When instructional design becomes more than instructional design

A year ago we got to work fulfilling a client’s intention to expand the domestic violence, dating violence and stalking advocacy network on a university campus. 

Following many conversations it was decided the best way to expand the network would be through the development of new training content as well as a train-the-trainer program.  The goal was to train as many university staff and faculty members as possible on how to have a conversation with a student survivor of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking in order to create a more survivor friendly campus and help increase the utilization of services offered by the campus wellness center.

At the beginning of this project only a couple members of the university community were qualified to offer this type of training. The hope was, that through the development of a train-the-trainer program more people would be qualified to offer this training – allowing the university to offer more trainings to more departments. Another benefit was that members of campus community would offer the training on this sensitive topic.

We got to work using our instructional design toolkit and just before the end of the fall semester delivered a train-the-trainer to more than thirty university staff and faculty. During the train-the-trainer we solicited feedback from the participants and based on their feedback made improvements to the training.

Following the conclusion of the project we received a letter of gratitude from our client. During the debrief of our experience she indicated that the number of attendees in combination with the positive feedback received following the train-the-trainer had re-inspired her in her work. She wrote, ‘I never imagined so much would be accomplished!’

An intention fulfilled at the upper end of what’s possible is a lot more than an instructional design project.

 Erin @ sr4