With the right team in place, your organization can establish and run a successful online health worker training program that meets your team’s needs.
Do you know the difference between a great learning experience and a time-suck? Community health workers require ongoing training to keep their skills and minds sharp and be better able to serve their communities.
High-quality online training for community health workers is essential for the success of your organization and the people you serve. And the only way to create an online learning program that works and complements your organization is to plug into the right brainpower. But your team of online health training staff will look a little different from your average health training staff. The best programs have teams that are well trained in working with an online student base.
Here are the essential members you’ll need for your team.
11 Positions Your CHW Training Team Needs For Success
A common issue with online learning programs, and project management in general, is having too many people making decisions, which in the end, becomes no one making decisions.
To prevent this, you’ll need someone whose role is specifically this. The executive decision-maker is an executive-level manager who is an advocate for the team and able to approve any necessary expenditures. The decision-maker is also the key approver on all decisions — especially ones that require a budget.
This person may not attend meetings. But at least they review executive summaries or meet with the project leader of the team for status updates. Having executive-level support is essential for a successful program.
An executive-level decision-maker must be internal.
The project manager oversees the full life cycle of the project. This manager also interfaces with the internal client and e-learning team, providing schedules and organizing deliverables so the project stays on track. The project manager ensures the team has the information it needs to get the job done.
Many times, training teams hire an external project manager to lead the project, thinking this will remove the internal load. But that’s not the case. You can hire an outside project manager, but they should work very closely with an internal liaison.
Depending on the nature of your course, and if you’re creating it internally, you will need an instructional designer and/or a writer. The instructional designer takes the instructional material and arranges it in a way that’s informative, engaging and serves your pedagogic goals. In other words, they design the online course. Instructional designer Christy Tucker has a nice article on what she does for a living.
This may or may not be the same as a writer. We at Talance tend to work with an independent curriculum writer who specializes in editorial content. This person works closely with the instructional designer to create an interactive course that educates.
Both of these roles can be appointed to outside consultants.
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
The instructional designer or curriculum writer works with subject matter experts to develop the content.
A subject matter expert is someone with a thorough understanding of the topic at hand. They can be researchers, professors, and other authoritative figures in their field.
You don’t necessarily need a subject matter expert in every training team. But they are a valuable resource, especially if the topic is new. In this case, the instructional designer may research the subject via books and journals or interview experts in the field.
A subject matter expert can be an internal staff member or an outside professional.
The editor improves writing and handles proofreading. It is widely believed by many that they can edit their own work, but this is never true. Another common belief is that anyone is qualified to edit (rarely true).
Editing is where too many administrators skimp, and that’s a mistake. Working with a qualified editor, your final product will better engage your audience.
An editor can be an outside hire. And in rare circumstances, you may have one staffed as part of your training team.
A graphic designer overlaps in some ways with an instructional designer, depending on the course. However, the chief output of the graphic designer is images, iconography, animations, the look and feel of the course, and enhanced stock photos to fit project needs.
A graphic designer can be a qualified internal staff member, but make sure they are indeed qualified. Otherwise, use an outside designer.
If you’ve seen grainy video that’s clearly recorded on a phone, you’ll realize the importance of a media specialist as part of your training team.
The media specialist produces and edits audio and video. This is almost certainly an outside consultant, but depending on the volume of your work, it may be worth having someone on staff.
The technical producer understands techspeak and can assemble all the elements into a running course. This training team member will create and apply custom CSS, mark up pages with HTML, add interactivity, and provide the technical coding necessary to ensure the course can interface with a learning management system (LMS) if required.
The technical producer is usually from a third party or vendor.
The LMS administrator is an expert at configuring the learning platform, from enrolling participants to creating online quizzes.
If you host your own platform, this could be an internal staff member, or it can be someone from the managed hosting company you use. At CHWTraining, we offer both off-the-shelf and custom training through our own LMS, so we can fill your training needs regardless of what they are. Book a consultation to learn more about our work.
The tester runs quality assurance (QA) checks by testing the course from a technical perspective and ensuring it matches the way managers planned the course. Testers usually work off testing plans so they can make sure learners can use each part of the system.
A tester is usually from a third party or vendor, although it’s smart to perform internal testing as well.
Facilitators are trainers with experience in both in-person and online instruction who help learners create a cohesive learning community in which they share ideas, apply their knowledge, give feedback, and make reflections on their work.
You can use your existing training staff, but they should have a background in online learning or be trained to do so.