MS Society – Pro Bono 2011
Our challenge was to create two hours of e-learning for support volunteers on how to give information to people affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This includes information on the condition itself and the support services available to them.
The MS Society wanted the e-learning to form part of a blended approach that would help to improve the confidence of support volunteers in giving out quality information. Previously, support volunteers completed a four day face-to-face training workshop, with the topic-focused e-learning chosen from the second day of the workshop.
The new course, devised by Kineo and the MS Society, would complement the workshop and act as either an introduction or a refresher to the subject of information giving. Learners would not be asked to give advice but they’d need to answer questions effectively and signpost people to the right sources of advice.
The challenge was to get the balance right – not too much resource information, but enough to have a quality conversation and recognise when people might need help.
Our approach was to divide the topic into five core modules:
Within modules 2 to 5 the learner was presented information in three different formats:
Presenting the learning using these different techniques meant that we were able to cater for a range of individual learning styles. For example, a less confident learner (or theorist) may prefer to get all the learning through the ‘Know how’ before attempting the case study or task. However, if the learner prefers to learn by getting ‘stuck in’ (meaning they’re a pragmatist or an activist) then they may prefer to start with the case study or task and then refer to the ‘Know how’ if they get questions wrong.
The mock-ups below show the suggested look, feel and content of the course:
Main menu: learners can see how long each module will take and track their progress.
Animations: each topic within a module starts with an animation to grab the learner’s attention.
Expert characters: there is an expert character that appears on key screens to set tasks, introduce characters or provide tips and guidance for the learner. (The expert and her speech are at the top of the screen.)
Decision Points: during the case studies the learner is asked to choose the best action for the main character to take. These ‘decision points’ are multiple choice questions like the mocked-up example below.
Results and Benefits
This ‘Giving Quality Information’ course is being developed to enable support volunteers to feel more confident talking to people affected by MS through what can be very challenging times. It’s designed to give learners the tools to provide the best service possible to those affected by MS.
The course is currently in development, with a scheduled delivery date of early March 2012. Due to the importance of the subject, sufficient time has been scheduled in at every review stage to ensure that the end users get an input into the finished product. This process involves working closely with the learner to make sure it’s pitched at the right level and is a useful training tool for them.
With this in mind, we’re confident that when it’s rolled out nationally in March it will be a great success.
Phoebe White, Learning and Development Manager (Volunteers) at the MS Society, says: “Working with Kineo gives us the opportunity to offer our support volunteers more flexible ways to learn about their role in the aim to equip and empower them to provide a consistent level of support and signposting to people affected by MS at a local level, across the UK.”