E-learning for Non-Profits and Associations: A Book of Successful Case Studies

Table of Contents
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................ 2  Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 2  Comprehensive Instructor Training Curriculum.................................................................. 4  Continuing Nursing Education: End-of-Life and Palliative Care .......................................... 6  Continuing Nursing Education: Mentoring .......................................................................... 8  Mortgage Banking Certification Simulation ....................................................................... 10  Financial Literacy Casual Game ........................................................................................ 13  Management for Afterschool Program Administrators ...................................................... 16  Enspire’s Solutions ............................................................................................................ 18 

E-learning for Non-Profits and Associations

Executive Summary
Most e-learning conferences, websites, and guides focus on e-learning for big corporations. However, non-profits and associations have different goals, values, and cultures—and require a different approach to training. Audiences are different. Management structures are different. Expectations are different. This e-book contains case studies on a variety of elearning programs created for non-profits and associations and how those programs achieved their specific goals.

E-learning and Simulations
According to Training magazine, about 30% of the hours adults spend on training is through online learning.1 E-learning is no longer simply a means of saving money on teachers, travel expenses, and training facilities—elearning has become an essential learning medium due to its effectiveness, its ability to reach anyone in the world, and its potential to create transformational learning experiences.  This evolution has led to a diverse collection of advanced training products and services. The market now encompasses everything from basic “page-turner” slideshows to sophisticated simulations. In fact, the term “elearning” includes a wealth of technologies and techniques including asynchronous (traditional) and synchronous (web conferencing) e-learning, infrastructure and authoring technologies, simulations and serious games, and rapid development tools. However, e-learning varies just as much in quality and effectiveness—an interested buyer must recognize the characteristics that
Interactivities and realistic scenarios hold learners attention and improve knowledge retention.

distinguish the good from the bad.


“2007 Industry Report”, Training, November/December 2007
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Initiating a custom e-learning program, whether built from scratch or adapted from offline training materials, can be a substantial investment. Yet poorly designed e-learning programs result in disengaged learners who do not retain knowledge or skills. Some learners might drop out of a course if the content is not relevant and engaging. Clearly, you want to be sure your e-learning solutions produces a real return on your investment—but how? Making proper learning design choices can be a challenge. Through this ebook, you will learn how other non-profits and professional associations developed their successful online learning curricula.

Case Studies
This e-book contains five case studies of successful e-learning and simulation programs designed for non-profits and associations. While each organization’s goals and solutions greatly vary, they all developed engaging and interactive programs for employees, members, and volunteers. ► ► The American Heart Association created a new approach to train 250,000 volunteer instructors on basic teaching and training skills. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses built its library of online Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) courses by creating two specialty nursing courses set in a virtual hospital. The Mortgage Bankers Association developed a realistic business strategy and management simulation to serve as a capstone activity. D2D Fund developed a video game that teaches low-income individuals how to use debit and credit cards wisely. The National Center for Community Education created a program to increase consistency among after-school program administrators.

► ►

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Comprehensive Instructor Training Curriculum
The American Heart Association (AHA) needed a new approach to train its 250,000 volunteer instructors on core teaching skills. AHA chose Enspire Learning to develop an online train-the-trainer curriculum that features quality video and Enspire’s signature storytelling approach.

Broadcast-quality video served as an effective means for storytelling and maintaining the audience’s interest.

The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency with the mission to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. AHA approached Enspire Learning with the need to train a diverse and geographically dispersed audience of over 250,000 volunteer instructors. These instructors had varied backgrounds and educational experiences and many had never received formal instructor training. They understood the principles of CPR and advanced cardiac life support, but their expert knowledge did not always translate into understanding effective teaching skills. Additionally, AHA had little means to mandate training to their volunteer instructors. The solution needed to be seen as immediately valuable to the instructor corps to encourage participation.

