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Building the Humentum Community
Each year, thousands of professionals take advantage of Humentum’s nearly 400 national and international workshops, elearning offerings, and webinars to build their capacity in the areas of USAID compliance; finance, grants, and contracts; human resources; project management; and organizational and operational effectiveness.
The learning team is at the center of this, providing opportunities for learning, sharing, collaborating, and connecting.
Their learning programs are designed to help organizations build capacity, strengthen decision-making, develop more efficient systems, and identify effective solutions to challenges. Each workshop is carefully planned prior to execution, ensuring the time spent with participants is truly a value-add.
When developing a new workshop, the learning team spends between 150-200 hours building the curriculum, learning activities, and various resources. Once developed, the team also supports the development of marketing pieces and workshop descriptions to be sent to interested members, encouraging participant registration.
Since each Humentum workshop has an attendance fee of approximately $1,000 per attendee, and many of their members are part of non-profit organizations on limited training budgets, Humentum knew they needed to make the most of their time with participants, ensuring not just content mastery in the moment, but also retention of key learning points and application of new knowledge and skills in the workplace.
The Challenge of Learning Retention
One of the biggest challenges Humentum faced with these workshops was the ability to maintain a relationship with the learner after a workshop concluded.
They were consistently delivering highly rated workshops with no way to reinforce the learning afterwards, ensuring on-the-job application. In fact, they had no way to know if participants were remembering what they learned in the days immediately following the workshop.
The learning and impact team began their own research into learning retention and the forgetting curve, as well as various ways to combat it. The research continued to bring them to the conclusion that Humentum needed to focus on what happened after the workshop, as much as (if not more than) what happened during their time with attendees.
That’s when they decided to begin exploring options for a learning reinforcement tool.
Humentum Meets BoosterLearn
Humentum partnered with BizLibrary to deploy BoosterLearn, a learning reinforcement tool. After evaluating a number of systems and tools, they found BoosterLearn to provide the best functionality and usability. Administrators can add new participants, create new questions, and deliver the wide scale program with ease.
Additionally, participants appreciate that BoosterLearn allows them to simply answer an email, rather than log into a system with yet another username and password. Through the BoosterLearn program, learners participate in learning reinforcement with just one click!
To reinforce what was learned in the workshop, participants receive weekly, scenario-based question. Each question focuses on a different topic or concept from the workshop.
After answering each question, the learner is provided with individualized feedback containing an explanation as to why the answer was, or was not, correct. The feedback also provides additional context and information as well as suggestions for how to apply the concepts in the workplace.
“One participant told me she and a colleague meet at lunch each Monday to discuss the Booster question they received that morning.”
– Mark Nilles, Director of Learning and Impact
The Exponential Impact of Reinforcement
BoosterLearn has allowed Humentum to maintain contact with learners, increasing the impact of their workshops by reinforcing learning in the weeks after a session concludes.
Humentum has sent more than 50,000 reinforcement boosters to over 5,000 learners over the past two-and-a-half years. This has provided, on average, 10 additional points of contact to engage learners in thought-provoking questions, increase retention and the likelihood of behavior application, and improve the overall learning experience.
Additionally, BoosterLearn allows Humentum to collect data on their workshops’ successes and possible shortcomings. Depending on how participants answer questions, facilitators can analyze what concepts and ideas workshop attendees are mastering, and what adjustments may need to be made to future workshop deliveries.
“Data collected from the boosters shed light on which concepts are translating well in workshops and with which concepts participants struggle.”
– Mark Nilles, Director of Learning and Impact
Since implementing the BoosterLearn program, Humentum has found their connection to workshop participants strengthened, as participants share their success stories in the months after attending a workshop.
The final question asked for every BoosterLearn program focuses on new knowledge and skills participants have applied from their training in the workplace. From the several hundred responses they have received, one theme stands out: the training reinforcement has increased participants’ knowledge, skills, and confidence.
This has led to better decision making, improved systems, and fewer mistakes. Participants often comment that they have shared their new knowledge with colleagues to extend the benefit of the learning to others, as well.
During a series of interviews with participants, one participant noted the BoosterLearn emails were helpful as they keep the information fresh. Without them, the workshop information could be “here today and gone tomorrow.” She stated, “the emails have helped me do my job better.”
About: Humentum is the essential community for today’s international relief and development organizations. A global organization formed from the merger of InsideNGO, LINGOs and Mango, Humentum has offices in Washington, D.C. and Oxford, UK, as well as regional hubs in Africa and Latin America, with experts based in a range of countries around the world. Humentum believes that behind every development program that works, there is smart leadership backed by strong operations teams, and their passion lies in helping those professionals deliver on their organizations’ missions. They do this through a focus on operational excellence.