eLearning partnership spreads knowledge and awareness to prevent Ebola

The learning community is partnering with individuals and organizations to increase knowledge and awareness of the outbreak of Ebola and to prevent the spread of this virus. Using content from the World Health Organization, CDC, and other organizations, the DisasterReady.org team created a 15-minute online course called Ebola Awareness Quick Guide in both English and French and made it available on the DisasterReady.org portal free of charge for any registered learner.  Registration takes only one minute to complete and provides immediate access to over 300+ online courses, recorded webinars, videos, and other resources.

Upon learning of the Ebola Awareness Quick Guide, LINGOs requested to put the course on its own platform so that its 80+ International NGO members could provide it to their staff via the same site as their other organizational learning, and track staff access of this resource.

We’re pleased to report that within two days of becoming aware of the existence of this learning resource, the DisasterReady team shared the course files and the LINGOs tech team loaded and tested the course on all platforms and made it available to all member organizations. “We are very happy to share these two courses with LINGOs. This Ebola Awareness Quick Guide is an example of our Rapid Authoring program designed to respond quickly to a crisis with free resources for individuals and organizations that are responding to specific emergencies or disasters. As more courses are developed, we will be happy to share those in the future” said Bob Nutting, Director of Learning at DisasterReady.org.

EbolaCourse-screenshotLINGOs Member Organizations have responded like never before to the availability of a new course,” said LINGOs Membership Director Marian Abernathy. “The timely creation of the course and sharing it with LINGOs for international NGO Member organizations to deploy and track to their global staff is an important step to preventing the spread of Ebola.”

International NGOs are deploying the English and French versions of the Ebola Awareness course for staff in affected areas and their emergency response teams. LINGOs and its member organizations are grateful to DisasterReady.org and its parent organization the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation for providing some of the indispensable elements – information and knowledge – to stopping the spread of Ebola.

The quick guide course includes links to updated websites with the latest information on the outbreak. Learners will also have immediate access to documents providing additional awareness of the outbreak including fact sheets, posters, and information specific to aid workers in Africa.

The course is available to anyone free of charge via http://DisasterReady.org. Additionally, international development and humanitarian workers who work for a LINGOs Member Organization, may access the course through their organizational learning platforms.

About DisasterReady (www.DisasterReady.org)

DisasterReady.org is a free online resource for aid workers with over 30,000 registered users from around the world. Through the DisasterReady.org initiative, aid workers can share resources and information and access customized online learning anytime, anywhere in the world. By providing high-quality, accessible training at no cost, the DisasterReady.org Portal allows aid workers to do what they do best: save lives, rebuild communities, and restore hope.

About LINGOs (www.LINGOs.org)

LINGOs is a not-for-profit capacity building organization in its tenth year of providing world-class learning opportunities that are appropriate, accessible and affordable for people working to reduce poverty and alleviate suffering in the developing world. We accomplish our mission through:

  • Private Sector Partnerships – learning industry leaders provide products and services to LINGOs for free or at greatly reduced costs;
  • Volunteer Engagement world-class instructional designers and developers provide pro bono services to create world-class learning products available at no cost;
  • Member Collaboration – over 80 of the leading international development organizations collaborating on shared solutions to common challenges.

Financially Fluent… in multiple languages

Last year, LINGOs Last Mile Learning program launched a financial management learning path in English. This five course learning path based in the Mango (Management Accounting in NGOs) curriculum contextualized to the Global NGO covers planning, accounting records, reporting, and internal controls.

Question 1: Are you fluent?

Available in English since last July, we asked potential learners “Are you Fluent in Financial Management?” (click the image to find out).

The answer was that global NGOs want to build the financial skills of their global staff and they wanted the financial management path available in other languages. We wanted it, too, but just didn’t have the resources.

Financially_Fluent

Question 2: Can you help?

This time we asked our members for help, and thanks to the generous support of a few members, we now offer the Financial Management Learning Path in Spanish, and soon will be able to do so in French. We’re about a third of our way to getting the Financial Management and People Management learning paths translated to Spanish, French and Portuguese.

TranslationFunding-April2014

Translation Funding as of May 1, 2014

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Gracias, Merci, Obrigado ….

Huge thanks to The Nature Conservancy, Samaritan’s Purse, CARE, FHI 360, Habitat for Humanity International, Helen Keller International, IUCN, MSH, Plan International and WWF for the initial contributions that have gotten us on our way.

It’s not too late to help – we have four languages/paths to go right now, and more as new paths are developed in English.

I want to help!

 

“Crowdfunding is the collection of finance to sustain an initiative from a large pool of backers—the “crowd.” Wikipedia

Sneak Peak at a Global Giveback Resource for LINGOs Members

Posted by Gus Curran, LINGOs Member Services Manager

The LINGOs Member Services and Last Mile Learning teams are thrilled to give you a sneak peak of a new course “Influencing without Authority.”

As you know, ‘Influencing without authority’ is a key skill for project-workers in the field, who often have to deal with delicate situations. Professional instructional designers and developers from Unicorn Training in the UK worked with Last Mile Learning to bring this content to life, contextualizing it for our sector. Samantha Yates of Unicorn Training recently posted about her experience creating a course for LINGOs through the Global Giveback program a the Unicorn Training Blog.

Katoa

Click on the image of Katoa to access course demo

Samantha brought great creativity, interactivity and context to the scenario-driven course.  On arrival in the fictional province of Katoa, the learner is immediately immersed in the story of Maria, an aid project worker attempting to find her way through the maze of politics, conflicts and challenges associated with her development project.

Using an interactive map, the learner follows Maria through four topics, helping her to make decisions along the way so that her project can be completed successfully. You can read more about and access a sneak peak of the course via the Unicorn Training Blog.

LINGOs Members, stay tuned for an announcement of the release of this fabulous course by Sam Yates of Unicorn Training.

The Power of Volunteers

Posted by Gus Curran, LINGOs Member Services Manager

 What comes to mind when you think volunteers?

Four Hands Joined TogetherNon-profits reach out to volunteers on a regular basis for all kinds of projects and tasks, from stuffing envelopes to helping out at events to doing field work, even building houses.

What could you accomplish if you asked highly skilled learning professionals to volunteer their talents for you and your organization?

If you are Mike Culligan ,Director of LINGOs’ Last Mile Learning Program, the answer to that question is that volunteers can get incredible things done. During the last year, Mike worked with over 80 volunteers to create the Last Mile Learning portal and courses. He recently posted on the Global Giveback LinkedIn Group the following list of accomplishments, completed almost entirely by a team of volunteers.

- 1  website built
– 2 Learning paths created
– 4 Last Mile Learning curriculum guides published (self-led, face-to-face, blended synchronous, blended asynchronous)
– 7 courses translated to Spanish, French and Portuguese
– 13 face to face training packages completed
– 15 eLearning modules developed, and
– 21 additional eLearning modules currently under development

logo last mile learning smallThanks to the support of volunteers, a library of professional development courses is available, FREE OF CHARGE to anybody working to improve the lives poor communities around the world via http://www.LastMileLearning.org.

No Job is too small!

I recently reached out to volunteers on the Global Giveback Group on LinkedIn, asking them to test Last Mile Learning courses. Highly skilled learning professionals responded quickly, and I was moved and humbled by their generosity. As you can imagine, testing courses is not the most glamorous assignment, but volunteers stepped up and did the testing, offering great feedback on the courses and helping to make Last Mile learning even better. One volunteer took my basic Word document reporting forms and improved them, converting them to forms on Google Docs and setting it up so that all the feedback was aggregated and easy to review.  I hadn’t even thought of this, and a volunteer saw the need and reached out to me and offered to help.

No Job is too big!

GregDavisDid you know that volunteers help LINGOs members learn on a regular basis? Greg Davis of Precision eLearning volunteers his time and skills quarterly to lead the Virtual Training Mastery Series, a popular and engaging course which is helping staff of LINGOs member organizations to design and deliver better training online. He designed the workshop pro-bono for LINGOs, and LINGOs being LINGOs, asked him if would be willing to also deliver the workshop. He said yes. He’s lead over 500 people through this course.

PamThomasPam Thomas, owner and certified coach at What’s Within U, LLC,, is a key volunteer for LINGOs from Coaching Out of the Box®. With help from her colleagues, Pam gives several hours of her time each quarter to guide members through a two part online workshop to help them to develop their coaching skills.

Greg and Pam don’t just donate time and experience- both of these volunteers are giving members their materials, as well.

Learning professionals are willing and ready to volunteer

Learning professionals are eager to help.  They are lining up on the Global Giveback LinkedIn group, seeking NGOs whose needs and projects match their interests and skills. All you have to do is reach out to them.  Visit the Global Giveback LinkedIn Group to review posts by potential volunteers. Review the helpful handouts on the LINGOs Global Giveback site to start planning your project with your volunteer.

