BELL – Award-Winning Blended Learning Programme
Kineo was privileged to partner with BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), a leading organisation providing after-school tutoring to elementary school children living in low-income, urban communities in the US. The project aim was to design and develop a comprehensive blended learning programme which enabled BELL to expand into new regions without a corresponding increase in training team size, and deliver training cost-effectively.
The programme has been awarded The Training in Action ‘Blended Learning and Performance Project of the Year’ by Training Magazine in the US. Read on to find out more about this innovative and rewarding project.
BELL’s success meant that it was growing fast and expanding into new regions in the US. BELL needed to extend the reach of its innovative training programmes beyond what was possible for its core training team to deliver. Its team turned to the potential of e-learning to provide an engaging, interactive solution that would enable it to extend beyond classroom training – to create a blended solution that could support a diverse target audience, requiring training simultaneously in multiple different regions. The e-learning needed to act as a prerequisite to classroom sessions, to enable a reduction in classroom time and cost.
After a competitive tender, Kineo was awarded the opportunity to partner with BELL. The project scope included:
Key Project Innovations
Making best use of Moodle: Kineo applied its extensive Moodle experience to create a highly customised platform for access to the e-learning. The Moodle included interactive graphical menus for: modules, learner blogs, a CEO blog to keep the site informative and up to date, a range of activities and assignments for learners to ensure they engaged and applied the learning, and a range of discussion forums actively managed by the BELL team.
Engaging e-learning with real BELL people: Kineo extended the capabilities of the Atlantic Link tool to provide a range of modules fully branded with the BELL look and feel. The preparation for the module included trips to BELL programmes in New York to ensure real BELL images of tutors and scholars featured in the programme. In many modules, the learner is placed in a challenging situation and needs to determine the next best step to take, receiving detailed feedback from a coach, and direction to supporting information to help them succeed. The modules make full use of custom animation, audio and video from BELL tutors and scholars, and a high degree of questioning and exploration.
Working effectively across time zones: the review feature in the Atlantic Link tool, together with strong project communication including frequent use of Skype for instant messaging and VoIP, and project meetings in the US and the UK, enabled the BELL and Kineo teams to work very effectively between Brighton and New York. We made maximum use of the overlap in time zones, and also worked in the evenings to ensure maximum shared online time.
Innovating with learner support: the wide audience for the BELL e-learning included learners who had limited experience with technology. To ensure those learners were supported in full, the Moodle included a ‘System checker’ which checked browser version, flash player and other key installs required on the learner’s machine and directed them to a download, if the required software wasn’t present. Support was provided by Kineo Open Source via email during the initial launch.
Enhanced reporting: a key success factor for the project was being able to report in detail on learner completion by module, by activity within modules, by region, and by school. Kineo developed a series of customised Moodle reports to provide BELL with all the management information required to manage performance and completion, and to enable them to be self-sufficient in running reports.
The submission to the TIA awards noted the following key results:
In giving the award, the judges noted: