Techies in Residence - Developing an e-learning Platform

Techies in Residence - Developing an e-learning Platform

03 May 2017

Over the next few weeks we will be profiling some of our Techies in Residence projects. Next up we have Specialisterne NI, who are working with Paul McKay from Logicearth Learning Services

Specialisterne NI is hoping to develop an e-learning platform that will help reach a greater number of people with their social communication workshops.

Autistic people have a social communication difference and like any communication difference, part of the resultant difficulty is the reaction to the person’s communication. In focus groups people on the Autistic Spectrum said a lack of understanding of Autism can lead to situations and intentions being misinterpreted, and that this can be difficult to resolve if communication is challenging. When people understand more about Autism, it becomes easier to communicate. 

Some people on the Autistic Spectrum, for example, can find it difficult to sustain eye contact. This can be interpreted as lack of interest or willingness to engage, whereas the individual may be looking away to think or pay attention.

Over the past 3 years Specialisterne NI has worked with over 300 adults on the Autistic Spectrum, where they support individuals to get ready for work and to succeed in work roles, from graduate to senior management positions.

They have applied knowledge of Autistic theory and thinking to this problem and developed non-judgmental interactive training. Using professional actors to demonstrate real life situations helps to change perceptions.  

Engaging audiences in this way helps people think differently about Autism and Autistic people, and gives them confidence to meet and feel comfortable with people who communicate differently to themselves.

This leads to real life benefits for Autistic people, so they can be themselves and communicate more freely, allowing people just to get on with work.

The Challenge: Face to face training is effective but difficult to scale due to small team size, so Specialisterne NI wants to work with Logicearth to scale and increase their reach using technology through an e-learning platform. They would also like to research what is working in offline training delivery and try out online learning tools that translate offline impact to online audience without reducing learning outcomes.

And finally, to give a useful focus to the project, they will use Level 1 Managing Employees with Social Communication Difference as a focus. 

The Solution: Specialisterne NI and Logicearth will design an e-learning programme that will support individuals in facilitating behaviour change.

This will include a series of instructional design techniques specifically aimed at behaviour change in an online learning environment:

  • Inspirational explainer videos, making theory accessible and practical- what does a manager need to know to work with employees who have a social communication difference?
  • Discovery learning pathways using personas, which encourage learners to pull their own learning
  • True to life scenarios that allow the learner to try the behaviour on for size in a safe environment, complete with actions and consequences

The team feels that a layer of social learning is an excellent tool to encourage peer based collaboration and support; support from peers is ideal for the on-going re-enforcement needed. The solution will consist of an online learning portal for learners to engage with this modern, interactive e-learning content.

Click here to find out more about the Techies in Residence programme.

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