Choosing the Best of the Best
ICF had worked on several training-related projects in the past, and its teams knew that a learning management system (LMS) could help to improve course design and streamline course administration.
Kat Negron, Senior Instructional Designer at ICF, comments: “I had used various LMS platforms in the past, and using course templates in some of them was difficult. Then I worked on a project using
D2L’s Brightspace platform, and it was so much more flexible. You can either use Course Builder or just drag and drop files and folders, and you can preload templates with your style guides. So, when this project came up, it just made sense to use Brightspace—we knew it was the best of the best.”
Designing a Comprehensive Course
To ensure the course would teach practical skills that are useful in the field, the team worked closely with European aid organizations to gather expertise in areas such as project management, inter-cultural awareness, safety and security, advocacy and communications, and psychological first aid.
The team then 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.
Delivering Personalized Learning
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 Negron. “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.”
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.