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Barnardo's wins Charity Learning Award
UK children's charity Barnardo's has won the trophy for the Best Overall e-Learning Programme at the Charity Learning Consortium's Charity Learning Awards. The judges said they were particularly impressed with the breadth of learning technologies Barnardo's has embraced, the innovative approach taken, and the organisation's dedication to supporting its e-learners.
Pictured are (L to R) Lisa Johnson, assistant director information services, learning and communication at Barnardo's; Martin Baker, CEO of The Charity Learning Consortium; and Mike Woods, IS learning and development consultant at Barnardo's
Barnardo's learning and development supports the development of some 7,500 staff and volunteers, at 400 sites spread across the UK and Northern Ireland.
The award judges were impressed that the team embraced so many different types of learning technologies - using virtual classrooms, video, wikis, an online learning community and e-learning. The e-learning is delivered via a customised Charity Learning Consortium Moodle website.
By using learning technologies, the charity says it has reached 54% more learners in 2010/2011 compared to those it trained in 2006/07. For example, all new recruits are provided with a 45 minute virtual classroom session introducing Barnardo's IT systems. Staff are shown how to access the charity's learning resources and support, and this virtual classroom is also available to existing staff.
Lisa Johnson, Barnardo's assistant director information services, learning and communication, said: "E-learning and the use of other learning technologies has had a major impact on the way we support IT users within our organisation. Sixty per cent of our delivery is now online."
Analysis of calls to Barnardo's helpdesk led to the team producing online fact sheets based on FAQs. As a direct result 'How to' calls were reduced by 50%.
Lisa Johnson added: "Initially our staff were reluctant to try e-learning and felt isolated. By introducing individual learning contracts, team-based learning and promoting learning in small bite-sized modules, we helped people overcome their concerns.
"The team introduced virtual classrooms and learners were at first anxious - but once they attended a session they were hooked and we are seeing more staff sign up.
"As an alternative to requesting 'training', staff are also now choosing self-directed learning. Instead of staff saying 'I need a course' the enquiry is now 'where can I find a learning resource that will help me do x?' This is a major shift forward."
Lisa Johnson's tops tips for e-learning success are:
Commenting on Barnardo's Award, Martin Baker, CEO of The Charity Learning Consortium said: "This is an inspirational example of how a small team can achieve a great deal. The team has really listened and responded to the needs of their learners, offering vital support which underpins their technology-led learning. It's a great story for others to follow - and not just charities."
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