Distance Learning – Win a Prize

Hey All! So I just finished up a great meeting about Distance Learning and Virtual Meetings here at the American Cancer Society. Lots of options and feedback but I want to hear from you. How is your non-profit using Distance Learning? Screencasts, Wiki’s, SumTotal, more meetings on your Intranet? Let me know. The first five commenters will win a prize from the FIspace prize closet.


  1. I am not sure if you mean internal education for employees or external for members? But, for members we are using distance learning in a number of ways. Webinars have been in our portfilio of education offerings for years. The next development was a Virtual Conference that is now held 2x a year. It contains around 12-16 sessions, exhibit floor and chat room. Attendance exceeds 2000+ and is growing with each event. We have also launched a eLearning academy. Its in transition right now, but eventually there will be membership options and pay-by-the-session options. We have just added a wiki for one group. Might be others that I am not thinking of…

    Resa Hoeller
    Director, Web Services

  2. I have developed online courses for the NIH, very simple in design, low tech out of necessity. I think this is pretty common when allocating budget to technology and development isn’t a priority but the education is.

    On a different note, I would like to talk to you about a course I teach at Tufts University School of Medicine – would you help me prepare a case study about the American Cancer Society’s use of web technology for health communication?

  3. We use online drop websites to upload lessons of videos, and mp3s of commentary and lessons. We also use Facebook, our website, and e-mail to send information to our students. We’ve used Googledocs to send out information so that everyone can access it and print it out if for their own use.

    As a non-profit youth education group, It really helps to use technology to reach out to students in a number of different ways that they feel comfortable with, especially when you don’t get to interact with them on a daily basis. I think it’s been very helpful to our students that we’ve used social media and other types of web-based technology to reach out to them.

  4. We educate more nurses and nursing students through distance learning – online text independent studies and slidecasts – than any other educational delivery mode we currently have. On average, we educate about 100 nurses every month via each “module.” We currently have 12 active modules, which are available for two years each. You do the multiplication. Texas has 265,00+ nurses and over 90,000 nursing students spread over 265 counties (the majority of them rural), so we have to reach them electronically in the majority of cases to reduce costs for them (nurses, hospitals, clinics, etc.) and us.

    Online, or distance education, as you put it, costs us only 10% of a “traditional” face-to-face educational conference. Because it is much more efficient (both financially and programmatically), we are currently able to offer the education free of charge, which is a tremendous benefit, especially in light of the current economic woes.

    We are currently looking at ways we can hold virtual meetings with our volunteers across the state. A few of our collaborative partners are moving many of their meetings this direction (using WebEx, in particular). I know it has been a tremendous cost savings for them, as well, and anywhere I can save costs for my organization is a beautiful thing.

  5. That was meant to be…”Texas has 265,000+ nurses…”