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Using our free resources to support your charity's Learning and Development strategy

schedule 7th February 2018 by Helen McKay in Safeguarding

business people around a desk on their computers

Virtual College has developed a range of free resources in order to support frontline professionals, such as those for charities and safeguarding organisations. Here are our top tips for making the most of them:

Free e-learning courses

Do you have concerns about the quality of free e-learning? At Virtual College we work with a huge number of subject matter experts to ensure the content we produce reflects the latest in theory, practice and legislation. We then use our design and development expertise to transform this knowledge in to engaging e-learning content. Checking a courses credibility to find out who contributed to it development can help you establish whether it can add value to your training strategy. We have a network of experts across subjects such as child sexual exploitation (CSE) and self-harm, and on a recent project even partnered with The Home Office to produce our FGM course.

Working with an organisation who has a deep understanding of the subject matter has ensured our e-courses have considerable impact among learners. Our free FGM course has been completed by over 141,261 learners – 98% of which said they would recommend the learning to others and 50% of organisations completing the course said they have done things differently as a result of the e-learning.

Refresher training

Free resources can be used as refreshers for face-to-face training and completed e-learning modules, reminding staff and volunteers of key learning points. These could be shared with staff at particular intervals following training to embed learning and act as a refresher.

Infographics

Infographics can be used as part of your wider L&D campaign. Before rolling out training to your staff or volunteers, create a buzz and raise awareness by displaying the infographic in busy places like your staff canteen. After the roll out, email round the infographic to learners as a reminder. Seeing the key messages from the course again in this simple format will help embed learning.

Webinars

Anyone can host a webinar or tune in to attend and watch one. This means they deliver presentations to larger audiences across the world. Virtual College has produced 2 free webinars with ECPAT UK, explaining the best way to interview victims of child trafficking. They can be found at the following link.

Volunteers

Don’t forget your volunteers! Charities with limited resources available to train volunteers can use free resources to top up their face-to-face offering. Sharing videos and infographics can also be a good way of ensuring your volunteers feel involved with your organisation. Not all volunteers will have access to a computer while working, which may prevent them from accessing traditional training resources. Our free e-courses and resources are accessible via smart phones and tablets anywhere with an internet connection, so are ideal for volunteers working outside of a traditional office environment.

How can you ensure that there is engagement with resources?

Training works best when there is a campaign built around each course or piece of content. Ideally, try to include free resources in your learning and development (L&D) strategy, so there is a plan in advance when you roll out free courses to staff and volunteers.

Always consider how free resources can support the overall delivery of your L&D objectives. If they’re not supporting the organisation to meet their aims, it is best to wait until you find free content that does. Rolling out free training to avoid missing out on a free opportunity can have a longer-term impact on your organisation. This risks devaluing your training strategy as a whole. If learners feel e-learning is not providing them with a quality learning experience or is not relevant to their role it risks disengaging the them.

Virtual College has a range of free resources including downloadable infographics, interactive games, as well as our free overview courses designed to give an introduction of a topic and help you gain a basic understanding. For an example, please see our GDPR free course and sign up to our free overview.


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Helen McKay Author

Author: Helen McKay

Helen is a Learning Technology Advisor who leads the charity sector strategy, championing the benefits of learning technologies across the third sector. Helen has 10 years’ experience of working with a variety of charities and enjoys volunteering for a number of local charities in her free time.

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