Collaboration and knowledge sharing are the key words in the ACTLearn partnership. We are constantly learning from each other in order to improve the quality of our work. In this newsletter you can read about how new members contribute, external vendors broaden our perspective, and you can add material to actlearn.org.

Read about
ACT Advocacy Academy - strengthening advocacy engagement across the ACT family
VSLA - capacity building: from an initial idea to your smart phone
Build your own actlearn.org site – the basics of how to make a training site
LWF uses Adobe Connect to train village leaders – first initiative was a success

ACT Advocacy Academy

ACT Alliance has taken a global initiative on capacity building to strengthen the advocacy engagement in the ACT family. It is called ACT Advocacy Academy and has now been launched on actlearn.org.

The concept of the Academy is built from online material on actlearn.org combined with live training modules (that be conducted later this year) in a blended learning flow that includes webinars, on demand lectures, personal coaching, knowledge sharing and implementation of concrete actions.

In the material on actlearn.org you will get an introduction on how to develop an advocacy plan, how to monitor your results, and the risks connected to advocacy engagement. There are also lectures on how to work with political dialogue and conduct campaigning and media work and in-depth training in four selected policy themes: Climate Justice, Sustainable Development, Humanitarian Advocacy and Gender Advocacy.

The ACT Advocacy Academy site is open for browsing now and the live training modules will run from August 2017- January 2018. Participation is free for ACT members and WCC members; partners can be invited and join the Academy for a participation fee.
Join now

Collaboration on VSLA

The training material on the Village Savings and Loan Associaions (VSLA) methodology was launched in March and can be downloaded to your PC from actlearn.org or to your Android tablet or smartphone from Google Play Store.

The training includes a simulation of a full VSLA cycle, as empirical research shows that experiencing the VSLA-group meeting oneself is the best way of learning how it works. The course is built as a simulation of the actual meetings, so the learner can have different roles in the group and learn one step at a time how the group works.

The project has been underway for two years from concept development, to testing of the simulation aspect, to developing and launching, and now to being evaluated. The outcome of the evaluation will be shared in upcoming edition of this newsletter and will create the basis for the next phase of the project.

The material is based solely on the "Field Officer Training Guide" published by VSL Associates, it is financed by FAHU, and the content has been developed by Learning Lab, Danish Forum for Microfinance and VSL Associates in close collaboration.

For the first time, Learning Lab has worked together with external vendors on a large-scale project, and both Sønc (illustrations) and Serious Games Interactive (programming) have contributed with valuable knowledge that Learning Lab will benefit from in the future. These experiences of collaboration will be drawn on for similar upcoming projects.

Christoffer Bengt was the project lead on the VSLA app, which involved facilitating communication and feedback between the many stakeholders in the project as well as content experts, illustrators, and programmers. The process of taking on a project with so much new ground has both identified best practices and lessons learned. If your organisation is working on a similar project and you would like to ask Christoffer about his experiences and recommendations, feel free to contact him at cbjo@dca.dk. 
 

Build your own actlearn.org site

Knowledge sharing is key in the ACTLearn partnership, and now you can get help to develop your own learning site on actlearn.org. Learning Lab has produced a short guide that covers the basics in creating a training.
The guide shows you how to
  • Create a site
  • Type in text
  • Upload and link to videos
  • Upload existing courses
  • Make quizzes and questionnaires
  • Establish and manage a forum
The guide consists of walkthroughs, video tutorials, downloadable PDFs and examples of quizzes and already existing courses that illustrate the diversity of the possibilities of actlearn.org.

The guide also includes a discussion of forums where you can ask questions and get additional information, tips and tricks on technical matters and on creating your own learning flow. 
Go to this resource

LWF – ACTLearn collaboration

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) joined the ACTLearn partnership this Spring and has already benefited from the collaboration when preparing for the LWF Assembly that took place in Namibia in May.

During the assembly, 20 small village groups, with members from all over the world, were set up to share perspective and discuss the different themes of the day. Each group had three leaders that would guide and moderate the discussions, and these 60 people needed training to ensure the best possible outcome.

LWF did eight live training sessions before the assembly with help from Learning Lab using the online meeting software Adobe Connect. Simone Sinn and Chad Rimmer from LWF conducted the training with just a short introduction to the software by Learning Lab’s Simon Skårhøj. Both trainers found Adobe Connect very easy to use and so lightweight that even people sitting in remote areas with low bandwidth could access the training.

Using this approach was a huge success; the participants gave positive feedback and felt very well prepared for leading the village groups. And as a note on the power of online training, other delegates at the assembly wished that they had had the opportunity to attend similar online training sessions before they went to Namibia.

LWF is now planning their next online learning initiative, this time in actlearn.org. It is an 8-module theology course using the features in the actlearn.org platform, powered by Moodle. The course will be a mix of videos, texts, forums and live sessions in Adobe Connect, and the content will be paced to offer the participants room for reflection. LWF is sure that this ongoing communication over time will improve the learner experience.


 
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