Research in Practice Tailored Support – where Partners can choose from a wide range of in-house training programmes and resources, strategy development, evidence scopes and conference contributions – has long been one of the most popular aspects of our offer. In the light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, how could we recreate some of the unique in-house workshop experiences online?
The approach we have taken is to create vibrant online learning packages based on our in-house workshop menu. Each topic has a series of filmed resources, each one containing research messages and reflective questions – and Research in Practice organisational Partners can access them. The new resources are fully mapped against the Professional Capabilities Framework and Knowledge and Skills Statements, and linked in with other relevant resources on the Research in Practice website.
But we know that the value of training isn’t just in the materials, or the knowledge of the presenter. It’s also in interaction, sharing experiences, and reflecting together. To achieve this, each Research in Practice Partner can pick two topics (or the same topic twice) for live virtual seminars within their organisation. These sessions, run three times on the same day (of your choice) for separate groups of 10-12 delegates, offer the chance for real-time reflection and live exercises with our expert facilitators, using a platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
As a trainer myself, as well as member of the Research in Practice Tailored Support team, I was lucky enough to develop a session – on Analysis and Critical Thinking in Assessment. It’s a topic I’ve been delivering training in for almost ten years, but creating the filmed resources was really an amazing experience – I looked at the materials in a fresh light, adapting and updating the messages to online learning, and really trying hard to bring the passion that all of us trainers feel for our subject to the filmed resources. I hope you will like the results.
We have also been carefully looking at the research around what makes online learning effective. It has (understandably) been in the news so much, and we wanted to make sure we weren’t simply rushing into online learning, but developing something that would be as effective – if not more so – than live training sessions.
Although developing these sessions is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tailored Support team quickly realised that online learning can address a number of other issues for our partners. We know that taking 25 practitioners or managers out for a full-day training is a big ask during busy times (and are there any other times?) and this model will help organisations support a more flexible approach to learning.
In addition, especially since we’re likely to be living with the pandemic for a while to come, these sessions will be accessible to anyone in your organisation who might have caring responsibilities or health conditions, and be working at home for an extended period of time – and therefore unable to attend a face-to-face session. All of our filmed resources will have accompanying transcripts and will be subtitled.
Finally, because all of the filmed resources will be available to all partners of Research in Practice, this represents a substantial expansion of our offer. With face-to-face training, partners were limited to two topics per year. Now, anyone from the organisation can access as many of the filmed resources as they wish. We think the filmed resources will be great for in-house learning as well as individual reflection.
The Tailored Support team, which I am very proud to be a part of, has been working hard to convert these workshops to online delivery. We’re excited to share them with you soon and, as always, we very much value your feedback.