Because of the size and distributed nature of the audience, AHA needed a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable solution. Furthermore, they needed to create a curriculum interesting enough to engage an audience of volunteers. Ultimately, Enspire and AHA decided on a blended approach, combining elements of video, instructor-led, and online training. In total, Enspire
Learning content is reinforced by frequent interactivities throughout the content.

created ten hours of online training, plus additional instructor-led support

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materials, including workbooks, instructor manuals, DVDs, and performance support tools. Enspire used a narrative approach, communicating lessons through compelling characters and storylines. Enspire exposed the learners to both positive and negative scenarios and provided regular exercises, such as an interactive “um” counter and activities where you click on virtual students, to reinforce learning. The program was designed to go beyond the skills needed to perform CPR and focus on greatly improving the classroom.
During this exercise, learners are asked to count the “ums” during this speaker’s presentation to illustrate the negative effect of nervous pauses and tics while teaching.

Enspire delivered the blended program to a steering committee of AHA leadership in mid-2006. It was well-received by the organization and officially released to the instructor audience in the fall of 2006. The audience can take the courses online, via CD-ROM, in an instructor-led classroom (through a DVD version), or in a combination of the three mediums. AHA and Enspire made the material flexible so that each AHA training center could choose which delivery option was best for them. The e-learning portion of the AHA Train-the-Trainer curriculum was awarded a Silver Medal in the 2006 Horizon Interactive Awards.

Return on Investment
The curriculum continues to be used by AHA. Since the curriculum’s launch, AHA has conducted several studies about the efficacy of the program using Kirkpatrick’s levels of training evaluation.*

Evaluation Type* Level III: Application Level IV: Business Impact Level V: Return on Investment

AHA Findings Candidates who had completed the new instructor training course were better instructors than those who had completed the traditional course. There is a direct link between the science of resuscitation and implementation of science in saving lives. That link is education. Education is at the center of the Heart Association’s mission. Users paid AHA $25 for the course. Based on the development costs and number of courses sold, AHA calculated the ROI to be 153.8% *Levels I and II not included in this report.

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Continuing Nursing Education: End-of-Life and Palliative Care
The American Association of CriticalCare Nurses (AACN), the world’s largest specialty nursing organization, needed a course teaching end-of-life and palliative care for its Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) curricula. They chose Enspire to create a virtual hospital in which nurses could learn about and practice these skills.
The virtual hospital contains five virtual patients with unique situations. Learners have the power to decide when and how to care for these patients.

Nurses are often charged with providing end-of-life care and emotional support for both patients and their loved ones. Under pressure, nurses can respond in ways that do not aid, and may even be detrimental to, dealing with the end of one’s life. In order to provide nurses with realistic practice handling challenging end-of-life experiences, AACN sought to create an elearning course containing believable characters and plausible hospital situations in which critical-care nurses could both learn about end-of-life care and apply their knowledge.

Enspire created a virtual hospital in which critical-care nurses become part of the staff and interact with several end-of-life care situations. To emphasize the gravity of these situations and provide an added effect of realism, Enspire used televisionquality video and actors to provide background on patients and their families. Learners review patients’ files before entering their rooms, monitor patients’ symptoms, and provide assistance based on their assessments. The high degree of detail and raw emotion present in each character
Learners make care decisions to ease patients’ pain and support their families during end-of-life and palliative care.

were necessary to provide a realistic, educational situation.

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The course also emphasizes taking care of oneself while on the job. A Self Care Meter reminded nurses to take time for leisure to reduce personal stress. Periodically learners visit the self care section of the course and virtually participate in a stress reducing activity— such as taking a walk outside or making plans to see a movie with a friend—to keep the Self Care Meter high. A mentor character guides the learners initially, but then allows them to explore the hospital and apply their knowledge independently, thereby raising their confidence.
The Self Care Meter reminds learners that to give the best care, they must also take care of their own health by participating in leisure activities to reduce stress.

AACN rolled the final product out to hospitals across the country. The course is used as part of the Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) curricula. As a result of this training, critical-care nurses across America now have a higher degree of confidence when confronted with end-of-life care situations and are better able to serve their patients and loved ones. AACN stakeholder Linda Bell said, “I have already recommended you to several other nursing and health care organizations. I would work with you all again in a heartbeat!”

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Continuing Nursing Education: Mentoring
AACN chose Enspire Learning to design an interactive virtual hospital to train preceptors how to effectively mentor incoming nurses, thereby creating a confident, educated nursing staff.

