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.

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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

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

A Drum for David Holcombe

Eric Berg, LINGOs Executive Director

It is considered a good governance practice for non-profits to limit board members to two successive terms before they must cycle off the board for at least a year or more. This keeps a board from becoming stale and injects fresh ideas into the organization. However, one of the downsides to this practice is you must lose board members that you would rather still have on the board.

This past week, I had the opportunity to recognize David Holcombe, co-Founder and CEO of the eLearning Guild and retiring LINGOs Board member in front of his “Guild family” at the Learning Solutions Conference in Orlando. David is finishing his second term on the board and will be leaving the LINGOs board after our next meeting. Needless to say, I hate to see him go.

Community spirit and corporate social responsibility

It seems like only yesterday that I first met David and the Guild’s other co-founder, Heidi Fisk, at what was then called the Annual Member Gathering in Boston. I was so impressed with what they were doing to build a community among eLearning professionals that I knew I wanted David’s help with LINGOs which was simply a start-up operation at that time. David graciously agreed to help and after I “set the hook” I slowly began to reel him into more involvement with LINGOs – first as an advisor, then as a board member and ultimately as the Chairman of the Board. During that time, LINGOs grew from our first half dozen members to the over 75 international organizations that are currently members. Each year we not only expanded our membership but also the services we provided to them and to the sector at large.

David made it possible for each LINGOs member to have a premium membership in the Guild and with it access to the rich library of resources and events on technology-supported learning. I hesitate to point this out – but knowing David, I suspect he has already done the math – that benefit alone is worth over $125,000 each and every year.

The Guild has also been instrumental in supporting the Global Giveback program and since we began that effort, over 100 courses have been completed by volunteer developers. If you put even a nominal value – let’s say $5000 on each course, that is a “donation” worth over half a million dollars to LINGOs and our members.

And David has given unselfishly of his time and traveled at his own expense to LINGOs board meetings and events. In short, David has done everything reasonably or even unreasonably asked of him.

Witches+DavidH But, as I told the audience in Orlando, it hasn’t all been hard work. For example, this past fall at the DevLearn Conference in Las Vegas which happened to coincide with Halloween I snapped the picture bat left of David and the Witches of DevLearn. (I know they say “what happens in Vegas – stays in Vegas” but that is only if there isn’t photographic evidence) You might recognize the witches as Shannon of PATH, Catriona of Conservation International, Sam of Save the Children and Jenn of Ipas. I don’t think I have ever seen a larger smile on David’s face.

A Djembe Drum for David

DavidsDrumOver the years, David has assisted me with awarding djembe drums to Finalists and Winners of the Global Giveback Competition. David has always looked longingly at those drums and we even have had to pry his fingers off the drum he was awarding to participants. So we thought it would be a great way to acknowledge our gratitude for all he has done for LINGOs and presented David with a drum of his own. Alison Smith, Executive Director of InsideNGO and incoming board chairperson and Alfredo Leone joined me on stage to present David’s drum.

Alison acknowledged she had very big shoes to fill and if you aren’t aware, David is at least as tall as my six foot four inch height so she is quite right, both literally and figuratively. She also acknowledged that David’s entire team at the Guild from Heidi to all the rest of the staff made LINGOs members feel like part of the family and their support made it easier for David to be available to LINGOs.

In receiving the drum and with characteristically modesty, David praised the Guild members and Guild staff that have been so supportive and made it clear that despite leaving the board he still intends to support LINGOs and our members as he always has done and encouraged anyone interested to get involved in way that made sense for them.

We will miss David and I am personally grateful to him for his unselfish support of our members and his willingness to be available to me whenever I needed his counsel and experience. Hopefully, from time to time, David will tap on the drum LINGOs gave him and smile knowing how much he has helped enable.

What’s LINGOs got going at the Learning Solutions Conference?

LINGOs will be at Learning Solutions Conference and Expo on next week in Orlando – and has lots going on.  In addition to spending quality time with our members, partners, volunteers and several of our board members at the eLearning Guild’s always interesting event, we will be announcing the return of the competitive element to the Global Giveback and representatives from International NGOs and eLearning volunteers will join LINGOs staff members at the SolutionFest 2013.

Back by Popular Demand

ImageThe eLearning community’s high level support and volunteerism is bringing back the popular Global Giveback Competition. LINGOs Executive Director Eric Berg will announce the fifth Global Giveback at the Learning Solutions Conference General Session on March 7th.

Any 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 competition.

This is bigger than past Global Giveback events in that participation is not limited only to international development non-profits that are members of LINGOs.  Stay tuned for Eric’s announcement at the Conference and future posts here on an updated Global Giveback site and in the Global Giveback group on LinkedIn.

Solution Fest 2013™

ImageRepresentatives from several of our member agencies will be participating with us in the first Solution Fest, helping us to demonstrate key learning solutions for people working in humanitarian relief, health, development, conservation and social justice.

We believe that the better they do their jobs, the more the most vulnerable people on earth will have enough to eat, have access to health care and education, have a chance at a secure livelihood and be able to live in a safe and clean environment.

