Technology has improved the quality of how virtual learning can now be delivered, providing a learning experience that is engaging and impactful. See our tips below for creating an e-learning solution for your clients. 

We are in the midst of the long, hazy, and hot days of summer (even if our New England weather can swing by 30+ degrees)! 

Despite the unpredictability of our weather, most of us experience a predictable slowdown of our hectic work schedule during summer. This makes it a great time to focus on your own development or the development of your employees. Consider taking time out to attend a skill development workshop. Don't have that much time? Take a quick break to participate in a webinar from the comfort of your own office or a few minutes to complete an On-demand e-Learning module.
Upon reflecting on my first six months at the UMass Donahue Institute, I have enjoyed getting to know my fellow business group directors and the outstanding work they do. We are seeing opportunities to focus on joint initiatives to leverage our unique skill sets in areas such as workforce development and the development of a new college credit certificate for our Head Start Fiscal personnel.  
We are also establishing new partnerships with premier firms like Integrity Solutions and strengthening our partnership with UMass Online. I must also acknowledge our great partnerships with firms like Real Cool Productions and CommonLook  without   whom we could not develop our e-Learning offerings for our many state agency clients.
Whatever your learning needs, our staff of experts and our extensive network of professionals can help you develop and implement plans to meet those needs.  To help us better understand your training needs, please take our short survey.

To learn more about all of these initiatives and partnerships, please read on below.

For information on how we can help your organization with its Organizational Development Consulting, Learning Solutions and Event Management needs, be sure to visit us online.

Dana L. Henry, Director

Tell Us Your Training Needs TrainingPoll

Many of our client organizations have a wide variety of training needs. As we develop new webinars and on-demand e-Learning modules, we would like to focus these topics on your top priorities! 

To help us tailor our offerings, please take our short training needs poll. Check off all Training categories from which your organization could benefit. Thank you!

In This Issue
News at ODLS!
New Managers webinar seriesnewmanagerwebinar
We are excited about our webinar series for New Managers that we announced in our previous issue.  This webinar will feature two learning series, each comprised of six sessions. The first series is focused on core skills for new managers. The supplemental series is focused on more advanced skills. All of these  60-90 minute  webinars are designed to be highly interactive with formats to engage participants most effectively. Topics include: Your role as a manager; Communicating as a manager; Helping your people GROW through coaching; Providing effective feedback; Motivating others; and Effective problem solving. In addition to these webinars we are developing corresponding on-demand e-Learning modules. The modules can be taken as standalone skill refreshers or can be paired with a webinar for more in-depth learning.  Contact us to learn how we could custom design a learning series for your new managers!

New Vendor Partnership: Integrity Solutions Integrity
The ODLS team at the UMass Donahue Institute is proud to be collaborating with Integrity Solutions as a provider of Customer Service Training.  Superior quality customer service training is a common need expressed by our client organizations, and we are working to provide you with access to Integrity Solutions' excellent programs and services. We and Integrity Solutions invite you to attend a free Executive Briefing of their approach to building a customer service-focused culture. This free event will be hosted at the UMass Center on Beacon Hill on October 12, 2017 from 9am-11am.  Click the link above to learn more and to register.
Based on expressed interest, we will look to offer a group certification session specifically targeting our nonprofit/state agency clients at a reduced cost for each organization.
Please read more about Integrity Solutions.  
Client Spotlight: Massachusetts Department of Developmental ServicesDDSspotlight

The ODLS team has provided comprehensive program and training support for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for over 10 years. We support new employee orientation and continuing education through the Service Coordinator Institute. In recognition of the importance of providing professional development opportunities to the DDS direct provider staff, we also presented a lecture series on a variety of topics with a focus on Positive Behavioral Supports and sexual health. The lecture series was supported through additional funding from the MA Human Resources Division. 

Fiscal Year 2017 also saw the following programs/initiatives:
  • Support of a certification program for service coordinators who specialize in Acquired Brain Injuries.
  • Continuation of a Positive Behavioral Support consulting program.
  • Updates to a Universal Supports e-learning module which is hosted on a DDS website dedicated to providing a resource for information and training opportunities for DDS Service Coordinators.
"I have worked with ODLS for over 14 years and have always had good experiences. They have been a tremendous help in brainstorming new ideas, and creating unique opportunities for staff. Their ability to keep data and issue reports about our activities is professional as well as timely. They are always ready to give 100% in their efforts to see that we (together) present solid, interesting training and staff development. I could not ask for a better partner!"  

- Valarie T. Whiting, PhD, Statewide Director of Training and Professional Development; Department of Developmental Services.
Staff Spotlight: Kathryn Swaim jessica2

Kathryn Swaim, M.S. manages the Institute's rapidly developing expertise in online learning solutions and virtual collaboration. As a senior program manager Kathryn leads many of our core client projects in developing custom online learning solutions that match the client's unique needs. Our clients value not only Kathryn's e-Learning expertise but also her collaborative approach to program development, along with her entrepreneurial spirit! Kathryn creates affordable, cutting-edge and impactful technological solutions for clients and programs ranging across all sectors: state, non-profit, and corporate. She received her masters of science in organizational management from Antioch University New England and bachelors of arts from University of Massachusetts Amherst's University Without Walls. She has been a core member of our team going on nine years.
Useful Resources
Tips and Advice when developing e-Learning materialseLearningmaterials

Most organizations have a workforce today that is geographically diverse across multiple time zones. To meet the learning needs of these audiences virtual learning is a flexible solution. Technology has improved the quality of how virtual learning can now be delivered, providing a learning experience that is engaging and impactful. 

A virtual learning solution can be a combination of synchronous webinars or a-synchronous (On-Demand) e-Learning modules and can be blended with more traditional classroom training.  Before diving into a project to develop on-demand e-Learning materials, we suggest you review our simple tips. For anyone who has developed e-Learning materials, it is a very time intensive endeavor! We hope you find this information helpful. 

Read the tips!

If you have any questions, contact Dana at
Helpful Links Helpfullinks

Professional Development Vendors
  • Real Cool Productions: Full-service video, animation, and mixed media production company in Boston.
  • CommonLook - Helps clients comply with PDF and document accessibility standards. 
Professional Development Resources
Professional Learning Associations
UMass Donahue Institute
Organizational Development & 
Learning Solutions
1 Beacon Street, Floor 31
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 287-4068
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