Online Trainings for Professionals

As travel budgets continue to shrink and more people are working and collaborating remotely, the demand for online training by our clients is greater than ever. AIR's Applied Technology Team (ATT) responds by developing an array of advanced web-based trainings, products, and technical assistance services. The 13-member team brings together instructional designers, curriculum developers, writers and technology specialists, to identify the best data-driven and evidence-based practices to plan, develop, and implement online training that makes the best use of established adult learning practices.

Sample image from online trainingCreating online interactive trainings, such as self-paced learning modules, “addresses a pressing need for many of our clients,” said Dr. Sue Vargo, who is the project director and instructional designer on a three module and live webinar series commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA modules reproduce a live training that was initially developed for school personnel to learn the best practices for serving LGBTQ students in schools. To create modules that were interactive, engaging, and informative, Dr. Vargo worked alongside Yonca Aral, an instructional designer and developer, and Jeanine Reed, a graphic designer.

The team begins by identifying the learning objectives, such as providing information to the target audience that will deepen their knowledge, or teaching them an actual skill. To replicate the engagement of a live event, the designers created several interactive situations, such as hypothetical conversations in which the learners interact with a virtual person(s) in the module, and then are given immediate feedback based on their choices. Once learners complete the three self-paced modules, they are invited to a live webinar to help schools finalize their implementation plan on practices they’ve learned. Dr. Vargo explained that many organizations “have a big stockpile of live trainings languishing on their shelves, until they can figure out how to deliver them.” With the knowledge, skill, and creativity of the ATT, clients now have a way to successfully deliver online trainings in a wide-scale and effective manner.

The ATT is also developing trainings for federal partners including the Centers for Disease Control and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.