As mentioned in Part I, the Revitalized Education Program, or REP, will be coming to Toastmasters around the world towards the end of 2016. I promised in this segment to share a bit more about the format for the new program (hint: not just paper manuals) and I’ll include answers to questions posted in Part I.
First, on to the format. The primary format will be on-line, there will be the VLE, which stands for Virtual Learning Environment. This is an online system for delivery of learning materials, including assessments, course materials and communication tools (the screenshots in this posts are examples from the VLE). The LMS is a Learning Management System, which is a software application for administration, documentation, tracking and reporting of online learning.
Will these systems replace paper manuals? Sort of. The on-line environment will be the primary environment for the project descriptions, evaluations and tracking of progress. However, in the example in the picture above, you see where it is optional to print out an evaluation page (in PDF format) for your evaluator to use if you (or they) don’t want to directly enter the evaluation on-line.
Also, I’ve been told TI is looking for how to best package the learning paths into manuals for members that which to purchase their materials in paper format.
One of the nice features of this format is the ability to include interactive content and other nifty things like videos. Below is an example screenshot (again from the IceBreaker project):
Although not much has been shared about the LMS yet – it’s still in development. We’re told this will, among other things, allow the members progress to be maintained automatically, as well as ease input of awards for the VP Education. If you’ve ever been a VPE, you’ll probably appreciate this feature!
Now, on to some Questions:
Q: Will member working on the current program have until the end of 2018 to complete their DTM award?
A: A final date has not been determined. However, with the rollout due to start in September 2016 at the earliest, and a phased rollout over the following months, it’s more likely that that date will be in early 2019. It also makes sense that the cutoff would line-up with our TM year but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Last week I mentioned that the new program will include a self-assessment, which will help identify current skill levels as well as skills you want to enhance. This assessment will help you determine your recommended learning paths.
Q: Will we be forced to follow the recommendation of the self assessment?
A: I haven’t heard that language used, and I would be surprised if the answer was, “follow learning path #3 or just quit Toastmasters if you don’t like it”. I believe you’ll have the ability to determine your own path – the assessment will serve as a guide.
Q: You say, “Each of the five disciplines will launch with two available learning paths, for a total of 10 learning paths to choose from.” Will there be additional learning paths later?
A: I asked that about a month ago, and TI’s response to that question was that there are not any additional learning paths planned at this time. I take that to mean they’d like to get the current planned paths out there and running, then assess what improvements would make the most sense for the future.
Q: Is Toastmasters keeping Speechcraft?
A: Yes. However, they have not determined where it will fit into the REP paths, or what changes will be made to the program. I received the same answer in relation to the Better Speaker, Leadership Excellence and Successful Club Series modules too.
More info about the REP is available on the Toastmasters.org website here