IDEA believes that training is instrumental in achieving a high-quality debate program, and supports the professional development of its members through a range of trainings. Sanctioned trainings follow a set of quality standards developed by IDEA. Both the organizers and the trainers of such trainings should adhere to these standards, as follows:
A training should be clear in its purpose.
A training should have a defined set of objectives and learning goals. Trainers should have a clear understanding of the training's purpose, and of what they want their audience to learn during the training. These goals should be articulated prior to the training (if possible, during the application process), so that the trainees have an opportunity to determine if the training is appropriate for their needs.
A training should draw on well-chosen materials.
A training should utilize content that is conducive to achieving the learning objectives. The content of the training should be geared towards the expectations and learning needs of the audience, and should be appropriate to their level of experience. Trainers should be knowledgeable and well prepared in the content area they are presenting, and drawing on concepts and examples, be able to present that content in a clear and comprehensive manner.
A training should be pedagogically sound.
Trainers are encouraged to employ interactive, learner centered methods, geared to the particular audience of the training and reflective of its content. Trainers should use an array of tools to facilitate the process, such as role-playing, simulations, group work activities, audio-visual presentations, etc.
A training should be tailored to the needs of its audience.
A training should address the trainees� needs, learning styles, and backgrounds. Trainers should adapt their training style and methods in consideration of the learners' previous experience, background, and knowledge. Trainers and organizers should be sensitive to the culture, religion, gender, and age of their audience. This sensitivity should be reflected in the content of the training sessions (e.g., in the examples used, language choice, translation accommodations, the presence or absence of a dress-code, possible dietary restrictions, possible restrictions on the timetable of sessions, etc.).
A training should be professional in its presentation.
A trainer should make use of professional materials and training equipment. Trainers should provide trainees with appropriate materials (handouts, etc.), prepared according to professional standards of content, organization, and presentation. If feasible, trainers should employ various technologies (Power-Point presentations and LCD projectors, VCRs, cameras, etc.) to facilitate the learning process, and use them at appropriate times during the training.
A training should occur in an appropriate venue.
A training should be organized in a setting conducive to learning, and organizers and trainers should ensure that the venue is appropriate for the trainees. In the case of an overnight training, appropriate accommodation and meals should be secured, taking into consideration the dietary and other requirements of the trainees. It is the trainers� responsibility to create a friendly atmosphere conducive to acquiring knowledge and developing skills, and in which participants will feel comfortable, appreciated, intellectually challenged and motivated.