During this year’s CLO Symposium, D2L was proud to receive a Learning in Practice Award for Excellence in Community Service for our partnership with ICF, a global consultancy and digital services provider that serves important humanitarian initiatives. ICF worked with D2L on effective training strategies to make sure aid organizations can get their volunteers into the field quickly.
The CLO Learning in Practice Awards have been acknowledging industry leaders that excel in developing learning and development programs for more than 15 years. D2L also won the award in 2018, when we were recognized for our partnerships with the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO).
ICF: Helping Aid Workers Make a Difference
Becoming a volunteer aid worker isn’t easy. To work safely and effectively in challenging conditions, in an unfamiliar culture and among people who may have experienced trauma, volunteers need careful training. Over a long history of supporting humanitarian aid initiatives, ICF realized that training was often a stumbling block for organizations.
ICF worked with D2L to design a blended learning experience to prepare volunteers for rapid deployment—helping aid organizations respond faster in post-disaster situations.
- Creating a blended learning program: ICF used the Brightspace platform to develop a blended learning program, comprising 25 hours of online training to onboard new candidates, followed by a two-week intensive classroom-based course that includes field-day scenarios designed to test their competences in a practical way. Each of the 12 course modules contains interactive elements, such as quizzes to help students test themselves on their progress, and discussions that allow them to ask questions and get feedback from their mentors and peers.
- Personalizing the learning journey: Since the training materials are designed to be used across the EU, it was vital to personalize the experience to each learner’s needs. “As soon as the user signs in, they have the option of choosing their preferred language, and we use the release conditions feature of Brightspace to take them to the appropriate course materials,” explains Kat Negron, Senior Instructional Designer, ICF. “We also use release conditions to handle things like obtaining consent to capture personal data for GDPR compliance. It’s a simple but powerful way to structure the user’s journey.”
- Ensuring anywhere, anytime, any device access: To make the experience even more intuitive, ICF decided to use D2L’s Daylight user interface, which streamlines and simplifies access to course materials and provides a responsive screen layout that works seamlessly on any device from desktop PCs to smartphones.
In less than three years since the launch of the new training program, ICF and its partners have completed 14 training cycles, more than 500 volunteers have successfully passed the final assessment, and enrollments have grown steadily. Feedback from learners has been almost universally positive—90% of candidates surveyed gave the course the highest possible approval score.
“One of the best aspects of the project was the speed of delivery,” says Dan Ungureanu, Policy Implementation and Programs Senior Consultant, ICF. “We started from nothing and within six months we had a full-fledged online and in-person training program with 12 modules in English. Then we translated it into French and Spanish, and the whole thing was done in a year.”
Today, ICF’s modern learning solution powered by D2L is enabling the organization to deliver on its mission in a truly meaningful and impactful way—preparing volunteers with the information and skills they need to make a difference in communities around the world.