The Programme for Workers Activities is dedicated to responding effectively to the training needs of its participants. It uses a participant-centred approach which encourages the active participation of every course member. It validates trade union experiences brought by participants to the course. And it assists trainers who deliver the technical components of the courses.
Information technologies, audio-visual aids and networked microcomputers connected to the Internet are provided in order to facilitate file sharing, group work and information research for course presentations. Participants are provided with CD-ROMs and information on diskettes that enable them to adapt and develop course materials for their own unions or other labour organisations.
A large variety of teaching methods is used in the Programmes residential training activities such as role-playing, case studies, and simulations. Almost all exercises are developed by dividing participants into small groups (with the exception of final work-plans, which is prepared by individual participants for their own organizations). Reports back to the main group of participants as well as further comments and advice of the trainers are recorded and included in the training packages provided to the participants at the end of the course.
The Programme uses active learning techniques in its courses. These techniques which together make up a participative learning methodology - ensure that course participants are fully involved in their educational experience. Participants are not treated as passive recipients of knowledge but as partners in the design and delivery of courses.
Active learning methodology is designed to recognise the knowledge participants bring with them to the course. It ensures that the course its objectives, methods and materials takes into account the union experiences of the participants. In a very real sense, the course is built on the foundation provided by those experiences, which are then validated as a critical contribution to the development of the course. In this way active learning is participant-centred, with the trainer assuming the role of a facilitator someone who guides and supports the participants through their learning experiences. Firm and rigid course structures are rejected in favour of flexible course parameters which, at any stage, can be negotiated by the participants and the trainer. Each week of a course includes an evaluation session so that, if need be, it can be re-oriented towards the declared needs and wishes of the participants.