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

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Last Mile Learning Releases its first Learning Path: Project Management

Posted by Marian Abernathy, LINGOs Director of Member Services & Communications

For years, LINGOs member agencies have asked us, “How can we train our staff around the world on the contextualized Project Management skills promoted in the Guide to the PMD Pro?”  Well, here you are!!

As the new year gets under way, LINGOs is pleased to offer new series of seven Project Management courses ready for deployment.  These courses, which were developed in collaboration with PM4NGOs and Virginia Tech University, are the first of four learning paths that will be released by Last Mile Learning over the coming months.

As with all the courses made available to LINGOS members through the work of Last Mile Learning, the project management courses have the following unique features:

  • Multiple Languages:  Each course is available in multiple languages. Last Mile Learning courses will be available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Note that this first release includes English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The French courses are coming soon.

  • Contextualized to the Development Sector:  Courses are contextualized for people working in international development, with examples, case studies, and images reflecting realities of this sector rather than of the corporate world.

  • Fully modifiable:  LINGOs member agencies who wish to update these courses need only ask LINGOs for the source files to the content.  Modules can be updated to include member agency logos, customized information about organization-specific project management processes, or any other unique text that a member agency would like to include. And, in the case of this learning path,

  • PMD Pro-Ready – The learning in this course sequence is fully aligned with the PM4NGOs newly revised Guide to the PMD Pro. An additional bonus for those who complete the Project Management Course Path is that they will be prepared for the PMD Pro Level 1 exam.

Courses Available in Learning Paths

The seven project management courses now available to LINGOs members comprise the first Learning Path that the Last Mile Learning team is developing.  Expect to see the second Learning Path, People Management, released in February.  Courses from the third and fourth learning paths (Self-Management and Team Management) will follow.

If you would like to learn more about Last Mile Learning, be sure to view Mike Culligan’s closing session at the LINGOs 2012 Member Meeting,  “Are You Ready for Last Mile Learning?”

Available to LINGOs members now

Course Path

Course Title

Languages   Available

(Jan   2013)

Project Management  Module 1: Introduction to Project Management  Eng, Span, Port
Project Management  Module 2: Project Identification & Design  Eng, Span, Port
Project Management  Module 3: Project Set Up  Eng, Span, Port
Project Management  Module 4: Project Planning  Eng, Span, Port
Project Management  Module 5: Project Implementation  Eng, Span, Port
Project Management  Module 6: Project Monitoring, Evaluation & Control  Eng, Span, Port
Project Management  Module 7: End of Project Transition  Eng, Span, Port
Project Management  Project Management Learning Path Assessment  Coming soon!

These courses are now available on the LINGOs catalog and Level 1 member portals. Level 2 and Enterprise Members who would like to add them to their portals should follow standard process as outlined on the LINGOs LMS Administrator Community site to request they be added.

I can’t end this post without expressing immense gratitude to the 100+ individual volunteers as well as academic and corporate teams of volunteers who have worked with us, to the leading LINGOs member agencies that have stepped up, and the leadership of Mike Culligan to transform content so that it can be deployed not just for LINGOs members, but also in coming months, for anyone who is working to improve lives in the developing world. Last Mile Learning will include appropriate content that is accessible in multiple formats and multiple languages, at little or no cost to a global audience.

For more information about Project Management, see:

For those who want to learn PMD Pro in a different learning format, please note that LINGOs is offering several 4-week, blended learning courses, similar to the PMD Pro course offered last fall. Registration is open for the Spanish-language course in February , and will open at the end of the month for an English language course scheduled for March. See Current Events on the LINGOs Member site for more information, including links to register.

 

For more on Last Mile Learning, see:

What does YOUR learning data tell you?

Well, it can tell you a lot of things – besides reminding me of the importance of MS Excel® skills, the data from the first quarter of 2012 illustrates some key inputs that LINGOs member agencies are putting to use. Let me share with you the report on courses completed by staff of LINGOs member agencies in the first quarter of 2012.

Some highlights covering the usage by 75 member agencies:

 

  • Almost 10,000 courses completed
  • About 17,500 courses opened
  • 75% increase in eCornell course completion over previous quarter
  • Top source of completed courses – member agency developed courses

Courses Completed Q1-2012 by Developer

Check out the report, and think about what your data tells you about your agency usage… and what questions or concerns it raises. Please share your thoughts in the comments section here (or in the LINGOs group on LinkedIn) on what your learning data tells you!  

While you are at it… take a look at the previous post in the blog about some the new Health Logistics Courses – sure to be a data-changer for many LINGOs member agencies involved in health!

