Reflecting on a Blended Approach
I want to take a moment to celebrate Jane Vella and the incredible work of GLP.
I am a program officer at the International Budget Partnership, an organization working on budget transparency and accountability to advance social justice. We work closely with civil society organization in many regions of the world and currently, we are implementing a project to develop the skills of new organizations in 23 countries around the world. Implementing this project has been challenging because COVID changed much of the original plan. The main change is moving an in-person training into a blended approach using Ruzuku to engage digitally with participants. Here are some of the learnings I have reflected about this process so far:
1.- Working in Ruzuku or in any other online learning platform is all about iterations. Things don’t need to be perfect from the beginning. In fact, much of what happens at the very beginning is about prototyping, and that is ok. It takes a few rounds of tweaking and testing until you find content that is good enough to be deployed – and even then, we have to be open to more tweaking and edits to reach the needs of the audience.
2.- Defining responsibilities is an essential part of content creation. One of the challenges of Ruzuku is that once you made a change in the platform it cannot be undone. Best practice is always having one person in charge to make changes in one or many parts of the content. The main point is to minimize the loss of information by having multiple hands working in the same place.
3.- Beautify things! One of the learnings from this experience (for me personally) and from the assistance we have received from the colleagues of GLP is that there are many resources to make content more attractive. Think about images, fonts, formatting styles, hyperlinks, videos, colors. The right combination of these tools will make your content more impressive, likeable and enjoyable. It’s important to use them the same way you are confronted with content in websites. Think about how much time you spend reading content in boring websites or those full of adds as opposed to those that are pretty to the eye and feel “light”. In the words of a friend who is a designer “the goal is for readers to feel engaged enough to scroll to the bottom of the page”.
I hope these experiences are helpful for those of you thinking about digital learning, I hope I get the chance to give you and update of this project sometime in the future. My gratitude to you all.
International Budget Partnership