E-Learning opportunities and challenges for humanitarian training

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Our report summarises the contributions and key learning points of a workshop organised by the Training Providers Forum.

On the 12th June 2017 Bioforce, Bond, CHS-Alliance, Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, Groupe URD, IECAH, INASP, INTRAC, Mango and RedR UK convened a workshop to explore the opportunities technology offers to enable learning in the humanitarian and development sector. The ever-changing technological landscape can make it challenging to identify the right approach for capacity building and training programmes. This workshop offered NGO Training Providers a space to share experiences and learning with the aim of turning discussions into concrete ideas and takeaways.

Key learning points

The report summarises the speakers’ contribution to the different sessions that took place. These are among the key learning points and issues that emerged during the discussions:

  • The main focus of e-Learning should remain the learning process, while technology needs to be viewed as a supporting device to this process
  • Some aspects of the wider debate on “localisation” are also relevant to e-Learning: it is important to work with local capacity development teams, translating content and adapting it to the context of learners
  • Some popular trends in the field of e-Learning are also valid when applied to the humanitarian training, these include relying on storytelling, microlearning, simulation and social learning
  • Facilitator time may be higher than expected and this kind of role should be separated from tech support
  • The impact of an e-Learning programme can be enhanced if offered as part of a blended course
  • Video-based learning is more engaging from an emotional perspective,  although it often means outsourcing technology and, consequently, higher costs
  • M&E activities applied in e-Learning contexts present opportunities, such as a larger number of people that can be reached, as well as challenges, such as the budget constraints
  • The importance of data protection

Learning in the Digital Era: Revolution or Evolution?

The document also includes a wide range of links to websites and digital resources that are available to further your knowledge on e-Learning, as well as to expand your working tools.