for follow-up measures
Reflection is a very important part of the participants’ learning experience. There are reflection methods that promote individual processing, reflection in couples, or small group debates. Furthermore, there are multiple visual tools like the mood tree or the thermometer that can be used both in group and individual reflection time. We focus on content peaks in the morning and reflection emphasis in the afternoons. We also recommend to include regular open spaces in which participants can initiate their own reflection proposal with the group in case it is wanted. We also give space for publishing reflection and encourage sharing of content already during the learning activity.
For a lot of participants, the last day of their mobility can be a very emotional experience. The intensive experience of learning and making new connections has come to an end, and for many of them the prevalent idea is that they will probably never meet again and that the exchange was a rare experience secluded from their daily lives and routine. Proposing the idea of follow- up meetings, either within national groups or the whole team can spark great motivation to keep being in touch with other participants, since there will be an anticipated event that will always remind them of their experience. Group meetings can also take place online, in the form of casual coffee meetings, sharing photos with each other and reminiscing about the experience. In case meetings are not possible, we also recommend keeping existing communication channels open and active, like the common chats and online groups. In this way, participants can feel more connected to their experience and not consider it a one-time event.
One of the main problems of follow- up is that the participants often don’t exactly understand why and how they are supposed to carry out an extra task, since they will not be travelling anymore and their mobility experience is already over. Even using the term “Homework” can be more harmful than expected, since for a lot of young people it is directly connected to something negative and obligatory that has been forced upon them, and that is nor really their own initiative. Therefore, it is important to introduce follow- up activities in a way that doesn’t immediately scare participants as something imposed on them, but rather something that they would like to do and see the reason why they could do it. It is important to also take in consideration that usually not all of the participants are on an equal level when it comes to experience with youth work and community involvement. For a lot of them the idea of implementing their own workshop is more scary than motivating, either because they don’t know how to find an audience or they don’t feel comfortable being in a leading position. We recommend to tailor the follow up tasks to the participants’ capacities and find what motivates them the most, rather than imposing a common task for the whole group. In this case trainers can have individual meetings with every participant or group and give them specific tools and strategies on how they can implement their own ideas, as well as direct them to material and financial support if needed.
The question of whether participants should be somehow bound to complete the follow up task has often been a topic of debate in the field of Youth Work.
Workshops promoting follow-up and sustainable learning.