SCVO is developing an innovative e-learning platform especially for small voluntary sector organisations. Known as SCOPE, this exciting project is funded by ERASMUS+, the European Commission’s programme for education, training, youth and sport.
We’re working with European partners from Ireland, Finland, Latvia and Estonia, to develop five modules which will cover the following key topics:
- Governance Basics
- Financial Basics
- Fundraising Basics
- Communications Basics
- Risk Management Basics
Modules will provide entry level information and learning on important matters related to running a voluntary sector organisation. One of the goals of SCOPE is to build organisational capacity and provide a quality training offering to small organisations that may face economic or geographic barriers to accessing traditional face-to-face training.
In order to test the e-learning platform, we’re running two pilot phases in Scotland. The first took place at the end of 2019, involving 25 individuals – staff, volunteers and trustees. We were delighted with the feedback as learners found the content engaging and accessible, and the platform easy to use. They thought the modules would be good induction materials for new trustees, volunteers and staff, and could also be used by more established organisations to refresh and reassess the way they do things. Learners appreciated how they could do the training where and when it suited them, at home or at work, or even on their commute on a mobile device.
An innovative feature of the e-learning is the opportunity to gain validation through a digital badge system on completion of the modules. This lets learners share their achievements with their peers and potential employers and will be useful on social networks that focus on professional networking and career development.
SCVO and our European partners are now looking at the ideas and suggestions we’ve received from pilot participants to further improve the training platform. We’ll be hosting our European partners in Edinburgh in May 2020 for two days, which will be a great opportunity to catch up and find out more about how the pilots have been carried out in other countries.
We’re then going to run a second pilot with 25 new participants starting in March, followed by a launch of the free e-learning platform to all voluntary organisations across Scotland (and across Europe too!) in Autumn 2020.
What is SCOPE?
SCVO is supporting a two-year Erasmus+ project that kicked off in October 2018 with partners in Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Latvia and Estonia.
The partners are all organisations whose purpose is to provide training, support, advice, and advocacy to the third sector. The “third sector” in this case comprises community, voluntary and charitable organisations, and social enterprises. Geographical, financial, accessibility, and time restraints can make it difficult for members of the project partner organisations most affected most by social exclusion to engage in our training. Communicating skills gained through this training can also be a challenge that impedes skill recognition, job mobility and employability, particularly as many sector skills are the result of informal and non-formal learning.
This project will aim to address each of these challenges through the development of online learning content for the identified core needs of our members. This will allow us to move our training online so that we can reach more of our members in an easily accessible, time, and location flexible manner. An online platform will house the learning content and will be a sustainable tool for each partner to continue to develop and update in line with each of our organisations’ strategic objectives for improving support, training, and digitisation in the sector.
A validation system, based on previous valorised and successful models, will be developed as a means of recognising and communicating non-formal learning through the online platform.
Finally, a comprehensive guide to the approach, methodology, pilot, and results of this project will be produced as a model to share with other organisations and as a foundation for further blended learning projects for the sector in each partner country.