The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), a state-run non-profit, has provided training and technical assistance for 60 domestic violence programs across Pennsylvania for the last 40 years. Each year this statewide network assists more than 85,000 victims of domestic violence by providing emergency shelter, counseling, support groups and court accompaniment.
In Pennsylvania, domestic violence advocates are required to complete 40 hours of training before working with survivors. In the past, much of PCADV’s training was classroom-based and coalition staff in Harrisburg, PA traveled to train volunteers in local domestic violence programs. These training trips sometimes involved round trips of as much as ten hours.
Around 2010, PCADV administrators began thinking about online learning as a way to both save on travel time and to simplify course completion tracking. At that point, the coalition had two Adobe Captivate licenses but no in-house expertise. When funding became available, PCADV hired a full-time instructional designer to create modules, but the non-profit didn’t know what to do with them. The non-profit realized it needed an LMS.
High Travel Time & Costs
PCADV paid hundreds of dollars per trip to deliver in-person training, while advocates traveling to PCADV offices in Harrisburg could spend up to 10 hours on a round trip and $100+ to attend a single day training seminar. With budgets dwindling, this travel became cost-prohibitive, and PCADV sought to transform its existing classroom training into a different format to save time and money.
Unknown Annual Budget
As a private non-profit, the PCADV is dependent on government funding and private donations. These donations can vary. From July 2015 until January 2016, a prolonged budget impasse in Harrisburg meant the PCADV received no state funding. Without the right support, their existence and work were at risk. PCADV needed an LMS hosting partner that understood how non-profit budgets work. PCADV found that partner in Remote-Learner.
While PCADV already had its own modules, Remote-Learner provided them with supplemental support, known as SmartStart, to take the online learning to the next level. “I can’t say enough how incredibly supportive they were and how they were always absolutely willing to problem solve with me,” said PCADV training institute manager Tracy Griffith. “They took the time to understand my needs and how they might be different from a corporate environment.”
PCADV did not want to rely on two internal IT staffers to maintain the server or manage upkeep. Remote-Learner’s cloud-based hosting saved resources and time and positioned the PCADV to grow bigger and better.
Remote-Learner experts were available throughout the implementation to ensure Griffith had what she needed to succeed, with ongoing consultations on the user experience and overall look and feel of the training site. Beyond design and hosting support, Remote-Learner understands nonprofits and the stress around budget conversations.
Cost-Effectively Increased Training Session Volume
PCADV now provides volunteers with a list of courses, 24/7 access to them on the PCADV site and availability for secure deeper discussions through the LMS. “The team loves [e-Learning] as a great alternative to spending a lot of their staff time and resources on creating the training and delivering the training,” said Griffith. “We hear over and over again that it’s just so wonderful because it’s interactive and it’s different.”
Access Anywhere & Anytime
PCADV’s new advocate trainers report the current training portal – hosted and managed by Remote-Learner – is easy to use and superior to classroom training alternatives. People with varying schedules and locations now receive the same quality training from anywhere.
Improved Engagement & Real Time Reporting
Users can quickly and easily log into the PCADV site where Remote-Learner’s ELIS suite allows PCADV volunteers and advocates to create learning programs. The platform makes reporting and analytics easier!
Expanded Coalition-Wide Curricula
PCADV continues to do classroom training, but the addition of an online learning platform allows it to offer the core education on demand while freeing staff resources for expanded courses. Remote-Learner currently helps the nonprofit offer 28 courses for the advocates and volunteers.
In a 2015 PCADV survey of training coordinators at the 60 statewide domestic violence programs:
- 87% of respondents said online learning allows new staff, interns, and volunteers to take training between volunteer training sessions;
- 84% of respondents said online learning saved time for staff responsible for training;
- 40% of respondents said online learning saved money by reducing staff time to prepare and deliver training