Establishing a blended approach to organizational learning with Learning Pool Platform.
Tearfund is an international Christian relief and development agency based in the UK. Tearfund operates across more than 50 countries with over 50% of staff based in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other parts of the world. It works with over 250 partners including other international non-government agencies, national relief and development agencies and those who only work in their local area. Tearfund’s mission is to transform the lives of people living in poverty and its staff and partner organisations need to be resourced and trained effectively to enable them in this work.
Operating across 50 countries
Working with 250 partners
Like many others, Tearfund previously relied heavily on global travel to build and maintain relationships, deliver training and ensure key information was made available. The last eighteen months, however, allowed the organization to leapfrog previously held assumptions about the delivery of learning solutions.
Additionally, the induction of new starters was traditionally a face-to-face process which resulted in significant travel and time commitments for the staff delivering it. For example, at the start of 2020, inductions were held in Kenya, Jordan and Haiti between January and March.
As the pandemic hit, face-to-face training was put on hold, initially with the expectation that it would resume in a few weeks, or months. But as time went on it became clear a new way of working was needed for the long term. Establishing a new approach to the management and delivery of training, Tearfund worked with Learning Pool to ensure a smooth transition to a blended approach to learning using Learning Pool Platform.
Launching Learning Pool Platform alongside a number of collections from Learning Pool Library Content, including Foundation and Business Skills, Tearfund moved to all its training and the management of programmes/courses being centralised on the online platform. By implementing Learning Pool Platform, Tearfund was able to offer staff a blended approach to learning with seminars, elearning courses and an online induction program.
Throughout the pandemic, during which a wealth of information was produced by various organizations that took time to read/watch/understand, Learning Pool supported Tearfund in disseminating the information into bite-sized resources to ensure staff was kept informed as new information became available.
Another benefit of the platform was the ability to translate all main courses and resources into four different languages for employees who do not have English as their first language. Learning Pool Platform is also able to facilitate ‘offline’ versions of the same courses into local dialect for even the remotest of staff.
As staff became increasingly familiar with the platform, Tearfund witnessed an uptake in elearning, the virtual courses and other resources available to them. By consistently directing staff towards the site and having the platform app available from every browser has meant the training has been easily accessible wherever in the world a learner is. At first glance, over 1200 staff and partner organisations completed courses directed at the pandemic since its launch.
A range of blended training and resources in different languages has become accessible to our people wherever they are located from South Sudan to Southeast Asia. Tearfund staff can now benefit from the delivery of accessible training for all, reducing carbon emissions through flights and allowing greater equal access to training and information for staff globally.
Accessing the right elearning course or being part of a virtual training booked through Learning Pool, can contribute to people’s ability to save the lives of others in the sometimes difficult and unstable environments in which we work. In particular, our courses on COVID-19 helped to dispel myths and to provide easily accessible, potentially life-saving, information. Tearfund has a commitment to do no harm, and so ensuring that our staff understands how the virus can be passed on and how to take measures to avoid contracting the virus are key.
Looking to the Future
Tearfund UK is the largest of 10 agencies across the world of the same name. The global pandemic has been a time to re-vitalize those relationships and look at more shared learning, setting a minimum standard to ensure that we do no harm through the work that we do globally with millions of people. Following on from the success in Tearfund UK of the learning platform we have begun rolling out a series of portals specific to each of the Tearfund’s based in other countries, to make learning bespoke to their specific government requirements. This is hugely invaluable in saving time, and resources and reducing the impact of climate change which sets us up for the future. The ability to set up different access for different audiences will be hugely beneficial.
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