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January 19, 2023

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Building a consistent online training center for a Christian organization

one-hope-canada Global
one-hope-canada

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 INDIE LMS as a consistent online training center. Over 3,000 students and employees have been trained with the help of INDIE since 2017.

Roland McQuade, Director of Credentialing and Frontline Resources of One Hope Canada, shared how this organization uses INDIE LMS 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 with dozens of part-time employees and volunteers involved. Online training is a great way to educate them 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 INDIE LMS 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 INDIE platform, where we created a set of learning modules for this purpose. 

What made you consider INDIE LMS 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. By the way, I was surprised to discover how many LMSs there are out there. Then I found CYPHER LEARNING which was a delight! I first found MATRIX, as INDIE was not launched then, and found the platform so easy to use and navigate, so it was my deciding factor. Also, I really appreciated how quickly the support responded. 

In 2017, MATRIX pricing became over our budget, and I found INDIE. We looked at our real needs and understood this could be a good solution for One Hope Canada: for example, managing scores and percentages of success wasn't essential for us. And since then, INDIE has been a good fit for what we're doing.

What improvements have you noticed since using INDIE LMS?

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 INDIE, 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 they got that function in there! 

Did INDIE LMS elevate your online learning experience during the pandemic somehow?

The pandemic did not have a significant impact. Our annual in-person conference was delayed a year, but in terms of training, we were already set up online, which was a huge advantage then. 

What do you like the most about INDIE LMS and why?

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 INDIE doesn't have a weekly limit on the number of videos to upload because sometimes you just have a lot. Like Vimeo, you can only upload certain amounts in that.

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 INDIE help you to engage your learners?

The long answers assignment feature helps to engage the students in the content more, 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 does INDIE help your organization grow?

Since setting up our INDIE 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.

INDIE 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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