AACN sought a method to more effectively teach newly minted preceptors, or mentors, how to educate incoming nurses. Because each hospital is different, a
Newly minted preceptors mentor several preceptees as they adjust to working at AACN Virtual Hospital.

standard training system for preceptors does not exist. As a result, preceptors are often ill-equipped for their new role. AACN believed an elearning course addressing the roles of a preceptor—that of educator, role model, and socializer—would better prepare new preceptors. The course was intended to improve nurse competence and confidence, and provide best practice guidance and resources for use in the nursing environment.

AACN chose Enspire to design a course that could interactively communicate the requirements of a preceptor and fit comfortably into a veteran nurse’s busy schedule. The three-hour course is divided into short modules that fit easily into a nurse’s day and can be accessed in any order, giving the learner more control over the experience. Virtual preceptees at different stages of their training and experience interact with the user and allow learners to apply new practices and ideas. The user practices essential functions of being a preceptor, from analyzing learning needs and writing growth plans to developing team-building
Learners participate in frequent interactivities to select best practices for given situations.

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activities. Course multimedia design included a custom photo shoot to illustrate preceptees of diverse backgrounds as they moved through their training. Preceptees have unique stories and attitudes toward their roles at AACN Virtual Hospital. Each section contains interactive case studies, test-your-knowledge questions, and
Learners identify challenges that their preceptees have and develop solutions to overcome the issues.

“hot spots” which encourage learners to explore the course’s PDF resources for clarification and elaboration of key concepts. The final product provides preceptor nurses, both inexperienced and seasoned, with the information, practice, and resources to prepare them for the unique challenges they will face in their day-to-day work.

The course was launched in July 2008. Representatives at AACN were pleased with the course and believe it is both worthwhile and enjoyable for those who use it. The course is part of the Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) curricula. “I truly felt like a partner in the development and implementation of this project… Working with [Enspire’s production team] was a treat,” AACN project manager Linda Bell said. “They were always responsive and available for our concerns and kept the project on target.”

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Mortgage Banking Certification Simulation
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) sought to revamp a 4-day Strategic Planning class for its School of Mortgage Banking, a prestigious gateway into senior management for mortgage banking professionals. MBA chose Enspire Learning to create a business strategy and management simulation that closely models the inner workings of a mortgage bank to serve as a capstone exercise.

The simulation interface provides users with distinct streams of information including news reports and market conditions.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, the national association that represents the real estate finance industry, provides more than 350,000 people with research services, standards, education, and certifications. CampusMBA is the MBA’s education arm, providing dozens of classes, curricula, seminars, and certifications. CampusMBA’s School of Mortgage Banking (SOMB) curriculum is the real estate finance industry's standard in comprehensive residential mortgage training. SOMB’s third class, “Strategic Planning for Mortgage Bankers,” was a simulation-based class centered on outdated technology that limited the MBA’s flexibility. The MBA needed a new simulation to create a learning experience that: ► Adapts to changing market conditions. Due to rapid changes in regulatory environments and the competitive landscape, MBA required a simulation that could change as the industry evolves. Provides users with a holistic learning experience. Graduates of the SOMB program are typically on a trajectory within their organizations that leads to increasing cross-departmental responsibilities. The previous simulation, while it effectively modeled some aspects of the mortgage banking industry, did not give users a holistic view of the business, decreasing the relevance of the simulation.

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Blends well into the curricula. The past simulation experience was combined with lecture-based strategic planning lessons that did not include active decision-making. MBA wanted the simulation to serve as the lesson also.

These design imperatives were required for more than just a sound learning experience. The class is open enrollment and a high-quality experience would directly affect MBA revenues, as well as direct sales of the class to large mortgage banks that license the class in-house.

MBA chose Enspire Learning to develop an entirely new simulation. The Enspire simulation design team and MBA’s subject matter experts collaborated to design the most effective approach. Enspire chose to use its Spreadsheet Simulation Engine (SSE) to support the development of this simulation. Enspire’s SSE is a development toolkit that puts the power of creation directly into the hands of the designer, reducing the amount of programmer time needed. Traditional data-driven simulations (sometimes called spreadsheet simulations) require significant programming time to create the code that represents economic relationships, stores parameters, and captures decisions. This leads to
Users can make over 100 distinct decisions during each turn of the simulation mimicking the kinds of decisions that a mortgage company manager makes on a daily basis.

