Accompanied by a colleague of the Human Resources Department and the Project Implementation Team R&D visited the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV in the Hague to hear about their lessons learnt with E-learning.
The visit was hosted by Mrs. Naa-aku Acquaye Baddoo telling us about their experiences with learning and development of staff in a decentralised organisation and the role that e-learning can play in the process.
In a separate meeting with Consultant Human Performance Improvement, Mrs. Gon Mostert of Panta Rhei Consultancy explained the advantages, the criteria for e-learning and technical details of e-modules. We talked about how e-learning fits in the perceptions of learning, how to obtain the proper learning content and how to present this well organized in a learning portal. Gon shared how their basic understanding of capacity development was developed and provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)in New York.
An interesting demonstration was given of SNVs virtual platform the Connector, including the so-called Interactive Learning Spaces. The overall goal of this virtual environment is to make learning accessible in a management culture that actively endorses learning activities. What SNV especially learnt of their practices was to take into account that one of the biggest bottlenecks can be the diversity in bandwidth at decentralised locations. Even after investing in the availability of satellites this problem occurred.
An important lesson learnt was to start small and to let it grow as you may gradually learn from evaluations or glorious mistakes. A practical thing is to provide learning modules on a USB stick instead of downloading huge files in the various decentralised situations.
Very successful is SNV's virtual orientation programme about the SNV organisation, set up in different modules for all novice workers. A major advantage of the e-modules are the consistent messages in the initial phase of ones career within the organisation.
At SNV E-learning is always part of a blended learning approach with different work forms applied. Included are face to face meetings, self study (e.g. using the e-modules), dialogue and discussion platforms. We learned that a big variety of off the shelf training may be obtained from NetG, Microsoft and the Distance Learning Centre (UK). A provider in the Netherlands of video material for training purposes is the Training Facily Center (TFC).
Gon Mostert advised to keep the technology for the learner as simple as possible and to enhance the learning results by making optimal use of the visual as well as the auditive learning components.