Optional Competition

In the past, a highlight of Global Giveback has been its element of competition. This year the competition is optional. Non-profits may enter eLearning courses into the competition (with the volunteer’s consent, of course).  A panel of judges for the competition will review courses based on a set of requirements, as in years past. However, it is not required that a project be submitted to the competition. This means that all projects should be considered as potential Global Giveback opportunities, as long as they are related to learning for nonprofit organizations working to improve people’s lives in the developing world. This includes internal courses such as orientations, or converting live workshops into blended courses or elearning.

Learn More at the Global Giveback Webinar

I encourage NGO learning staff to join us for a webinar on May 9 at 11:00AM EDT (click here to register) to learn more about how to use Global Giveback harness the power of volunteers. The webinar will also feature LINGOs members who successfully developed courses with volunteer developers in previous years of Global Giveback, and you can ask them your questions. We look forward to seeing you there.

Eventbrite - The Inside Scoop on Global Giveback 2013 for NGOs

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Read this recent post on the Global Giveback

5 Ways Last Mile Learning will Change the way LINGOS Member Agencies Learn

Posted by Mike Culligan, Director of Last Mile Learning

logo last mile learning smallAbout a year ago, LINGOS member agencies first heard rumbling of the Last Mile Learning initiative and how it will “change the way their organizations learn.”   Now it’s time to see for yourself!  The Last Mile Learning Open Portal www.lastmilelearning.org is live and ready to share with your staff, your partners, your implementing agencies, your trainers and anyone else that is working to improve the lives of communities around the world.

By now, as a frequent reader of the LINGOs Blog, you probably know the basics of Last Mile Learning.  The initiative provides free learning resources to anyone working in the development and relief sector.  All the courses are organized into learning paths and are available in three formats (self-led e-learning, face-to-face, and blended on-line.)

For LINGOS member agencies, Last Mile Learning provides an especially exciting opportunity to move learning to the next level in five ways:

#5 Content is contextualized to our sector!

The Last Mile Learning catalog is designed specifically for development and relief professionals.  Take for example, the Project Management Learning Path.  Each of the seven courses was designed and developed for development professionals.  The case studies include scenarios of health, conservation and water projects located in rural communities.  The tools examined include log frames, problem trees, monitoring/evaluation plans and other indispensable tools that are critical to our sector.  Furthermore, all the project management content is aligned with the PMDPro certification which, as of last month, over 5,000 development professionals globally have completed.

#4 Resources are available for learners AND facilitators!

Yes, Last Mile Learning will complement LINGOs member agency eLearning libraries with contextualized courses organized into learning paths.  And, for the first time, Last Mile Learning ALSO provides facilitation packages for trainers who would like to lead courses in face-to-face or blended on-line environments.  This means that organizations now have access to resources that allow them to deploy an integrated and comprehensive learning strategy – reaching learners via whatever approach (eLearning, face-to-face, blended on-line) is most appropriate for their context.

#3 Translated content for your global workforce! 

Over 80% of the staff of international NGOs is located outside of the United States.  For most, English is not their first language.  That is why Last Mile Learning is committed to translating its content into multiple languages.  The Project Management learning path is available to LINGOs members in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, as well as English; and available on the Last Mile Learning Open Portal in English and Spanish.  Other learning paths will be translated over the coming year.  These resources will allow organizations to share learning content with the ENTIRE global workforce – not just those who are fluent in English.

#2 It’s time to “expand the we”!

International organizations don’t work alone.  Their work depends on a vibrant network of implementing partners, local NGOs, in-country consortia, government ministries and community based organizations.  Now an organization can develop a professional development strategy for all of the stakeholders involved in its activities.  This can be done via two options:

  • Organizations can direct stakeholders to the Last Mile Learning open portal where they can access resources directly;
  • Organizations can deploy an LMS Lite where they can directly manage the learning of everyone involved in implementing the organization’s mission.

#1  Adapt resources to your context…  …and your brand!

And, finally, LINGOs members can access the source document files for all of the resources in the Last Mile Learning catalog.  These resources, regardless of whether they are self-led e-learning, face-to-face facilitation packages, or blended on-line content, can be edited to address the unique needs of your organization and the context in which it works.  All LINGOS member agencies have full access to the source files so that they can swap out logos, insert new case studies, revise the learning objectives, or include organization-specific policies for their staff members.

So what’s next?  Help us share the news of the Last Mile Learning  launch!  Visit the open portal, access the resources, and (most importantly) be sure to help us get the word out!

