Design: Anne Bartlett-Bragg
Organisation: Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL)
Implementation: Ripple Effect Group
Community management & facilitation: Designed and supported by Anne Bartlett-Bragg
The Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL) is an Australian based private provider of education in the field of leadership development and executive coaching in the Asia-Pacific region with accreditation by the International Coach Federation.
IECL’s flagship coach training programs followed a set schedule of pre-work, to be completed before a block of face-to-face training, and post-work, to be completed after the session. In 2009, IECL were looking for a way to extend engagement at the pre- and post-work stages of their programs without compromising the quality of dialogue central to coaching conversations.
We worked with the IECL subject matter experts to create a series of customised community platforms based on Elgg, an open-source social networking product, that provides each course with a secure online learning community. We also assisted in the redesign of the existing paper-based content, developing online activities that were released sequentially over the allocated online periods and based on an architecture of participation.
Increased visibility has developed quality interactions:
The communities require participants to contribute to group activities on a regular basis, creating transparent actions and progress that IECL moderators are able to monitor. IECL facilitators have commented that the nature of the interactions they now have with participants is more informed and of higher quality than previous interactions which were paper-based and not visible to the entire group.
Rapport from online community activities:
Online introductory activities are designed to create a sense of rapport that enables the group to work together more effectively when they meet for the face-to-face sessions. The rapport developed carries on after the face-to-face sessions, enhancing the sense of community to support learning activities as post-work in coaching circles.
Increased completion rates:
IECL have noted a significant increase in completion of certification tasks which they attribute to the greater transparency and accountability through the online community. Participants have commented that relationships developed with others provided the additional support required to keep them on track to submit their final certification tasks.
Moderation and community management:
A critical element that binds the learning community members are the moderation activities performed by the community manager. In consultation with the subject matter experts, we designed an approach to community management that encouraged participation without confusing the role of subject matter facilitators online. A delicate balance that weaves conversations and provides discrete reminders for task completion.
Community of Practice:
More recently IECL launched a Community of Practice (COP) for their alumni where participants are invited to join once they’ve completed any of the IECL coaching programs. The COP has nearly 2,500 members and is an active community focused on professional development of executive coaches.
Further enhancements are constantly reviewed and evaluated against participant requests and new technology developments.
2010 LearnX Asia Pacific eLearning Awards – Platinum award for Best Use of Social Learning Tools.