 

 

USAID | Deliver Health Logistics Courses Now Available to LINGOs Members

Posted by Mike Culligan, LINGOs Director of Content & Impact

Imagine you are managing a health program in a remote community.  Everything is going great!  You have an outstanding team of health professionals.  They have collected extensive data on health practices and have identified priority areas of intervention.  The team has developed a great project plan.  And the community is excited to work with the project.

 

Photo Credit: Arturo Sanabria, JSI

In Zambia, a nurse explains how to take artemether-lumefantrine for malaria treatment.

 

Then you realize that the project is running low on medicines for the health facilities you manage.  New supplies will not arrive for at least three months. And project activities are grinding to a halt.  What would you do?

Sound familiar?  Unfortunately, it does to me – because it happened with a project I managed.  As a new project manager, my attention was so focused on the health-technical elements of the project, that I had overlooked the critical importance of program logistics.

Quickly I realized that successful health programs must ensure that medicines, supplies and equipment are available at health facilities.  If products are not available when they are needed and where they are needed, not only does the project team suffer, but clients suffer any number of consequences—including malnutrition, unplanned pregnancies, spread of diseases, and even death.

These challenges underscore the complexity of the work of health programming staff around the world.  Not only must they understand the complexities of public health, preventive health and curative health, but these same personnel need to have a basic understanding of health commodity management, and competency in the procedures specific to the logistics management systems through which they receive their supplies.

And yet, while the work of health program logistics becomes increasingly complex, the challenge of training large number of health workers in classroom settings is becoming more and more difficult as funding for large scale training efforts becomes less available, and managers are more reluctant to send service providers and storekeepers away from their jobs to attend training courses.

Recognizing this challenge, the USAID | Deliver project has developed eight interactive e-learning sessions in basic logistics management.  These include the following course titles:

• Introduction to Logistics

• Logistics Management Information Systems

• Assessing Stock Status

• Maximum-Minimum Inventory Controls Systems

• Selecting Maximum-Minimum Inventory Controls Systems

• Storage of Health Commodities

• Assessing Logistics Systems

• Quantification of Health Commodities

Now, through the generous support of USAID|Deliver and its Partner, John Snow, Inc.,  these courses are available to LINGOs member agencies. 

Level 2/Enterprise LINGOs member agencies interested in providing staff access to these titles should have the agency’s designated LMS Administrator contact support@lingos.org and identify which course titles from the USAID|Deliver library the agency would like to add to its LMS sub-portal. The courses are available on the Level 1 shared portal.

Did you know that this week marks….

“World Day for Safety and Health at Work”?

Health and safety of staff is a top priority of most employers, including the 75+ member organizations of LINGOs, many of whose staff members work in difficult and often dangerous conditions. However, many more work in offices, at desks and at computers, where work-place injury and ill-health (carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, shoulder and eye-strain) can often begin.

Where knowledge of how to promote health and prevent accidents, injuries and ill health will make a difference, LINGOs member agencies have some helpful capacity building resources available to them in their learning portals.

LINGOs member agency IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature) used a LINGOs-supplied Articulate license to create a nifty little eLearning resource in three languages on office ergonomics.
Founding member CARE shared its Personal Safety and Security Awareness Course (separate editions in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Arabic) with the LINGOs community.

There are many lists of international observance days, or examples of international days of action – why not use your organizational learning resources be part of your organization’s observance, celebration or action?

Tips to leverage international observance days to promote engagement with your learning resources:

  • Encourage or enroll staff in courses related to the action topic
  • Create a short quiz, poll, or competition that provides learning related to the topic
  • Send out an electronic (or hard copy) post-card or poster with information about learning resources and actions your colleagues can take
  • Tell a story (on-line or in person) about a colleague who used the learning resource to take action on the topic

Check out past blog posts for other ideas to engage your learners.

Click on the Calendar to see upcoming LINGOs events (both virtual and face-to-face) for yourself and your colleagues.

A Culture of Learning That Starts With Staff

ACDI/VOCA Provides Online Learning Opportunities to Staff Worldwide

by John Leary, Director of Training, ACDI/VOCA

Access to information is one of the key benefits ACDI/VOCA brings to our program beneficiaries—and to our staff around the world.

Through our programs, we teach farmers, entrepreneurs, parents, citizens and others new skills to improve their yields, profits and lives. But we also recognize that to do this well, we need strong support systems, careful stewardship of our funds, accurate monitoring and evaluation, and expert, up-to-date technical knowledge, all of which means maintaining a high level of skills among our own employees.

