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New eLearning Essentials modules available

On Feb. 20, Ohio University Human Resources began offering the first in a series of eLearning Essentials modules to enhance professional development among OHIO faculty and staff.

The two modules are "Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for All Employees" and "De-Escalation: Reducing Workplace Violence." They are available online as eLearning modules. Any Ohio University faculty or staff member can register online via the University Human Resources website and begin taking the modules.

"Webinars and eLearning are great media for training," said Chief Human Resource Office Linda Lonsinger. "The training can be offered to the entire University community and it is an effective method for learning."

Leadership and Staff development Consultant Brent Patterson agreed that the online training is effective and convenient.

"Employees can take part in these at any time. They are available online 24/7," he said.

The modules were developed entirely at Ohio University, using resources at hand.

"I have encouraged our staff in Leadership and Staff Development to create webinars and online learning in-house for several reasons," explained Lonsinger. "The training is able to be tailored to OHIO’s faculty and staff. It is cost effective and it provides a platform for intrauniversity team building.

"The team building comes from utilizing our own experts to develop the online content as well as, reaching out into the University community for 'actors' to be a part of the process when filming vignettes. It is our intention to continue the development of relevant and timely webinars and e-learning tools."

The modules have not only been tailored to OHIO's culture and interested, but to fit into the busy schedules of supervisors and their staff members. The FMLA module takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, and the de-escalation module takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

"These do not represent a huge time commitment, but they offer a chance for us to provide essential and consistent subject matter to all the campuses," said Patterson. "We can reach out to all faculty and staff through these online learning opportunities."

Not only can Human Resources reach any Ohio University employee with broadband Internet access; the program has been created to meet different learning styles.

"The programs are interactive. They engage the participant, ensuring they will retain the information," said Patterson. "The modules have written, audio and visual portions. No matter how someone learns, we have made an effort to work with his or her preferences."

Among those advantages is an option to quiz participants on lessons learned in the module.

"This will be useful in compliance-related learning," explained Patterson. "We have a firm record that the person completed the learning session; and how well he or she understood the content."

Future topics are currently in development including compliance-related content.

"One of the great things about developing these here is that we're able to be flexible to the needs and feedback of the University," said Patterson. "When we receive comments about the two available modules, we'll be able to make adjustments. It gives us the opportunity to be responsive to the learning and professional development needs of the faculty and staff."