Developing an e-Learning Champion model

There is no single perfect e-Learning Champion model. However, several models have been developed and piloted over the past five years.

The e-guide model

This programme was designed for the Adult Community Learning (ACL) by NIACE. In the ACL sector, many tutors work just a few hours a week and are not paid to attend training. In an attempt to up-skills ACL tutors, a three day training programme was developed whereby small numbers of tutors would be selected by Local Authorities to attend a 2 day intensive workshop on new e-Learning technologies. They were paid for the time they attended the course. At the end of the 2 days they had hands-on experience of a selection of up-to-the-minute technologies such as Wikis, Blogs, on-line surveys etc. They would draw up a plan to cascade their newly acquired skills and knowledge to colleagues.

After a couple of months, e-Guides would meet up again and compare their experiences. A small budget was allocated to each of the e-Guides’ cascade action plans and this was paid by results. E-Guides provided support, ad hoc training and information to colleagues. They did not present themselves as experts but willing helpers.

Benefits of this model

Overall feedback suggested that participants got a great deal of pleasure from this approach. Many found a new love for teaching and were delighted with the speed at which they acquired new and impressive skills.

On returning to the workplace, success in cascading the skills to colleagues was determined by the attitudes of their managers. E-guides needed time to develop and deliver training for colleagues and support and help in promoting training events (which were often tagged onto the end of staff meetings).  A supportive and sympathetic manager was key.

Overall, the evaluations showed that the e-Guides programme has been very successful in raising awareness of the benefits of new technology as a teaching tool and has given non-technical people huge confidence in their ability to create interactive content. The programme is now in its 6th year.

Project models for e-Learning Champions.

Various other project-based models have been developed. They usually work on the basis of an external e-Learning `expert’ working with teams of people in their own workplace. The team would be exposed to a variety of learning media and they would decide on a specific e-Learning project that they would develop together over a period of time. The expert would provide support over several months and the project would be delivered and evaluated.

Other models

There are many models, the simplest being to train up individuals within each department or organisation to offer ad hoc support to colleagues and have a general e-Learning awareness role. Such individuals would communicate online or have quarterly meetings to stay in touch and share experiences. This is a good example of peer support, which is proved to be an effective method of cascading ideas and information.

Why use this type of model to promote e-Learning?

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