An official website of the United States government

Why You Should Facilitate the YLAI Network Online Courses Offline

Hosting a YLAI Network event that uses the YLAI Network online courses is a great way to share knowledge, spark dialogue and meet changemakers and influencers. These courses provide practical information that can help young leaders develop skills. The suite of materials — including video and audio files, transcripts, discussion guides and quizzes — are easy to use and available. There’s a wide range of YLAI Network online courses and lessons focused on professional development topics of value to your audiences to help them refine skillsets.

How to Host an Offline YLAI Network Online Course Event

  • Planning the Event
  1. Decide which YLAI Network online course you would like to facilitate. Don’t have time for a full course? You can facilitate one or more lessons! Remember there are online courses in Spanish as well!
  2. Based on the subject matter, identify a YLAI Network member or YLAI Alum to facilitate the course.  There are several YLAI Network members who already hold an online course certificate. Reach out and connect!
  3. Identify a space where you would like to hold your event.
  • Organizing and Promoting the Event
  1. Identify your audience. Do potential participants live and/or work in your community? Are they already actively involved in the topic you will be discussing or are they new to it? These are the kinds of questions that can help you focus your event.
  2. Develop an agenda. Identify which course lesson(s) you would like to teach and how long the event should be. In addition to the lesson(s), fill in the time with discussions and activities. Be sure to customize your event agenda to fit your audience’s needs and interests, as well as the time available. If you want to teach several lessons but can’t plan a long event, perhaps you can plan multiple sessions.
  3. Plan the logistics of your event.
    • Find a location to host your event. Community centers, schools and American Spaces are great places to start. If these venues are not available, consider holding the event at your home or in a local park.
    • Decide how many people you will invite to the event.
    • Pick a date and time that work for you and your location. Keep in mind your target audience’s work or school schedules, if applicable.
  4. Decide how you will present the course. You have four options:
    • Stream the online videos.
    • Download the videos.
    • Play the audio.
    • Print and distribute the written transcripts.
  5. Promote your event.
    • Create an event on My YLAI Network Facebook Group and invite friends through your event invitation.
    • Send an email, WhatsApp message or SMS to friends, family and others in your network inviting them to your event. Be sure to provide all the relevant details such as topic, date, location, etc.
  • Hosting the Event
  1. Be sure to create an inclusive environment that allows for positive, constructive conversation. You can do so with some of the following techniques:
    • Have participants introduce themselves.
    • Share your own views and experiences with the group.
    • Be clear about expectations of respect and consideration from the beginning.
    • Encourage participants to share and challenge their own views by asking questions.
    • Use the lesson discussion guide (under the resources tab of each course) to facilitate a group conversation on the topic. The learning objectives are a good way to clarify terms. The discussion questions are a useful resource for questions to ask the group to start dialogue.
    • Invite participants to join the YLAI Network if they are not already members and encourage participants to hold their own events.

If you have questions or would like help planning, please contact the YLAI Network Team at ylai@state.gov.