Venturing into the world of on-line training – by Chris Gay

Respectful Relationships (R+R) is a National and Provincial award winning schools-based primary violence prevention program for youth, developed by SWOVA. SWOVA has spent almost a decade of research and development, refining ideas about how to stop bullying, interpersonal, partner, and family abuse, through ‘relationship education’ with youth. Their efforts have grown into an effective 4-year, 48-session curriculum that addresses bullying, sexism, racism, and homophobia, with a focus on the development of healthy, non-violent relationships among adolescent youth (male and female).

Both male and female adult facilitators deliver the curriculum. This partnership is crucial in modeling respectful relationships in action between genders. In addition, some of the curriculum occurs in separate gender circles, necessitating the facilitation skills of both male and female facilitators.

SWOVA has traditionally provided training to new adult facilitators through a face-to-face intensive 5-day model. It has always worked best to have a critical mass of new facilitators requiring the training and to bring them to one location. As with any face-to-face model, it comes with its own logistical challenges. While often touted as optimum, due to opportunities to practice facilitating segments of the curriculum to a receptive and forgiving audience of colleagues, it is an expensive option.

Consequently, SWOVA recently received funding to pilot an on-line training model. While there were many pluses with the pilot version, what was missing was a human connection with the participants. As a result, SWOVA has enhanced the original on-line version that now includes the following elements to enrich the on-line experience:

  • An on-line interactive curriculum,
  • Journaling exercises and written assignments,
  • On-line quizzes,
  • Weekly moderated group calls with fellow on-line participants,
  • One-on-one coaching calls with the moderator/coach,
  • Weekly practice discussion groups that you organize in your community, and
  • A final reflective written assignment and discussion group participant feedback.

Participants in the on-line training will be preparing to facilitate the R+R curriculum over six weeks. Participants will be guided through the process with a moderator who will be available through email, SKYPE and phone. In addition, the moderator will facilitate weekly group calls as well as coach participants during one-on-one coaching calls.

Sounds like something you or your organization has been waiting for? Then contact us at 250-537-1336 or info@swova.org

Chris Gay – R+R Coordinator 

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