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Building a consistent online training center for a Christian organization

one-hope-canada Global

One Hope Canada is a distinctly Christian organization whose mission is to present the Gospel, particularly to those having the least opportunity to hear of Christ and especially to children and youth, and to disciple believers for living and serving through His Church.

Founded in 1927 as Canadian Sunday School Mission, One Hope Canada develops life-long followers of Jesus by clearly communicating the Gospel through Bible camps, community ministries, and other innovative ministry strategies. They partner with 400 local churches across the country, reaching more than 30,000 children and youth each year.

One Hope Canada has both full-time employees and summer volunteers across the whole country and uses CYPHER as a consistent online training center. Over 3,000 students and employees have been trained with the help of CYPHER Learning® since 2017.

Roland McQuade, Director of Credentialing and Frontline Resources of One Hope Canada, shared how this organization uses CYPHER and how the platform helps achieve training goals.

Why did you need a learning platform?

Each year we at One Hope Canada organize summer Bible camps. We needed to leverage online training to educate part-time employees and volunteers involved on general topics such as our child safety policy, communicating and caring well for children, and the core values that direct all we do. We want them all to follow the same protocol and procedures, and having CYPHER as a consistent online training center helps with this.

We also have our full-time missionaries who have to complete a two-year credentialing, and a part of this orientation is also inside our CYPHER platform, where we created a set of learning modules for this purpose. 

What made you consider CYPHER as a viable solution?

Before 2015 I used Moodle for a year, but found it not robust in any way, so I started looking for an alternative. I was surprised to discover how many LMSs there are out there. Then I found CYPHER Learning which was a delight! I found the platform so easy to use and navigate, so that was my deciding factor. Also, I really appreciated how quickly the support team responded. 

In 2017, CYPHER's pricing for business went over our budget, and I found their pricing for entrepreneurs suited us better. We looked at our real needs and, even though this option has fewer features, I understood this could be a good solution for One Hope Canada. For example, managing scores and percentages of success wasn't essential for us. So CYPHER is still a good fit for what we're doing.

What improvements have you noticed since using CYPHER?

I can’t say I use the full capacity of the platform, as I’m the one in the organization managing it. In addition, some of the features are just not relevant for us, such as groups, as I don’t work with a class of learners at once. However, I do want to appreciate how you work on the platform’s development, fixing bugs and making constant improvements. For example, within the time I’ve been using CYPHER, there was an improvement with this video feature that requires viewing before moving on. I remember I saw it on the list of what was coming up, and I could hardly wait until CYPHER added that feature!

What do you like most about CYPHER?

I discovered earlier that some of our younger students are not that diligent and would just skip over the teaching videos. So one of the features I've been using a lot is embedded videos and the automated rules to prevent that: now my students can’t move on before they watch the video till the end. Also, I'm very grateful that CYPHER doesn't have a weekly limit on the number of videos to upload because sometimes you just have a lot. For instance in Vimeo, you can only upload a certain amount in a week.

Also, I think my students love the fact that you can play the videos at different speeds. You can speed them up, in case your brain can absorb the information at twice the speed and get through it in half the time. 

How does CYPHER help you to engage your learners?

The long answers assignment feature helps to engage the students in the content, and we also use it in a sort of hybrid learning: for example, after the in-person event is over, we ask them to go back online and leave their feedback about it.

I also use long answer feedback to provide a deeper and more personalized one, so the students don’t feel that some automated system reads what they wrote. 

Summer volunteers are given enrollment codes, so they start to engage even before the training by creating their profiles and getting access to the courses. The short duration of the courses also helps to involve them better, as they dive into the topic faster and have a better sense of accomplishment.

How has CYPHER helped your organization grow?

Since setting up our CYPHER online training center, we have seen growth in consistent policy training, making the safety and care of our campers more consistent. This, in return, has given parents greater assurance that their children will be well cared for, no matter which of our 40 camps they choose.

Consistent training has also left our employees feeling well cared for, leading to greater longevity in serving with us.

Since we cover the training common to all our camps, our local trainers can spend their resources and time on training specific to their camp.

We don’t need additional staff to launch and maintain the training, so we can recruit other specialists specific to the needs of the local camp.

CYPHER allows us to have both an online training center and a resource area on the same platform. We often see students returning to the information and materials months after taking their training.

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