Using 4 + 1 to evaluate the first 6 months of our pioneering e-learning project in India

18 August 2016

At the second national conference on person-centred approaches in India in November 2015, together with our partners from IPCAI, we launched a pioneering e-learning platform, which teaches learners in India about the concept of person-centred approaches, and how they can be applied in different contexts across Indian society.

Mathew and Anish spent time in the UK working with us to develop the platform, and we were delighted to complete it in time to launch it at the conference. Given the ambitious plans that IPCAI harbour for the spread of person-centred approaches in India, the e-learning can be used as a vehicle for the spread of knowledge of person-centred practices in India.

In addition to the obvious educational element of the e-learning, there is also a significant financial benefit for IPCAI. Thanks to the generosity of Dimensions, IPCAI are able to sell e-learning licences in India in order to generate an income, which we hope in the future will provide sufficient income for their practices and will allow them to become self-sufficient and sustainable as an organisation. After the conference, we set some ambitious targets for year one of e-learning sales and development:

  • 120 e-learning licences to be sold

  • 4 separate groups of e-learners to be trained

  • IPCAI life membership to be significantly increased, by recruiting e-learners and mentors to join the team

The way we were to pilot the project was as follows – each e-learning licence would cost R5000 (R4000 for members). Given the fact that the concepts of both e-learning and person-centred practices are very new in India, Mathew and Anish agreed that each e-learner should be allocated a mentor, who would be paid a proportion of the fee to provide on-going support to the e-learners. After the first 6 months of the project, we’re delighted that IPCAI have managed to recruit 40 people to complete the e-learning. Although it’s not quite hitting the target that we set out at the start, we’re on course to have four groups complete the e-learning in the first 12 months, which I believe constitutes exciting progress.

 Having said that, we want to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to encourage people to sign up as e-learners, which will aid the spread of person-centred practices in India, but will also allow IPCAI to grow and thrive as an organisation. Therefore, together with Mathew and Anish, we completed a 4 + 1 evaluation to look at our progress over the past 6 months, but also to identify any positive actions that could improve our practice going forward. It was a wonderful session, and we had lots to celebrate, but I’d like to share with you the actions that we came up with, and how we’re going to amend our approach in the coming months:

  1. Develop a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy, specifically for e-learning sales and promotion, identifying potential groups to work with and utilising the most effective way to engage with them.

  2. Review and potentially edit some of the content of the e-learning. According to IPCAI, many of the tools are too hard to explain and don’t translate well in order to fit with Indian culture. We believe by making it slightly easier, we will be able to encourage more people to complete the course.

  3. Analyse the role of the mentor and explore whether we can move towards a group mentor role, as this will be both time and cost saving, without compromising on the quality of the service.

  4. Improve the certificate. In India, accreditation and certification in an approach is a unique selling point and is likely to drive sales and encourage people to participate. Given this knowledge, we are looking to create a new certificate to reflect this practice.

  5. Develop a consistent and professional pitch that can be delivered at the end of workshops and events to a variety of stakeholders. By focusing on what’s important in a pitch, we believe that we can encourage more people to sign up to the e-learning.

 AS we have only recently completed the pilot phase of the e-learning project, it is wonderful to see so many people from different walks of life sign up and benefit from its’ content. However, it’s also important that we are constantly learning and refining our approach, so that we can offer the most efficient and effective service. The 4 + 1 tool has proven to be an excellent means for us to evaluate our approach so far, and to collaboratively improve on our work into the future.

Ross @rossoross

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