Guiding your volunteers' experience

The learning map guides volunteers on their way to accomplishing their objectives for their AFS work, by promoting self-awareness and control of their learning goals.

At the start of the Volunteer Journey with AFS, one receives a Learning Map Handbook, which provides a personal reflection and mentoring framework. In addition, the learning map includes regular check ins with an AFS mentor. Some elements of the Handbook are:

  • Motivations for being an AFS volunteer
  • Learning & development objectives (short, medium and long-term)
  • Self-awareness of strengths to offer (knowledge, skills, interests)

Check out the video below to understand more about the “Learning Map” stage:

Steps to Consider

As you develop your organization’s volunteer learning map make sure you consider the following elements:

  • What are the volunteers’ motivations for volunteering?
  • What do they hope to gain/develop?
  • Does your AFS organization have a participant handbook that contains self-reflection elements? If so, are there any parts that could be adapted for volunteers? If not, is self-reflection something you could incorporate into the participant handbook? What about for staff?

The following Stages of Participation:

  1. Roles & Tasks

  2. Training

  3. Feedback

  4. Recognition