Getting staff the training they need, when they need it and within budget is challenging at best. That's where CalSAC's eLearning comes in - providing solutions for a range of professional development challenges for pennies on the dollar. See below for ways to incorporate a blended learning approach using both online and on-site staff training as well as sample training plans, demonstrating the broad range of topics available to support your team's development.
Starting March 19, each month a new eLearning module will be made available for your use for free! This is a great opportunity to get your staff trained up for the summer, or to offer some refreshers to help your staff finish the school year strong. Mark your calendar for new training modules made available each month – to be used as much as you want and shared with whomever you wish.
This month’s featured module
Cultural Competence: Identity, Diversity and Engagement
Many programs engage children, youth, families, and staff from diverse cultural backgrounds. In order to best serve their community, out-of-school time program staff need to develop the vocabulary and skills to engage with people from different cultures. During this course, participants will explore how culture can impact and shape individuals, examine their own cultural identities and how these identities may impact their interactions with others, and levels of engagement with diverse groups.
By the end of this module, participants will:
Understand how culture can impact and shape individuals.
Examine their cultural identities and how these identities may impact their interactions with others.
Understand three levels of engagement with diverse groups.
CEUS Available: 0.1
Estimated time: 1 hour
This module is available from May 9 - June 10
June 11 - July 12: Including Children and Youth with Disruptive Behavior
Starting May 9th, you will also have free access to all previously featured trainings. These include:
The Role of Staff in Behavior Guidance
Guiding and managing the behavior of children and youth are some of the biggest challenges that out-of-school time program staff face. To gain greater confidence in guiding behavior, staff must look at their personal actions and reactions to the behaviors of the children and youth with whom they work. This course will help participants understand their reactions to the behaviors of children and youth and learn to use this information to respond more effectively.
Building Relationships with Children and Youth
An environment that fosters positive relationships between children, youth and adults is critical to creating a high quality program. This course supports participants in exploring how to build positive, meaningful relationships with children and youth, in order to plan programs that best meet their needs.
Sample Training Plans
Below are training plans that can guide which courses you assign to your learners. These can serve to blend online learning with on-site staff development as well as touch points each quarter to keep staff engaged, encouraged and growing throughout the year.
Solutions for Professional Development Challenges
NEW STAFF ORIENTATION
Whether it's training new staff at the start of the year, or on-boarding a late hire, there just isn't enough time to cover everything, which leads to important topics only being lightly touched upon or deferred. This causes a strain on new staff who don't feel fully prepared, and stretches managers, who struggle to teach staff additional topics on the job.
eLearning courses can be assigned ahead of orientation, covering foundational youth development topics that you can then deepen and practice in person. Late hires are able to complete a full onboarding plan online on their own, with follow up from a supervisor or peer.
Even when new team members are well trained, they may still struggle at first. They can only absorb so much during orientation.
eLearning is avalable throughout the year, so team members can continue to supplement their learning and strengthen their knowledge, based on identified needs and interests.
REQUIRED TRAINING GETS IN THE WAY OF ESSENTIAL TRAINING
Training required by a program or by law reduces the time available to cover important youth development or site-specific topics.
Required training can be taken online, using pre-approved modules (such as sexual harassment training, child abuse training or bloodborne pathogens training), so in-person staff development can focus on program-specific needs.
SKILL BUILDING FOR ADVANCEMENT
Promotions are desired, but individual training isn't available to gain the skills or experience staff members need to take on greater responsibility.
Unlimited, 24 hour access to eLearning allows team members to explore topics of their choosing on their own, building skills and leadership.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who created the content? How do I know it is of high quality?
The eLearning content was developed by leading childcare experts, including Roberta Newman, the National AfterSchool Association, Child Care Aware, and the California School-Age Consortium.
Roberta Newman helped to author the multi-course afterschool curriculum. The author of multiple training modules and books, Newman created credentialing modules for afterschool staff in the state of Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Arkansas; co-authored the Department of Defense School-Age Training and Credentialing Program (Caring for Children in School-Age Programs); and authored Breakthrough to Quality (18 articles on designing and implementing quality afterschool services). A national leader in the field, Roberta was a founding member of the National School-Age Child Care Alliance (now the National AfterSchool Association).
Does eLearning really work?
Yes! There have been many studies done by the Department of Education, among others, which have proven that online learning and blended learning are the most effective training methods. CypherWorx, the company who created the CollaborNation eLearning platform, recently partnered with Excel Beyond the Bell, a community of youth development leaders in San Antonio, Texas, to test the effectiveness of eLearning through their Out-of-School-Time (OST) courses (available as part of CollaborNation). In this study, participants were chosen to represent a wide range of experience—from new hires to seasoned professionals, from those with high school/GED education to those with masters or doctoral degrees, and included participants from front-line staff to directors. The study's findings showed remarkable results, proving that eLearning is effective regardless of demographic.
Is it possible to have a more customized experience?
Yes! One of the options available is to develop a privately-branded, customized site specifically for your organization. This would enable you to run advanced reporting on the training that is taking place, get unlimited access to a tool to build-your-own-online training courses, utilize a comprehensive event scheduling and communication feature, and more! Contact us to learn more and schedule a time to see all the features up close with a demo.
What happened to the free eLearning modules?
By transitioning to a subscription based model, we are able to significantly expand the professional development available to programs and professionals. In the past we had 36 modules to choose from and, after our transition, are now able to offer over 230 modules. All of these modules are available at a low annual cost, as little as $35/person per year, deepening value and access for the field.