Hear from Matt, who’s started delivering the Guide Modules online during the pandemic.
Just like every other outdoor provider, the Covid-19 crisis had a profound effect on our coaching business ‘Kayak Essentials’. With all courses cancelled during the busiest time of the year, we were left pondering what to do.
We had already started to embrace the possibilities of online delivery. The free resources we were producing via Facebook live, our Youtube page and our podcast series, coupled with multiple ‘Zoom’ presentations to both UK and International clubs and organisations, proved that not only was this style of delivery possible but that there was also an appetite for it. It was off the back of this that I decided to dip my toe into the world of online British Canoeing course delivery. I must at this point give a shout out to ‘With Dave’. He was the first (that I’m aware of) to go online, delivering of British Canoeing courses. Nice work Dave.
Across September and October, we delivered several of the Guide modules online…
including Leadership, Customer Experience and Trip Planning and Organisation. It was great to have people sign up to participate in the programmes. What was really interesting was the mix of geographical locations. For the Trip Planning and Organisation module, we had all 4 National Associations represented. I’m sure this would not have occurred if we had used the more traditional classroom based approach.
That said, it was not without is challenges. From a delivers point of view, not having the face to face interactions, takes a little getting used to. I also had to learn about things like digital breakout rooms (using the software to separate people to allow for private chats). This is a far cry from just asking people to talk to the person next to them. All in all, the experience was really positive. Given the different lockdown restriction across the UK, it demonstrated that people could still access learning and development, no matter where they lived. It also had the added bonus that participants could be sent a full video recording of the sessions, allowing them to review the content at any time.
The experience has taught me a lot…
and has given me inspiration for how I can use this type of platform in other areas of my course delivery. For example, professional discussion tasks on Coach Award assessments, post course feedback/review which allows the candidates to reflect on their experience in a more effective manner. As well as pre-course conversations, which allow for questions and relationship building, especially prior to potentially stressful assessments.
Quote from one of the participants:
“I found the course to be thorough, enjoyable, pitched appropriately at everyone’s individual experience and really useful. It was great to meet other aspirant guides and share our knowledge. Also, we laughed a good bit along the way!”
As a result of the success of the programmes, I’m already planning more courses for 2021. I’m sure this craziness is far from over.
The Guide Modules are open to anyone with an interest in the topic areas and include Leadership, Customer Experience, Trip Planning and Organisation, Environment and Sustainability and Camp Craft and Expedition Skills. Follow the links to find out more or use the finder to look for upcoming courses. Alternatively, find out more about becoming an Endorsed Guide.