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Teaching Training Together

Upskilling Underserved Educators and Leaders in Developing Nations

  • 6 Min Read

Educators in emerging economies often lack professional training opportunities, which can prevent them from reaching their full potential. Teaching Training Together (TTT) is on a mission to improve classroom instruction, school leadership and the overall student learning environment by offering teachers and school leaders access to affordable, impactful online professional development courses.

Client

Teaching Training Together

Learners

6,500+

Platform
  • Brightspace Core
  • Onboarding Services
  • Badging

INTERVIEWEE:

  • Brandon Hutchens, vice president

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Enhanced global impact sixfold, attracting learners from 57 countries online compared to eight for in-person seminars
  • Transitioned teacher and school leadership training program to online delivery in five months with a team of two
  • Online courses are delivered at no-cost to the learner, saving each teacher $60 and school leader $120
  • Broader international expansion, with support for courses in English, Spanish and French

Challenge

Supporting underserved educators

Limited funding and access to adequate and ongoing professional development often leave educators in emerging economies without the proper training and support they need to excel. As a result, even the most inspiring and talented educators can struggle to reach their full potential, limiting the positive impact they can have on their students, schools and communities.

Addressing this critical issue is Teaching Training Together, a nonprofit organization that provides critical initial training to underserved school leaders and teachers, helping them become more effective in their classrooms and schools. TTT’s teacher training is strategically designed to equip educators with universally applicable tools and principles to enhance leadership skills, teaching practices and student outcomes, regardless of curriculum or school setting.

“We set up Teaching Training Together to help educators in countries with limited training resources to become even better at doing the job they love,” explains Brandon Hutchens, vice president of TTT. “Over the past 12 years, we’ve worked with leading educators around the world to develop a teacher training course that provides a strong pedagogical foundation for any subject. We’ve had the honor to deliver this course in person to teachers in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.”

Inspired by its success, TTT set out to scale its operations to impact more teachers and educational institutions.

Setting up in-person courses requires a lot of logistics, planning and cost. Teachers also have to take time out from their work to attend, and sometimes a school would have to shut down. We knew that taking our courses online would help us to provide affordable, accessible and impactful professional development to more educators.

Brandon Hutchens, vice president, Teaching Training Together

Solution

Searching for an experienced partner

Because digital literacy and access to technology vary significantly in TTT’s target markets, the organization looked for a learning management system (LMS) that could help it build intuitive, simple and versatile teacher training courses accessible to anyone with an internet connection and on any device. Hutchens elaborates, “We wanted a very user-friendly front-end experience and flexible back-end development process that would not require tons of technical experience and previous exposure.”

For international nonprofits serving developing nations, navigating the realm of LMS is relatively uncharted territory. “Choosing the right LMS solution for us was a big commitment. There were very few organizations like us that we could reference,” explains Hutchens. “We evaluated over 15 different LMS solutions and eventually narrowed the list down to four contenders. After three months of testing, we felt that D2L provided the best product to help us achieve our goals.”

World-leading universities, schools and training organizations use D2L Brightspace to deliver their online courses, which gave us added confidence that D2L was the perfect solution for us.

Brandon Hutchens, vice president, Teaching Training Together

With no prior experience designing online courses or implementing an LMS, TTT was also keen to find a partner that could offer comprehensive support. “D2L guided us throughout our LMS journey, providing ongoing support from initial planning to course development and helping us to understand how we could use Brightspace to amplify and enhance the excellent work we had done during our in-person seminars,” say Hutchens.

Developing a high-impact, personalized learning experience

Recognizing the success of its in-person seminars, TTT didn’t need to reinvent the wheel.

We found that 95% of our in-person seminar content could be transitioned into an online format, maintaining the high quality of our program while providing an immersive learning experience that is attractive, accessible and flexible.

Brandon Hutchens, vice president, Teaching Training Together

Utilizing the capabilities within Brightspace, TTT leveraged various features to encourage deeper understanding, knowledge retention and practical application of content. “We enabled release conditions, so learning is personalized for every student. After conducting a self-assessment, learners have to demonstrate competencies before advancing to ensure that we are only providing relevant content at each stage of their learning journey,” explains Hutchens.

To simulate an in-person seminar experience and maintain the opportunity for collaboration among peers, TTT incorporated the discussion tool and SCORM objects to create interactive scenarios. Being able to feature a responsive avatar that prompts questions and changes facial expressions based on the learner’s response helped make learning more engaging.

Result

6X the global reach

TTT is still in the early stages of rolling out its brand-new online professional development courses; however, the organization has already reached significant milestones. In five months, TTT launched two professional development courses—one tailored for school leadership professionals and another specially designed for teachers.

It’s incredible to witness learners from 57 different countries taking our courses online, compared to eight countries for our in-person seminars. Online learning allows us to remove a large part of logistical costs associated with our in-person courses while maximizing accessibility to make a global impact in teacher training.

Brandon Hutchens, vice president, Teaching Training Together

Making professional development more accessible and affordable

With a vision to transform classroom instruction, TTT significantly improved program accessibility by providing its flagship course Becoming a More Effective School Leader and Becoming a More Effective Teacher as Affordable Course Content.

“Thanks to committed donors who fund online course fees, we are excited to offer our online programs at no direct cost to the learner, reducing barriers to access high quality professional development for teachers and school leaders around the globe,” shared Hutchens.

Registered learners will invest in the course in different ways including their time commitment to complete the course along with their efforts to secure a reliable internet connection to access the course. 

Transforming classroom instructions at scale

Currently, both courses are available in English and French, with a Spanish version being released soon.

“By mapping the core structure of our teacher training courses in D2L, we can ensure they’re scalable in the future,” says Hutchens. “For example, we can translate content into multiple languages, which will massively broaden our reach. What’s more, we can easily adapt our course material to incorporate the latest developments in teaching pedagogy and online learning as soon as they become available, which helps us keep our courses at the leading edge.”

TTT has already seen positive initial feedback. One teacher commented, “This course is very intuitive. I like the flow of the lesson and the embedded interactive mediums. It allows for engagement and follow-through with the lessons, not just skimming through it. The brevity of the lesson focuses on the essential things that take the message into practice.”

He concludes, “We’re excited about the future with D2L and look forward to partnering with other school networks as we help more teachers develop their skills and find new ways of inspiring their students to seize every opportunity for growth and development.”

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