Training community professionals and family members across Tennessee is a mission that spans TRIAD and other Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) programs. Now an online learning platform will bring video training to learners in their workplaces and homes, from urban to rural locations.
Training is a core activity of VKC TRIAD (Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders). In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education, TRIAD’s educational consultants provide workshops for parents, educators, and other professionals year-round. Over the last two years, TRIAD has developed extensive online learning options to supplement these in-person educational opportunities and to reach wider audiences.
“Many Tennessee counties are rural and have fewer resources for training than urban areas, but reaching them geographically—traveling to present and to consult—has been a challenge,” said Pablo Juárez, M.Ed., BCBA, TRIAD director. “To meet this challenge, TRIAD has been creating BOTS—Brief Online Training Sessions—so that training can be as close as a desktop or laptop, over even your tablet or smart phone.”
Initially, TRIAD’s online training was available through Protrainer, an original VKC software program, but as TRIAD’s online training and related needs expanded, its leadership selected the Accord Learning Management System.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application designed to help organizations manage the training of their learners. It can accommodate various training elements, e.g., videos, webinars, resource documents; registration, quizzes, completion tracking; announcements.
“We wanted a Learning System that was flexible, easy for learners to use, and that readily provided TRIAD with information about its use, so that we can evaluate and improve training,” said Aislynn Kiser, M.Ed., BCBA, the TRIAD educational consultant who is leading TRIAD’s Accord LMS development.
An important criterion was that the Accord LMS could be used not only for TRIAD training but also for training done by other VKC programs.
“Training is one of the four core functions of our University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities [UCEDD],” said Elise McMillan, J.D., UCEDD co-director, VKC director of Community Engagement and Public Policy, and senior lecturer in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “We’re looking forward to using the Accord learning platform to extend the reach of our UCEDD training.”
First, learners visit the VKC central online learning page [vkclearning.org] and select a VKC Doorway to view their learning choices.
The second step is for the learner to register the first time that the learner wants to view an online learning module within a specific Doorway, e.g., TRIAD. When the learner returns at later times to view additional modules, the learner logs in. Separate registration is required the first time (only) for each VKC Doorway.
Finally, after the learner has successfully completed a training module, the learner is able to download a certificate of completion. The Learning Management System keeps track of modules that each learner has completed.
These training opportunities are available free of cost to learners.
TRIAD online learning
The TRIAD Doorway is now open. There, a learner chooses among Early Intervention Services, Early Childhood Services (Pre-K), School-Age Services (K-12), and Caregivers. In each area, on-line learning options are listed with a recommended order.
TRIAD currently has 55 modules available, with 30 additional modules planned for completion by June 2018. For questions or assistance, email email@example.com.
VKC online learning plans
The VKC UCEDD Doorway will be active in early 2018, beginning with Appropriate Use of Psychotropic Medications for People with IDD: Helping Individuals Get the Best Behavioral Health Care. This series of 8 video modules is provided for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, conservators, and other caregivers. A related series for health care professionals is currently available through the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office of Continuing Education.
Tennessee Disability Pathfinder also will be developing training modules for the Accord learning platform.
For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan Rosemergy is VKC director of Communications and Dissemination.