LINGOs is asking that each of its member agency contacts to identify ten people you feel will benefit from free, hi-quality learning resources for professionals in the sector.  This could include:

Individual Learners – Who can access eLearning courses on topics like Project Identification and Design, Project Planning, Delegation,  Performance Management and much more;

Trainers – Who can download facilitation guides that allow them to lead face-to-face workshops on all of the topics in the Last Mile Learning catalog;

Organizations – Who can acquire a Learning Management portal and manage the learning of their stakeholders… …assigning courses, tracking completion status and managing learning paths.

LINGOs Member Agencies desiring to add Last Mile Learning self-paced courses to their existing Learning Management System Catalog may do so. Designated LMS Administrators can request addition of Last Mile Learning Course titles.

International development NGOs – don’t miss Global Giveback 2013!

100+ eLearning courses created for international NGOs at no cost… Global Giveback 2013 is now open, get involved

gg_generic_small.jpgThrough the Global Giveback, highly skilled learning professionals volunteer their highest talent, creativity and experience to support global development non-profit organizations. In the first four Global Giveback events, volunteer instructional designers and eLearning developers have created over 100 eLearning courses for LINGOs and its 75 international NGO member agencies.

All international NGOs provide training

“International NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that provide training for their global staff or to an audience with access to the internet should get involved,” said LINGOs Executive Director, Eric Berg. The Global Giveback allows NGOs to leverage their existing content, dramatically expanding the audience to their global staff and implementing partners.  Last year alone, LINGOs worked with over 60 volunteers to create courses available not only the global staff of our 75+ international member agencies, but they will also be available free to anyone working to improve people’s lives in the developing world.

3 Reasons to get involved

  1. Expand your agency’s training reach: Many learners have access to the internet, and you can reach more via technology-enabled learning than by face-to-face training.
  2. Use limited resources wisely: save on scarce travel, trainer, and time resources associated with each and every face-to-face training event, by working with a volunteer to develop eLearning that can be used by many learners around the world.
  3. Learn new skills: Agencies participating in past Global Givebacks have learned about eLearning design and project management through working with volunteer learning professionals.

2013 Global Giveback marks the fifth time LINGOs and the eLearning Guild have organized a vehicle through which learning professionals have donated their expertise and time to create eLearning resources for the global community. In years’ past, the resource was limited to agencies that are already members of LINGOs (Learning in NGOs), a not-for-profit consortium of humanitarian relief and international development agencies. This year marks the first time that Global Giveback is open to all non-profits working in the international development sector.

NEW in the 2013 Global Giveback

  • Open to any not-for-profit organization working to improve people’s lives in the developing world
  • Includes all learning formats: eLearning, Face-to-Face, Blended Learning modalities
  • Optional eLearning competition: Non-profit agencies may enter eLearning developed by pro-bono volunteers in 2013.

Learning professionals want to make a difference in the world

Volunteering in the Global Giveback provides a unique opportunity for learning professionals to make a difference in the world. Many volunteers have already signed up in the Global Giveback group on LinkedIn and are eager to get started.

eLearning developer Amanda Warner, who participated in the first three Global Givebacks, winning twice with courses created for the public for Acción and FHI 360, notes “It’s so motivating to see the course in action,” said Warner, who estimates she spent between 180 and 210 hours developing Acción’s winning course “Build, Manage and Improve Credit” which is publically available.

“It was great to play with different ideas, and work on a totally different type of content from my day job,” she said. Warner took reams of ACCION’s existing face-to-face course materials, spread sheets, word documents, published guides and other resources and developed a proposal for an engaging, interactive simulation.

 

Your agency can get involved

It’s easy! You can get involved through the Global Giveback Group on LinkedIn or through your own network. Connect and interview those with interests, skills, timing, and approach to the work that best match your needs.

Projects can include: design and/or development of learning and training resources to be deployed in a variety of ways, including face to face, blended, and self-paced eLearning.

How to get started:

  1. Identify the course material you want to adapt into a new format of learning
  2. Join the Global Giveback Group on LinkedIn
  3. Post your request for a volunteer Be sure to include 
    • Your agency name
    • Course Topic
    • Scope of Work (describe what the volunteer will develop, for what audience, with whom the volunteer will work, the resources s/he will have to work with, ie pre-approved content, subject matter experts whom s/he can consult during the project, etc)
    • Timeline(when you will be ready to start, your target date for completion and launch of your resource)
    • That there is an Identified staff-member who will work with the volunteer
  4. Respond to all volunteers who indicate interest. Interview those whose skills match your needs, and keep others apprised of your plans so they can work with another project if your needs and timing don’t match their skills and time-frame.