increased cost of development and risk for errors. SSE allows designers with little-to-no programming knowledge to use Microsoft Excel® to build complex models, and then they can deploy the simulation through a simple web-based interface. In the case of MBA, if interest rates in the real-world marketplace change, updating the simulation simply requires changing a table in the spreadsheet rather than reprogramming a portion of the simulation. Enspire focused on integrating the simulation into the curriculum. Before engaging with the simulation, users were presented with a case study to analyze and serve as the basis of a strategic plan. Enspire based the case

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study on the simulation model, so the strategic plan reinforced the simulation experience itself. Enspire employed an iterative design process that hinged on frequent testing and feedback from the client. The simulation went through several prototypes that were vetted to focus groups of MBA employees, business partners, and potential students.

MBA successfully deployed the simulation to an audience of 30 students in May of 2008 who played the simulation over the course of 4 days. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from the users. The simulation resulted in an immediate sale of the simulation to a global financial services company to bring the simulation “in house.”

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Financial Literacy Casual Game
Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D) chose Enspire to create a casual video game to teach low- to moderate-income (LMI) individuals personal finance skills about avoiding credit card debt.

The Doorways to Dreams Fund is a non-profit with the mission to expand access to financial services to low-income families by
Players purchase items for a celebrity to learn proper debit and credit card use. The celebrity has a mood meter that tracks how well the player is doing.

providing innovative financial products and services. The people they help are often targeted by lenders who prey on those who need immediate cash, but have little experience with or access to traditional banking services. This leads them to use cash advance and check cashing services, which charge high fees and do not encourage savings. D2D sought a learning experience that memorably conveyed the message—yet didn’t patronize the audience. D2D proposed using a casual video to teach primarily LMI women about using credit and debit cards wisely. A concern of using the serious game approach is that many such games fall short because they often err on the side of being too light on learning or too light on fun. Creating an effective learning game was only half of the challenge; the game also had to be entertaining.

D2D partnered with Enspire Learning to create a casual game that teaches smart use of debit and credit cards. Casual games require little technical skill to play and typically feature a simple interface and mechanics. Popular casual games— like FreeCell, Tetris, and Bejeweled—are popular with a very wide demographic, which was ideal
Players use the right and left arrow keys to move around the screen catching money and luxury items.

for a target audience who may have little familiarity with computers.

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The goal of this casual game, Celebrity Calamity, is to maintain the finances of three consumption-crazy celebrities while also keeping them satisfied enough with new goods to avoid getting fired. Each round, players strike the keyboard’s arrow keys to move their player and try to catch falling various items the celebrity wants (MP3 players, jeans, etc.), as well as cash. Then, players decide whether to pay for caught items with a credit or debit card. If credit card charges are made, the player must decide how to pay off the balance—minimum payment, full payment, or somewhere in between. The APR
Players slide the payment bar between minimum payment and full payment to maintain credit card balance.

on the credit card changes frequently, which requires players to adjust their spending and payment habits. If they buy too little or too much, or accumulate too much debt, the celebrity will grow unhappy and possibly fire the player. After multiple rounds of play, players experience how quickly credit card debt can accumulate, how hard it is to reduce it, and most importantly, how to avoid overwhelming credit card debt in the first place. Throughout the development process, Enspire and D2D worked with nonprofit organizations in Austin, Tulsa, and Providence to gather volunteer play testers from the target audience to ensure that the game was both effective and fun. The focus of each session was two-fold. First, do the game mechanics work? Second, does the game teach personal finance skills effectively? Testing was done in groups to observe players interacting with the game and individually to gather specific feedback. Developers refined the game mechanics and instruction based on users’ comments.

Celebrity Calamity met the organization’s goal of a fun, effective personal finance game. Throughout user testing, D2D collected data to measure the efficacy of the game. In three testing groups in different geographic locations participants were asked to complete a pre-game and post-game test. Based on a Likert scale (1 is not confident and 5 is confident), D2D found the following confidence changes:
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Confidence to pay off new credit card charges monthly Confidence to pay more than the minimum credit card payment Confidence to avoid late fees, over-limit feeds, and overdraft fees Confidence to save money regularly

+ 31% + 20% + 31% + 20%

Participants also completed a short test of true and false questions. The following knowledge changes were recorded:

Knowledge of APR Knowledge of finance charges Knowledge of credit card balance

+ 58% + 71% + 14%

D2D Fund recorded participants’ comments as well. One user noted, “Until tonight, I didn’t know what APR was and I’ve had two credit cards for awhile.” Another said that she thought the game would be a valuable resource to have in her local community center. Celebrity Calamity is the first in a suite of financial literacy games that D2D will produce. The game is available and free for everyone to play at www.celebritycalamity.com. Subsequent games will cover personal budgeting, payday lending, FICO scores, and more.

