professional development activities. The virtual space provided will offer tools to plan and monitor the learning process and change of practice:
- -> Specify objectives and actions for professional development (link with areas of competences, set goals, view progress)
- -> Identify and collect sources for learning (upload links and materials)
- -> Set the time frame (link with the personal calendar, configure reminders)
- -> Track the progress of learning (view/manage progress, upload new evidence)
- -> Invite other trainers to support their professional development (organise Learning Trio)
Support from the trainer colleagues
The professional appraisal will be supported through the all steps described previously. The virtual environment provided will enable to contact other trainer colleagues and establish Learning Trios. The colleagues in will allow for:
- -> Supporting the professional development (formulate goals, plan learning action, support learning)
- -> Supporting self-assessment (help in reviewing and interpreting collected data)
- -> Feedback (constructive motivational and/or developmental feedback, structured reflection)
- -> Coaching and mentoring (coaching questions, sharing good practice)
- -> Live and online meetings (provisionally, 2 meetings are planned during a 1 year cycle)
Steps to develop and build the appraisal service
The professional development appraisal service will be developed during September 2017 and February 2020.
In a nutshell, we aim to increase the quality of youth work and training activities in Europe by developing a web-based 360° professional development appraisal service for trainers and other training stakeholders.
We expect that during the first years of implementing the appraisal service we will achieve the following:
- -> A well functioning and engaging web environment
- -> Minimum 200 trainer self-assessments completed
- -> Minimum 750 external reviews collected
- -> Minimum 100 professional development plans submitted
- -> Minimum 50 peer support meetings happened online or in person
Should you wish to be one of the first to test and use AppRaiser services, contact us email@example.com
AppRaiser project partners and funding
The AppRaiser service is initiated and developed in partnership with:
- International Youth Work Trainers Guild: lead partner, Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lithuanian association of non-formal education, Lithuania
- Ha Moment, Portugal
- Associazione Interculturale NUR, Italy
- coobra – cooperativa braccianti, Austria
- Badgecraft Ireland, Ireland, technical partner
This project is co-funded through the European Union’s programme “Erasmus+“.