Global Giveback organizers do not review or manage relationships between agencies and volunteers. Each party should research each other and interact in professionally, clearly defining success for the interaction before agreeing to collaborate.

eLearning Competition

An optional part of the Global Giveback is a competition among eLearning courses. Participation is not required, but may be motivating to some volunteers.

Not-for-profit development agencies may enter any eLearning course created on a volunteer (pro-bono) basis for any non-profit working globally to improve people’s lives in the developing world in 2013 can be entered in the eLearning Global Giveback competition.

Judges will evaluate courses submitted by non-profit global development agencies in two categories based on whether they were developed by individual developers or corporate teams, on ten criteria:

  1. Meets stated learning objectives
  2. Appearance
  3. Creativity
  4. Ease of use for the learner
  5. Interactivity
  6. Graphical content
  7. Ease of update (for the non-profit sponsor)
  8. Holds the learner’s interest
  9. Ease of working with the developer (rated by the non-profit agency)
  10. Potential impact of the course (assessed by the non-profit agency based on topic and potential audience)

Volunteer Developers and International Non Profit agencies may use the Global Giveback Group on LinkedIn as a means of finding each other. However, any international non-profit working with a non-staff volunteer on a pro-bono basis may submit courses created in 2013 for competition. Submissions must be received by 5:00PM EST on Jan 10, 2014.  Submission instructions will be posted in the second half of 2013.

Recognition & awards will be announced at the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions 2014 conference in Orlando, FL.

Learn More: http://bit.ly/LINGOsGG

Read about past Global Giveback events

Is your agency ready for the revolution? (in education/learning?)

Post by Marian Abernathy, LINGOs Director of Membership & Communications

Thomas Friedman’s Sunday Jan 27 column in the New York Times “Revolution Hits the Universities” is right on. Friedman writes about the transformational potential of the “massive open online course” or MOOC. These courses are online, open to all, and for the most part available free of cost to learners around the world. International NGOs that provide learning services to their staff should be paying attention!

LINGOs Executive Director Eric Berg and I experimented with a MOOC last fall offered by Stanford University and VentureLab entitled “Designing a New Learning Environment.” Just as with face to face training, virtual classrooms and eLearning, a MOOC can be designed and delivered from abysmally to beyond superbly.

LINGOs’ vision is for anyone working to reduce poverty and alleviate suffering in the developing world to have access to world-class learning opportunities at little or no cost.  We believe that the more effective they are, the more people will have food, shelter and be healthy, the more people will be educated and the more people will live in a clean and safe environment.

MOOCs, open to anyone, presently at no cost, have the potential to create massive leverage for people who otherwise do not have access to university education. There’s enormous potential for the motivated staff of NGOs to learn along with others from around the world.

Lectures are pre-recorded so that students can attend at their convenience. This is great for students in multiple time zones, or international development professionals and humanitarian relief workers who have meetings pop up, long trips and disasters that may spring up and keep them from attending a set-time event. However, the flexibility has a cost, as it can require more self-discipline than many of us have. I did find taking a course with my boss to be a significant motivator!

A central feature of MOOC is crowd sourcing, which allows the course content to go beyond simple quizzes and interactions that are assessed as correct/incorrect and permit fellow students to review each other’s assignments and give feedback.  This means that individual students, as well as teams of students can submit thoughtful and complex assignments and receive comments and advice from fellow students around the world.

Talk about leverage! The faculty don’t have to respond to the individual assignments of each student (some MOOCs start with over 100,000 students!), but they can learn together and gain from the wisdom of the crowd.

We’ve been experimenting with some of the elements of a MOOC with our blended learning courses on Project Management. We learned from our 5-week PMDPro course last fall and are adapting our lessons and experiences in two four-week courses, one in Spanish in February, and the other in English in March.  These courses include self-paced eLearning, discussion boards, assignments and three hours of virtual classroom training and coaching per week. Given the live instruction, coaching and feedback from instructors and that we don’t have backing from venture capitalists, we aren’t yet able to offer this type of learning free, but can do it at a significantly lower cost than face to face training. We are looking at ways to leverage our learning from the MOOC to learn how to offer this type of learning at lower costs to reach greater numbers of those working to improve lives of people in the developing world.

Our Project Services Team is in the process of designing a “mini-MOOC” on Project Management in Development. This will be an asynchronous blended approach with no direct instructor feedback but with opportunities for interaction and feedback from other course participants. It will probably have a small fee – so not quite free – but will also include the opportunity for a certificate for participants who successfully complete assignments and the final exam. Look for more information on this later this quarter.