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Management for Afterschool Program Administrators
The National Center for Community Education (NCCE) is a non-profit organization focused on building effective afterschool programs. NCCE saw shortcomings in program management knowledge among afterschool program administrators and needed a training initiative to close the gap.

NCCE staff members build
The online modules use interactive games and tutorial to convey learning material. In this case, users play a simple board game to explore the concept of finding effective collaborators.

management curriculums for afterschool program administrators around the nation. However, classroom seminars were not easily accessible to administrators who needed training to run afterschool programs at the Department of Education-funded 21st Century Learning Centers. NCCE sought to extend the reach of their management and leadership training with online courses and resources.

NCCE partnered with Enspire learning to develop an online curriculum. To help NCCE make training available anytime and anywhere to new afterschool administrators, Enspire developed custom-designed interactive online training modules in areas such as visioning, collaboration, and management of afterschool programs. Enspire collaborated with the afterschool programs community in collecting best practices and materials used in successful afterschool programs. Based on these findings, Enspire developed fun
The modules include a set of tools and forms to assist them in the planning of their after school program. In this case, users go through the steps of creating an effective vision statement that can later be printed or saved.

and effective scenarios, case studies, and easily printable interactive tools and templates. Enspire validated the effectiveness of these materials through feedback from seasoned experts in the afterschool community, as well as through extensive user testing.

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The online modules were launched nationwide to school administrators and community members who are active in running afterschool programs. The modules were promoted both at NCCE’s classroom seminars and on the NCCE website. Accessible to more than 3,000 school administrators, the online training curriculum proved to be an overwhelming success. The application was selected as a finalist for an EdNET award, which is given annually to pioneering visionaries within the Education Market. In
Participants learn new content through rich media tutorials that feature animations and embedded video.

informal polls at the end of the modules, 89% of respondents ranked the modules as “Very Effective” and over 90% believed it to be a “Very Useful Resource”.

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Enspire’s Solutions
Enspire is dedicated to helping non-profits and associations achieve their educational missions. No matter if your training is required for certification purposes or is optional for volunteers, Enspire will work as a trusted partner to develop a solution that fits your goals and learning objectives. We provide each of our clients with: ► Creativity and innovation. A bored learner isn’t actually learning. We employ a variety of technologies in combination with engaging stories, characters, simulations, games, and visual themes that makes sense for each individual client—whether that be a video game teaching personal finance or a complex simulation for certification. Enspire prides itself on the ability to transform your subject matter and find the most engaging, illuminating, and effective e-learning solution for it. ► Multimedia design. At Enspire, we understand that quality multimedia drives learner engagement, promotes positive attitudes about the course, and enhances usability. Our designers work closely with our instructional strategists to create visual metaphors, depict stories and characters, and provide overall multimedia approach that supports the learning for each unique client, audience, and subject matter. ► Dedication to your needs. Your e-learning solution is not done until you are completely satisfied. We work very closely with our clients to analyze their business and learning needs from every angle to ensure the e-learning project is the right solution for the right problem.

Enspire is consistently recognized as a leader in high quality e-learning courses, serious games, and simulations. Our award list includes Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning, Human Resource Executive Training Product of the Year, Technology in Action Project of the Year, and Horizon Interactive Award, to name a few. Our team of more than 60 training professionals, creative writers, multimedia artists, and game developers located in Austin, TX, brings together a unique blend of education, entertainment, and technology expertise that provides meaningful educational experiences to organizations around the globe. For more information on how Enspire can help you achieve your educational mission, please contact sales@enspire.com. To view demonstrations like the ones you have read about in this e-book, visit www.enspire.com/custom/demonstrations.

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E-learning for Non-Profits and Associations: A Book of Successful Case Studies

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