THE CHALLENGE: Educate engineers on a new testing and evaluation process.
US Marine Corps (USMC) Systems Command
Integrated Testing & Evaluation Handbook Training
As part of the USMC’s effort to improve the effectiveness of its weapons systems acquisition process, Comprehensive Learning Solutions, in conjunction with CParkerConsulting, developed an 8-hour course to train 1800 engineers and a 4-hour course for Senior Executives on the new testing and evaluation process and available resources. By interpreting the official USMC procedural handbook and working in close coordination with subject matter experts, Comprehensive Learning Solutions developed informative and interactive courses that were appropriate to each audience.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions overcame several challenges: learning the highly specialized content in less than three months; managing the competing needs and political agendas of four different stakeholder groups; and creating the interactive courses for classes of 150 people. The activities needed to be fairly simple to accommodate the large class size and the lack of training experience of the intended instructors. Comprehensive Learning Solutions succeeded in developing, on schedule and within budget, effective and interactive courses that addressed all the stakeholders’ concerns.
THE CHALLENGE: Develop a blended-learning strategy to train a large, geographically-dispersed audience on a software upgrade.
The Common Application
System Upgrade Training Strategy
The Common Application, a non-profit that provides an online application accepted at more than 500 US colleges, upgraded its online system. Comprehensive Learning Solutions contributed to the upgrade effort by developing:
- A training strategy to train over 600,000 applicants worldwide, teachers and guidance counselors from more than 18,000 US high schools, and admissions officers from nearly 500 US colleges;
- A conference plan to introduce the upgrade to member colleges;
- A communications plan to update high school guidance counselors and member colleges on the upgrade;
- Two web-based videos to train applicants;
- The skills of training-video-creation skills of Common Application staff.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions overcame several project challenges: All training had to be available remotely at any time to accommodate varying schedules and time zones. The upgrade was in early development and the training team did not have access to it. The Common Application wanted to develop the training products done in-house, so the plan and products needed to be easy for staff to create.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions developed three strategies that The Common Application was able to implement independently after some mentoring. The conference was a success and the universities were pleased with the pending changes to the system.
THE CHALLENGE: Improve the marketing skills of job connection agencies throughout the US so they can better match job-seekers with available jobs.
US Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration
DOL’s On-the-Job Training program works with local agencies and private sector companies to match and retrain job seekers with available jobs. DOL runs this program through a series of independent agencies that market and make the connections. To improve the marketing skills of those geographically-dispersed connection agencies, Comprehensive Learning Solutions, in conjunction with Performance Excellence Partners, developed a series of six self-paced workshops.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions faced several project challenges: Because the target audience was geographically dispersed and did not have all work off the same software versions, Comprehensive Learning Solutions developed SCORM-compliant computer-based training in a very basic program that could be uploaded to a learning management system. Despite a virtual project team and a lack of direct access to the client, Comprehensive Learning Solutions succeeded in developing a project plan, a team, and six computer-based training sessions within a three-week period.
THE CHALLENGE: Improve the communications, client management, and project management skills of Information Technology (IT) and Engineering staff.
Communications and Management Skills Training
DSA, an IT consulting firm that provides advanced technology support to the US Defense industry, wanted to improve the interpersonal communications and management skill of its project managers. DSA used Comprehensive Learning Solutions’ customizable, off-the-shelf products to train 60 technology and engineering project managers and managers on four half-day courses (Communicating with Clients; Say It with POISE: How to Tell People What They Don’t Want to Hear; The Keys to Successful Management; and Letting Go of the Reins: Delegating, Motivating, and Coaching) and a full-day seminar (Strengthening Leadership through Emotional Intelligence).
Using Comprehensive Learning Solutions’ off-the-shelf products enabled DSA to blend the best of pre-fab and custom built training: it provided industry-specific training in less time than a custom course would take to create. In only one month, DSA employees had completed training.
THE CHALLENGE: Reinforce the importance of avoiding sexual and workplace harassment.
Human Resources Training
Smartronix is an IT consulting firm to the US Defense industry and private corporations. As part of a pro-active initiative to prevent human resources lawsuits from arising within the company, Smartronix launched an initiative to educate its managers and employees on workplace harassment issues.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions tailored two of its half-day customizable, off-the-shelf workshops (Human Resources Risk Management and Respect in the Workplace) to include business-relevant examples and company-specific policy discussions. A Comprehensive Learning Solutions trainer taught the courses to managers and employees in three states.
Using Comprehensive Learning Solutions’ off-the-shelf courses enabled Smartronix to quickly and affordably provide company-specific training that included discussions specific to its own policies and practices in less time than would have been possible with a custom-built course.
THE CHALLENGE: Build the interpersonal networking skills of real estate professionals.
Contacts Count and The Bozutto Group
The Bozutto Group is a diversified real estate company that creates and manages commercial and residential real estate developments and properties. Contacts Count is one of the world’s pre-eminent thought-leaders on interpersonal networking skills.
When Bozutto hired Contacts Count to train some of its real estate and property management specialists on how to network more effectively, Contacts Count reached out to Comprehensive Learning Solutions, a certified Contacts Count training provider, to customize and teach the course.
