Content was evaluated at the end of each module. There were a total of 122 responses to this question. 86% of respondents rated the content of the training as either “excellent” or “very good”. Interestingly, more people chose “very good” in the first two modules that were more theory based; “excellent” was chosen more often in the final modules that included a number of practical tips and tools.
The content of the training followed the National Foundational Training in Family Literacy practitioner’s manual, and additional Ontario-specific content was added. Participants were assigned chapters of the manual prior to the online sessions where main topics from the manual were covered. The online sessions were not simply a restatement of the content from the manual, rather, they were an opportunity to further explore and discuss the various topics covered.
In order to accomplish this, the course developers researched and included relevant websites and other online sources of information. Thanks to the many features included with Centra, we were able to link directly to many of these sites during the actual course delivery. This proved to be a popular component of the course.
Each online session ran from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. with one hour for lunch and a 10-minute break in both the morning and the afternoon. Information was delivered using a mini-lecture format, accompanied by PowerPoint Slides. On average, eight interactive activities were also included during each session. To ensure that we were able to effectively deliver the material in the time provided, course facilitators did a rehearsal prior to “going live” to check for timing, relevance of the activities and overall content.
The PowerPoint slide presentation (over 100 slides per workshop) was sent out to participants in advance so that they could take notes and have a written record of the course. During the online activities, facilitators added notes to the screen; these screens could be printed out during the workshop.
Most of the workshop content was developed in 2002/3, when the training was first offered. Based on evaluations and feedback from that course, we revised and reorganized material the following year. We also updated websites and other information where applicable. In 2004/5, material was further revised and information updated as needed .