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Put "Professional Development" on Your 2021 To-Do List

Posted Jan 19, 2021 04:50 PM
As we head into a new year, executive directors and supervisors should put continuing education for their employees high on their 2021 “to-do” list.

Online courses can be just as effective as classroom courses if the instructor uses the right methods. For example, there is evidence that online courses that create the most satisfying outcomes are structured, interactive (using constructivist instructional design), relevant, and instructor-facilitated. One study found for BIPOC students, interaction and learning outcomes improve when a variety of multimedia were integrated, the content was organized around learning objectives, and there was easy access to online materials.

Staff who want to grow – both in their skills and as people – have more opportunities available to them as ever before. In addition to the resources we’ve compiled below, we recommend you research schools, trade associations, and freelance educators who offer classes suited for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners.

And like any work-related endeavor, an employee’s ED or supervisor should set expectations, follow up afterward to see what they’ve learned, and plan for how new knowledge and skills can be incorporated into future work projects. To get started, we suggest you explore these resources:

We’d like to thank Allison Shirk for contributing to this article. She is the founder of Spark the Fire Grantwriting Classes and is passionate about using interactive, learner-centric teaching methods.