ACDI/VOCA provides its staff worldwide with access to learning resources through a learning management system called ASPIRE Online. ASPIRE has 700 e-learning courses on management, leadership and communication skills, Microsoft Office applications, and technical topics and best practices.

 Time and Space No Obstacles to Online Learning

 “Online courses are accessible on my schedule and I can access them anytime from any location, as long as I have an internet connection,” says ACDI/VOCA’s human resources manager in Afghanistan. “Sometimes I download course materials, print them, and read them while traveling in a car or on a plane. They are very accessible.”

There are many advantages to learning online, the most obvious being convenience.  Learners can take courses when and where it suits them, as long as they have access to the internet. They can hone in on the information they need by jumping to specific modules of an e-learning tutorial, instead of sitting through an entire class waiting for one particular piece of information. They can view a course repeatedly, if necessary.  Because staff can access information they need when they need it, e-learning has now become part of everyday working. 

 “ASPIRE Online’s e-learning tutorials have helped me to better understand the job description of an HR manager and how to relate with employees. With this, I have used new job skills and built better relationships with staff and volunteers,” says Adam Suale, who works for ACDI/VOCA in Ghana.

 “It’s like having your own trainer on hand any time,” says Mr. Suale, “You simply log in and start learning.”

 With internet capacity expanding around the world, geography, time and transportation costs no longer pose hurdles to designing or taking courses.  When a learning need is identified, ACDI/VOCA can create interactive tutorials and make them immediately available through ASPIRE Online. 

Online Courses Keep Skills Fresh

 “The most widely used courses are our ACDI/VOCA tutorials, which introduce staff to our administrative procedures as well as technical interventions, like our Farming as a Business or value chain approaches,” says Maura Bookter,  director of employee development. “They were created in-house by our small team of developers in collaboration with technical experts throughout the company.”

Online courses may be self-paced or facilitated by an instructor. They guide the learner through a topic and reinforce learning through quizzes, games, and clickable Flash, audio and video features. Each tutorial provides downloadable documents and handouts, and learners can revisit the tutorial at a later date if they need a refresher.

ACDI/VOCA is constantly adding new tutorials to ASPIRE. Many come through our membership in LINGOs – Learning In NGOs, a consortium of over 65 international humanitarian relief, development, conservation and health organizations. LINGOs provides the latest learning technologies and courses to its members so nonprofits like ACDI/VOCA can improve the skills of their employees, thereby increasing the impact of their programs.

In addition to the ACDI/VOCA courses available through ASPIRE, there are many  self-paced courses provided by LINGOs’ corporate partners,  e-learning companies like Harvard Manage Mentor, Ninth House and MindLeaders, and more than 60 courses in 12 languages were contributed by CEGOS, Europe’s leading e-learning training provider on topics such as management and leadership, sales and marketing, individual and collective effectiveness, finance and more.

Top-notch Educators are Within Reach

ACDI/VOCA employees also have access to online classes through Cornell University. “eCornell is becoming increasingly popular with our field staff” says Ms. Bookter, “These courses give professionals abroad the opportunity to earn professional certificates from a prestigious American university and interact online with other professionals around the world. We have staff working in countries where this is their only option to achieve this kind of high-level instruction.”

The practical subject matter, taught by Cornell University professors, ultimately provides ACDI/VOCA’s learners with critical skill development in the certificate subjects. The courses involve cohorts of individuals spread around the world who engage in interactive learning modules. They view videos and recordings, participate in interactive exercises, analyze scenarios and participate online with an instructor and fellow students.  Although learners are interacting with other individuals in these courses, participation can take place at any time, in any time zone.  Learners’ reactions and course work are gathered through the course discussion boards.

A Thirst for Knowledge

While over 700 ACDI/VOCA employees in 31 countries are using the learning system, field staff in Iraq leads the organization in usage: 78 employees in Iraq are currently enrolled in ASPIRE Online, with many earning certificates.

One Iraq staff member says her favorite aspect of ASPIRE are the e-Cornell classes. “It is a great opportunity,” she explains, “for me to be in Iraq and still get valuable information and experience from Cornell university lecturers and experts from all over the world.”

ACDI/VOCA is a member of LINGOs. The Aspire Learning site is powered by LINGOs IntraLearn LMS and loaded with many self-paced courses from the LINGOs catalog, in addition to those developed by and for ACDI/VOCA.

Selecting Courses to Meet Learner Needs

By Ruth Kustoff, Principal, Knowledge Advantage

This is the second post in a series of resources for LINGOs members.

