Top-Tips for Addressing a Lack of Post-Training Follow-Through Amongst Staff and Student Participants

When it comes to providing public engagement training we often come across similar challenges. A common issue that comes up is keeping in touch with training participants after the session(s). This can help you to measure the impact of your training, as well as to develop relationships with and between participants going forward.

Here are some tips from our members on how best to tackle these. If you know of any others do add them below!


Give participants a post – training task

Participants consider what it is they are going to do with what they have learned or developed. For example, ask participants to write themselves a postcard answering the questions:

  • I won’t forget…
  • In the next 3 months I will…

Mail them the postcards in three months time as a prompt for further conversation.

Follow – up with targeted participants

Maintain a record of who participated in training sessions. Follow – up with individuals who started to develop ideas that you would like to foster or to find out about the actions of participants (selected at random or with intention) post – training.

Create the sense of a community

Examples could include:

  • Access to certain resources, mailing lists, further training, support, etc. provided because of training participation
  • A sharing network (in – person or virtual) of those who have taken part in training

Frame the training as a step in their engagement journey

Consider what it is that the participants can do next if they want to continue these conversations and advance their skills. Depending on a variety of factors:

  • Do participants decide their own engagement journey in the training session?
  • Can the institution build a journey of engagement for their researchers, students, etc?

Link the timing of your training offer to the rest of your engagement offer

Allows participants to directly apply what they have learned or thought about.

Examples could include:

  • An upcoming funding call for public engagement (internal and/or external)
  • Opportunities to engage with public audiences (institution – led or external calls for proposals)

Compiled by Erin Lafferty following a London PEN Train the Trainer session

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