Conducting CreditSmart Workshops
By choosing to take part in the CreditSmart initiative, your organization will play an important role in educating consumers. Here are some steps you should take to ensure successful workshops.
Tailor the Curriculum to Meet Your Community's Needs
To help you tailor CreditSmart to the needs in your community, we've organized the content into four tracks, each with its own suggested agenda, lesson plan, and related activities. Please regard the following tracks as suggestions. Feel free to present one or any number of the 12 independent CreditSmart modules in any order, as long as an individual module is presented in its entirety. For more information, see Terms & Conditions.
Suggested CreditSmart Tracks
Access Workshop Tools
Freddie Mac has developed an array of workshop templates, tools, and materials including agendas, activities, and a Certificate of Completion, to help ensure the success of your CreditSmart workshops.
Know Your Audience
Once you decide to deliver a CreditSmart workshop, you need to plan the best way to reach your target audience. CreditSmart workshops are an important element in educating consumers and you may wish to conduct an informal survey or focus group to determine interest in your activities. Questions to ask might include:
- When would you be most likely to attend CreditSmart workshops? Mornings? Afternoons? Evenings? Weekends?
- How much time could you devote to a workshop?
- Would the need for childcare prevent you from attending?
- Would you prefer to attend sessions conducted in English or another language?
- Would you prefer a small class size or a larger group?
- What topics most interest you?
Understand Adult Learning
Understanding adult learning principles is key to developing successful procedures that engage workshop participants and facilitate learning. It is helpful to make a list of the characteristics of adult learning preferences in order to tailor your training methods to the needs of your participants. By understanding these principles, you will find that the workshop will be more beneficial to the participants and the organization.
Know the Subject Matter
It's very important that you research the subject you will teach in the workshop. Read reports and look up information about the subject matter to gain more confidence on the topic and to help you prepare for your presentation. Learn about the issue in your community by drawing on local statistics or laws relevant to the topic.
Understand the Curriculum
Become as familiar with the CreditSmart curriculum as possible. Staff and volunteers who will support your initiative should review materials, and perhaps even attend CreditSmart training sessions.
Prepare Workshop Site and Resources
- Select and secure a workshop venue. (More valuable Instructor Tips)
- Obtain an adequate supply of workshop materials and supplemental teaching aids.
- Instructor Guide
- Participant Presentation
- Workshop exercises, activities, and games
- Relevant newspaper clippings, magazine articles and other examples to supplement the curriculum
- Consider developing a Community Connections resource document for your area's consumers.
- Order audio/visual equipment and food for the session.
- Secure flip charts, markers, etc.
- Be ready to evaluate your success with the Workshop Evaluation Form.
Present the CreditSmart Curriculum
Freddie Mac provides instructional and support materials to facilitate successful CreditSmart workshops. An Instructor Guide, Participant Presentation, and a presentation on CD are included with the CreditSmart and CreditSmart Español curricula, and CreditSmart Asian includes three informative guidebooks. When hosting CreditSmart workshops, instructors should select text from the materials and exercises to reinforce learning. Each session should also incorporate icebreakers, activities, and group discussion to break up the flow of the presentation. More valuable Instructor Tips
Employ Different Teaching Techniques
Whether you use the 12-module CreditSmart or CreditSmart Español curriculum, or the three-guidebook CreditSmart Asian series, you have some flexibility on planning your own CreditSmart workshops. Some instructors find that incorporating time for sharing personal stories and anecdotes is particularly helpful to their attendees. Be aware that adult students often learn in different ways, so it is helpful to incorporate different techniques – visual, auditory, and hands-on activities – into your lessons.
Review the Terms & Conditions
Learn more about the "Do's and Don'ts" of Conducting CreditSmart Workshops from our Terms & Conditions.