Elearning doesn’t have to be boring! The winners of the Charity Learning Awards 2014 are proof that using technology as part of an imaginative, blended approach to L&D can save time and money – and inspire learners. Martin Baker, CEO of the Charity Learning Consortium, says it’s time to celebrate the positive benefits that learning technologies can bring.

Most people recognise that using eLearning as part of a blended approach to L&D can save valuable time and money. But when it’s used imaginatively, using technology can also contribute to real engagement with learners, and overall L&D success.

This year, the diverse projects submitted to the Charity Learning Awards are testament to the value that learning technologies can bring to all kinds of L&D challenges.

Victim Support used eLearning as part of a new induction training programme, which prepares its 6,000 strong army of volunteers to carry out sensitive work. Elearning has been such a success within the organisation that managers are asking for more. The project scooped the Charity Learning Award 2014 for the Best eLearning Programme.

Southern Housing Group used eLearning as part of an imaginative approach to training in-house coaches, with great feedback and outcomes. The new coaching culture has seen a reduction in staff sickness and an increase in internal promotions as a result. This project won the Charity Learning Award 2014 for Best Use of Resources. The housing association, one of the biggest in southern England, was also runner up in the category for Organisational Buy-in.

Addaction relies heavily on eLearning for its 1,600 staff and volunteers, with an in-house instructional designer creating bespoke content. Providing the right resources for the right people at the right time has helped the L&D team achieve a striking 98%+ positive satisfaction rating across all its L&D delivery. This great example of raising the profile of L&D was declared the winner of the Charity Learning Award 2014 for Organisational Buy-in. Addaction, the UK’s leading specialist drug and alcohol treatment charity, was also the runner up in the category for the Most Effective Use of Moodle for Blended Learning.

At Barnardo’s, a wide range of learning technologies, including eLearning and virtual classrooms, has been used to create a self directed learning programme for fundraisers. Inspired by MOOCs, the programme uses an amazing blend of learning technologies and social media, with no classroom delivery. This project caught the judge’s eyes, and won the Charity Learning Award 2014 for the Most Effective Use of Moodle for Blended Learning.

Nicola Tyzack, Organisational Development Administrator at The National Autistic Society, was named the Charity L&D Professional of the Year. And The National Autistic Society also received a silver award for Best eLearning Programme, for creating a set of autism specific eLearning courses. These were designed to be sold externally, making great use of the organisation’s subject matter expertise. Brandon Trust also received a silver award for Best Use of Resources, using bespoke video content as part of an inspired online induction programme.

Honorary awards were given to Sally Little, L&D Manager at The Perfume Shop, who was named the Corporate L&D Professional of the Year. While NHS Property Services was also given a special award for Using eLearning to facilitate change. NHS Property Services was formed in 2013 from staff from a staggering 161 organisations – the L&D team used an online Toolkit to unify staff, and start building a company culture.

Their successes were celebrated at a special Charity Learning Awards 2014 dinner on 22 October, at the Grange City Hotel, London. Martin Baker, CEO of the Charity Learning Consortium and MD of the Corporate eLearning Consortium, said he was thrilled to see the wide range of eLearning and learning technologies successfully being used by members.

“As far as charities are concerned, the bottom line is that any money saved on L&D means more money can be spent on their essential front-line services, often supporting the most vulnerable people in society. But an effective L&D solution is vital, to ensure that staff and volunteers are equipped to carry out that work.

“Technology of its own accord is not the solution. It’s what you do with it that counts. Using imagination and creativity, our members – across all sectors – prove that using online learning can really make a difference to learning outcomes. Congratulations not just to our winners, but to all of our members who are successfully using technology to help them achieve their goals.”

Winners of the Charity Learning Awards 2014 are as follows:

Best eLearning programme:

Gold: Victim Support

Silver: The National Autistic Society

Organisational buy-in: Raising the L&D profile:

Gold: Addaction

Silver: Southern Housing Group

Best use of resources:

Gold: Southern Housing Group

Silver: The Brandon Trust

Most effective use of Moodle for blended:

Gold: Barnardo’s

Silver: Addaction

Charity L&D Professional of the Year:

Nicola Tyzack, Organisational Development Administrator, The National Autistic Society

Honorary awards were also given to members of sister organisation the Corporate eLearning Consortium:

Using eLearning to facilitate change: NHS Property Services

Corporate L&D Professional of the Year: Sally Little, L&D Manager, The Perfume Shop

About the Charity Learning Consortium

We enable cost effective, quality eLearning to be offered to more than 500,000 staff and volunteers across the third sector in the UK – engaging staff that more traditional learning & development may not reach.

More than that, our collaborative concept paves the way for eLearning success, with ongoing support, fantastic networking opportunities, relevant workshops and a dynamic Charity Learning Awards & Conference – with world class speakers who are experts in their field.

As a result, independent research has found that Consortium members save twice as much money on L&D compared to non-members in the sector; are twice as likely to report positive changes in staff behaviour; and almost three times more likely to report that using learning technologies has improved their organisation’s productivity. No wonder our members love us!

More than 120 charities, housing associations and not for profits already benefit from collaborating with our unique organisation – would you like to join us?

To find out more please go to www.charitylearning.org, or connect with us on twitter @charitylearning. We also love to chat, so do please give us a call on 08451 707 702