Creating effective learning experiences
We design and develop workshops or courses in all modes of in person and online, working in partnership with client-provided subject matter experts. We are often hired by individuals or organizations who know their subject matter but aren’t sure how to bring a learning experience to life for their participants. When we, with solid formal backgrounds in adult education, collaborate fully with people who hold deep knowledge in their subject matter, we can create creative and engaging learning experiences together. We draw on learning design processes and participatory activities to help make your learning experience not only impactful, helping your learners achieve what you intended, but fun and engaging.
E-learning courses are online self-study courses that learners complete on their own, without the presence of a facilitator or other participants. When designing in this mode two of our key priorities are to write measurable learning outcomes that can be accomplished by the learner when learning alone and to create learning modules that are interactive and motivating for the learner. We usually use Articulate Storyline 360 for this kind of work, which allows us to create highly customized, creative and engaging experiences. We have also created many e-learning courses in Moodle and with Articulate Rise.
Recent Example: In 2022 we were fortunate to design and develop an e-learning course using Articulate Storyline for the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), the Local Government Management Association (LGMA), and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs on the topic of responsible conduct for local elected officials. The purpose of the course was to demonstrate how newly elected officials can learn to conduct themselves well with elected colleagues, local government staff, and the public by following what is known as the four foundational principles of responsible conduct (integrity, respect, accountability, and leadership & collaboration.)
“I would strongly recommend Beth to health care organizations and others designing unique, interactive online learning. We had a team of clinical experts, interns and students new to practice in several disciplines. Many of the team members had never created interactive modules before. Beth patiently walked us through the process, from carefully crafting learning outcomes and interactive activities, to incorporating feedback from a varied audience.
Beth has a unique understanding of health care providers and the system. Many times we forgot she wasn’t a health care provider herself because she could take on the learners’ perspective so effectively. Beth was dependable, honest and fun to work with. She kept the momentum going to deliver the modules on time and within budget, resulting in a product that exceeded expectations.”
– Kathleen Yue, Director, Strategic Initiatives, BC Centre for Palliative Care –
Virtual sessions take place in platforms such as Zoom and are actively facilitated by one or more people. We often work with organizations who want to learn how to design and facilitate virtual sessions as standalone events, and are also very familiar with blending virtual sessions into asynchronous online courses (either facilitated or unfacilitated). We create participatory, inclusive and collaborative experiences for facilitators and participants, not one-way presentations of information.
Recent Examples: We design and facilitate virtual sessions all year round for client organizations as well as public offerings of our own from time to time. Beth was designing for and facilitating in the virtual mode long before the COVID pandemic.
“Beth has a tremendous work ethic and the skills, knowledge, and ability to turn ideas into actions that produce positive and meaningful outcomes. We highly recommend Beth!”
– Lisa Mort-Putland, Executive Director, Volunteer Victoria –
When we design for in person we create structured lesson plans – not just PowerPoint slides. We write measurable learning outcomes and incorporate ways to assess those outcomes to ensure participants will learn the material. We intersperse small chunks of content delivery with a variety of participatory activities through which people can apply their learning, individually and in various-sized groups. The in person workshops we create are neither “presentations” nor “lectures”; they are active learning experiences for all.
Recent Example: Beth worked with the Canadian Cancer Society – BC and Yukon Division – to redesign their volunteer orientation session for them in in person, virtual, and self-study modes, so that they could reach volunteers in many different locations with different modes of learning. Then she facilitated the pilot of the in person session for a group of staff and volunteers, to model effective facilitation skills to the coordinators of volunteers who were going to facilitate the session.
“Beth developed an exceptional training program to prepare volunteers to provide post treatment support to cancer patients. I had no experience with online facilitation and Beth was in BC while I was in Nova Scotia. It was an absolute pleasure working with Beth. Her organizational and facilitation skills made the process so easy. She has a great sense of humor and is clearly passionate and skilled at what she does.”
– Kim Veino, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Canadian Cancer Society – Nova Scotia –
Asynchronous online courses are usually several weeks in duration and are taken by a class of participants together. Beth has worked as a learning designer on hundreds of these types of courses. In this mode a facilitator is usually actively “present” online to guide participants’ learning and participants are able to engage in a variety of individual, small group and whole group work. Asynchronous means “not at the same time”, which means that participants usually have some flexibility across the duration of each week or unit to access and participate in the online course when it is convenient to them, while maintaining social presence with the group.
Recent Example: Beth designed and developed several versions of a seven-week online course in Lay Navigation for cancer-related organizations such as the BC Cancer Agency and Canadian Cancer Society. Participants in these courses are volunteers who are learning how to provide support to cancer patients.