Building on my first post, Getting started: Identify top learning needs and develop a plan, this entry will provide some guidance for member agencies in selecting courses for their learning portals. Many new LINGOs member agencies are overwhelmed with course options as they get started.   LINGOs members have access to a menu of more than 3000 on-line courses from which to choose.  Level 2 and Enterprise Members may select from among these courses to include on their agency portals.  Rather than looking at the courses, it makes sense to start with your organizational learning needs.

First, identify areas within the organization and analyze what skills, knowledge and competencies are needed to complete job functions. For example, does your staff have the skills required in key areas such as project management, leadership, meeting facilitation, and communications?

Then, identify how you will look deeper into learning needs of specific job functions to determine the course offerings best suited to your organization.

Identify your learner

To identify what content or learning programs your organization needs, it’s helpful to know who will complete the learning, what jobs they have, and the specific tasks and responsibilities of the jobs.

This process is a large undertaking. I’ve broken down into steps to help you think about what type of learning is required by various job functions.  As individuals assess their knowledge needs, their answers will give you a better understanding of existing skills and knowledge gaps to identify which LINGOs courses are needed, or what course content may need to be created or acquired separately.

During the LINGOs’ Virtual Coffee Break for June, in which Peter Balvanz from FHI outlined the process his organization used to engage staff, plan, pilot and launch its learning portal, we discussed many of the steps I’ll outline below.  Click here for a link to the recording and here to link to Peter’s guest blog from January.

Define Skill Gaps and Learning Needs

1. Survey managers who supervise others what competencies are needed by staff to do specific job functions. Ask managers to identify where their staff members need additional training.

2. Identify type of training or knowledge needed for specific jobs. For example, does the job require knowledge of, and skills in:

  • Specific technical skills: IT Professional Certifications, specific software skills, project management, food security, clinical training techniques;
  • Improved personal management skills or knowledge: time management, writing skills, safety and security, stress management;
  •  Leadership and management: motivational, leadership, supervisory, coaching, performance management, people management.

3. Survey staff Either everyone in the organization or a pilot group can help to identify their skill requirements by job function and title. In the survey, ask individuals what knowledge and skills are required to meet their job needs and goals. You may also want to ask them, or the IT manager for each country/office about internet access to help you determine whether staff will be able to access more bandwidth-intense courses (such as ones that include video). Click here for a list of technical requirements for LINGOs Catalog courses.

4. Select courses After you have determined the job function competencies and knowledge needs, identify and select a defined number of courses that align to these areas. These courses will help staff in each job function/ individual gain new knowledge or information to carry out their job’s requirements more successfully.

  •  With job function competencies identified and aligned to specific content areas and course topics, now you can identify expected learning outcomes. For example, after completing a specific course, a learner (or group with similar job title) will be able to: list functions that can be completed, new skills to be used in what way, or additional knowledge that will positively impact a specific area of the job function.

Course Selection Summary

The LINGOs course library includes courses that are relevant for many job areas across an array of organizations. Once you’ve identified the needs of each job function, and determined skill or knowledge gaps for each job title, you can choose courses focused on those areas. I recommend beginning with a limited number of course offerings, and adding new courses on a regular basis.

Starting small allows your staff to get comfortable with computer based learning and the learning process. It also provides you opportunities to continue to engage with staff and market learning goals, expectations and resources available to them through your new learning program.

In addition to self-paced courses on the LINGOs IntraLearn LMS and through SCORM Dispatch, LINGOs members have access to additional on-line learning content, including virtual classroom content and time-bound courses from eCornell.  Level 2 and Enterprise members can create and upload custom-developed courses to their portals, or purchase access to SCORM 1.2 Compliant courses from other vendors to place on their portals.

To see an overview of courses available from LINGOs, listed by topic and by Developer/Partner click here.

When thinking about developing custom, or bespoke, courses, remember the eLearning Global Giveback Competition, through which you may be able to work with a volunteer instructional designer or eLearning developer to transform your existing content into eLearning.

Upcoming blog posts will address how to build awareness of the learning program with a communications plan, and how to identify learning liaisons and power users in the field.

 Ruth Kustoff is a learning strategist with 20 years experience. She works with organizations to develop and integrate talent solutions, including adult learning, elearning, and training programs. Her expertise includes organizational performance, project management, and information and knowledge sharing.

Ruth is a member of the LINGOs Group on LinkedIn and can respond to general learning strategy questions there. She is also available for consultation for issues specific to an individual organization.