The Challenge: How to make world-class learning opportunities available at no cost to anyone working to improve lives in the developing world?

 

The Solution:

Image Last Mile Learning – a LINGOs initiative using the latest instructional technologies, the collaboration of the public and private sectors and the creativity and energy of volunteer learning professionals to create and deliver world-class learning in multiple formats and multiple languages contextualized to the development sector.

LINGOs Staff and Members including Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, ACDI/VOCA, InsideNGO, Management Sciences for Health, Samaritan’s Purse and others will demonstrate explore five enabling solutions from Last Mile Learning:

1. Last Mile Learning: Multiple Delivery Modes

2. Last Mile Learning: Creating a Certification System

3. Last Mile Learning: Learning Paths for Motivation

4. Last Mile Learning: Scenario-Based Performance Management

5. Last Mile Learning: Blended Learning Nodes (HoTspots)

We look forward to seeing you there. LINGOs Volunteers and Members attending Learning Solutions are invited to contact Marian (at) LINGOs.org in advance of the meeting.

Thanks to learning Volunteers, Last Mile Learning helps improve the lives of world’s most vulnerable people

Posted by Eric Berg, LINGOs Executive Director

Last year, during Volunteer Appreciation Week, I wrote a post about the vital importance of volunteers to the LINGOs community, and how they are able to use their highest skills as instructional designers and developers to create distance learning courses that would not be possible without their contributions of time and creativity.

Last Mile Learning Program

Last month at the Learning Solutions Conference, I shared Last Mile Learning, an exciting initiative designed to reach hundreds of thousands of local development workers that simply couldn’t happen without the efforts of volunteers.

 

Just yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Colleen Streigel our contact at the American Refugee Committee. ARC is working with a new NGO on the Syrian border and Colleen asked if there was anything we could do to help that group get access to capacity building resources on project management and IT. This is precisely the kind of group Last Mile Learning is going to reach.

Since its founding in 2005, LINGOs has grown to reach the staffs of more than 70 international NGOs working in over 130 countries around the globe with high quality online learning opportunities. However, for every staff person working in-country for an international NGO, there are ten or twenty or more individuals working with national and local organizations that are in desperate need of professional development. They are the individuals and organizations in the “last mile,” working directly with the communities in need. The better these people do their jobs, the more people will have access to health care, food, education and a safe and secure place to live.

Over the past five years, LINGOs has built a learning management infrastructure that could enable local organizations to access world-class professional development opportunities. However, a substantial amount of the content being distributed by LINGOs today is proprietary and has been subsidized or donated by leading courseware vendors with the understanding that it be available only to the staff of LINGOs member agencies.

Contextualized, Localizable, Multiple Delivery Modes

For us to reach the Last Mile, LINGOs needs to create a curriculum that we have the rights to distribute freely: a curriculum that can be contextualized to the NGO environment and localized to the key languages of development. It also needs to be made available in multiple delivery modes so individuals and organizations without regular access to the internet can still take advantage of the content.

To hire instructional designers and developers to build such a curriculum would be extremely expensive and well beyond the capabilities of LINGOs to afford. So here is where the volunteers come in. Over the years, we’ve learned that when what we need is impossible to afford, it can become possible when we ask the right people. And in this case, the right people are volunteers. We began asking current and past participants of the Global Giveback program whether they would be interested in working on this challenge. The answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!”

Learning Professionals Step Up

We’ve always known that eLearning professionals are great short, single-assignment volunteers. However this is different. This time we are asking people to stay with the effort through at least one course revision cycle and to work in teams on a single topic with more restrictive design parameters (pre-defined templates for example). And still the answer seems to be “Yes!”

In addition to individuals, LINGOs is recruiting corporate learning departments and eLearning vendors to create some of the courses in the Last Mile Learning Library.

Cegos, a major French training company, has donated content for the 18 initial modules that will be completed by the end of this year. Several eLearning companies have stepped forward to volunteer to work on the Library as well. Several universities and corporate learning departments are in discussions about creating content for this initiative.

So Last Mile Learning is on the way. Learning opportunities will be made available to the people most in need of capacity building with the fewest resources and least access. None of this would be possible without the energy and commitment of volunteers.

As I said last year, much of what we do at LINGOs wouldn’t happen without volunteers. In an interesting twist, we sometimes see our role as the support staff who enable the volunteers to do amazing work rather than the traditional view of volunteers assisting LINGOs to do amazing work. We have learned that sometimes not being able to afford to do something makes it more likely that it will get done because we look outside ourselves to see the resources waiting to make a difference.

On behalf of all LINGOs members and staff, we want to acknowledge the volunteers that make our work possible and hope that each of them know how valuable they are to improving the lives of the most vulnerable people on earth.

Want to Volunteer for Global Giveback 2012: Last Mile Learning?

 

  Join the Global Giveback Group on LinkedIn
  Look for us in the Connection Center at ASTD’s International Conference and Exposition in Denver May 6-9.
  For more info, check out the Global Giveback 2012 webpage.