The biggest challenge of the project was how to trim a multi-day program into a 90-minute presentation and keep it interesting and engaging for an audience known to have a limited attention span for sitting and learning. Using accelerated learning principles, and a knowledge of the industry, Comprehensive Learning Solutions devised a fun and interactive session that had audiences up, moving, learning, and laughing.
INTERNATIONAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
THE CHALLENGE: Provide cost-effective, innovative training on agricultural practices for a large, geographically-dispersed, low-literacy audience.
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Eucalyptus Farmer Training, India
The IFC, a World Bank Group member, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on private sector development as a way to reduce poverty. As part of IFC India’s initiative to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes, IFC hired Comprehensive Learning Solutions to develop for JK Paper, a leading Indian paper manufacturing company, a new training strategy for extension teams and farmers.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions overcame several project challenges: The client was located in a remote section of India. The target audience of 40,000 farmers spoke Oriya and Telugu and had limited capabilities in English or Hindi; had no more than a 5th grade education; and had little access to computers, smartphones, the internet, or electricity.
Working with a local team, Comprehensive Learning Solutions developed a training strategy and curriculum which included (1) training extension workers on better adult learning techniques (2) creating lower-cost videos to deliver standardized and accurate information and (3) creating six two-hour courses to teach Eucalyptus farming practices. In the process, Comprehensive Learning Solutions developed for IFC an innovative approach to lower-cost farmer training and developed instructional design and training capacity within India.
THE CHALLENGE: Teach basic financial literacy and bookkeeping to small land-holding rice farmers with limited education and help them change their mindsets to thinking of farming as a business.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Bayer Crop Sciences (BCS)
Farming as a Business and Adult Education Training of Trainers
The IFC, a World Bank Group member, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on private sector development as a way to reduce poverty. IFC hired Comprehensive Learning Solutions to work with BCS to train Filipino farmers on financial literacy and to enhance BCS’ trainers’ facilitation skills. Comprehensive Learning Solutions’ role was to
- Enhance IFC’s existing adult learning and financial education courses for a Filipino audience;
- Train 20 core trainers on three courses; and
- Provide remote support as core trainers cascade the training to 950 trainers who will train 100,000 farmers over 10 years.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions overcame several project challenges: The target audience was located throughout the Philippines, spoke various languages, and had limited access to computers and limited time or interest for attending training or managing their finances. Comprehensive Learning Solutions worked closely with the client to develop a flexible, manageable, practical training delivery strategy. Comprehensive Learning Solutions provided training that BCS’ core trainers found easy to understand and easy to teach to others.
Since 2014, more than 40,000 farmers in 40 provinces across the Philippines learned how to manage their money better through this program. Farmers who successfully completed the program cite increased harvests, more savings, acquisition of land and equipment, and the establishment of successful side businesses as some of the positive impact that the program has had on their lives. Click here to see a video about the effectiveness of this program and read an article about it.
BCS was so pleased that it is now replicating the program to benefit farmers across Asia and Africa. At the start of that expansion, BCS requested that Comprehensive Learning Solutions train the South Asian project leads and to customize the training materials for delivery to rice and coffee farmers in Thailand, Viet Nam, and Indonesia.
THE CHALLENGE: Develop an international industry standard for training and performance improvement projects in emerging markets and train trainers on the new standards.
International Finance Corporation (IFC); Grow Learn Connect platform; and Kenya Institute of Management (KIM)
The IFC, a World Bank Group member, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on private sector development as a way to reduce poverty. Among its other services, IFC provides training and other performance improvement services to farmers, women, and owners of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in emerging markets and fragile and conflicted states (FCS).
IFC noticed that the quality of performance improvement efforts varied significantly across projects, parts of the IFC, and different international development agencies. IFC saw a need for greater standardization within the international development industry. With the help of Comprehensive Learning Solutions, it created a set of quality standards and principles for organizations and performance and learning practitioners working in emerging markets. As part of that effort, Comprehensive Learning Solutions updated its existing facilitation skills course to include more recent training best practices and the new quality standards.
KIM partnered with the IFC on a different project to train small to medium-sized construction companies how to manage and market their businesses according to standards that would enable them to be hired for government road construction projects. The project used local trainers to teach the courses but had noticed a wide variety in the quality and methods used.
IFC hired Comprehensive Learning Solutions to develop a new and improved version Train the Trainer course that used a blended learning approach of four new online courses plus a 4-day face-to-face training program. Comprehensive Learning Solutions piloted the course for the IFC/KIM road construction companies in Kenya. Despite a 33% over-enrollment, an audience of mixed experience, a miscommunication that sent half the class to a different location across town on the first day, and a noisy learning environment, participants left feeling that the course had exceeded their expectations. Click here to hear from the participants in their own words.
“[Karen] has an amazing ability to learn quickly about topics ranging from agricultural processes to financial literacy and translate that content into fun, flexible, and practical training for a wide variety of audiences in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. She brought creative insights and flexible approaches to the training we design and deliver to our clients around the world. She is an excellent facilitator and consultant. She is well-respected by my colleagues and by our clients with whom she has worked.”Khadiga Fahmy, Senior Operations Officer, International Finance Corporation (a World Bank Group Member)