The following post is from our training team.
In FY 2008, NARA began offering virtual instructor-led records management training as an adjunct to existing in-person training. So why did we go down this path?
Well, we knew that many agencies were being asked to do more with less, many Federal workers were beginning to work at home more, and that there were some agency customers we weren’t able to reach through our in-person classes. We also knew that we wanted to be able to provide as much training to as many Federal customers as possible. We then looked at the current NARA records management training offerings and chose two popular classes that we thought would be of interest to most Federal workers. So the instructor-led online Basic Record Operations (BRO) and Vital Business Information (VBI) courses were born.
What are the advantages of online learning? You can learn from the comfort of your own office; there is no travel or commuting involved in getting to your class; pay once, but train many (NARA allows you to use your registered connection in a conference room and invite other colleagues to attend the class sessions with you) and use your own records to learn records management skills and concepts. And finally, online training provides a way for NARA to reach Federal workers across the globe.
NARA continues to offer BRO and VBI online. In FY13, we piloted an online version of Records Management Program Development (KA6). This class included both leader-led and asynchronous delivery of content to attendees. We also offered agency-specific online training in FY13.
In FY13, NARA’s online sessions reached over 720 attendees from 67 agencies. Classes reached Federal workers from Alaska to Washington, D.C. and from Germany to Kuwait. The online BRO and VBI classes were attended by people from 20 different states, local and tribal governments as well as the private sector. And attendees came from over 150 cities across 41 states and the District of Columbia.
What some attendees had to say about the online records management classes.
- “Good course content, made clear and easy to understand. Knowledge checks throughout kept me engaged in a distance learning environment. Looking forward to taking more classes from NARA.” (August 2013 online BRO)
- “I had no back ground in record manag[m]ent or vital records management so the class provided a good spring board forward.” (September 2013 online VBI)
So what does this tell us? This tells us that online training is one of the ways we can reach people we wouldn’t normally be able to through our in-person classes, and that attendees are getting a lot out of it. NARA is keeping this in mind as we begin to look at creating online versions of all the Knowledge Area courses.
NARA will be offering the online BRO and VBI classes in the coming year. We encourage you to check it out! You will find out more information here: https://nara.learn.com/