Revitalized Education Program

Pathways Update, Chief Ambassador, Andy Hammond

Pathways Update

In the latest Pathways webinar, which I and your local Pathways Ambassadors joined, it was announced that the roll out schedule has been extended.

How does this impact on our District? What does this mean? Read More

Looking for a new challenge? Consider being a REP Ambassador

Calling all Experienced Toastmasters – looking for a new challenge?

Toastmasters Where Leaders Are MadeLike to be the first to know about exciting new opportunities?  Then this is your chance to become an Ambassador for the Revitalized Education Program (REP) – the biggest and most important change to the Toastmasters education program in our history.

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Revitalized Education Program (REP) April 2016 Update

From Sandra Lawes DTM – D91 REP Chief Ambassador 

Key messages
  • Very positive feedback from the 168 clubs in 79 Districts around the world that are testing elements of the content
  • Alpha and beta testing stages scheduled for autumn 2016
  • Full program pilot in 3 Districts (not D91) planned for late 2016
  • Target date for rollout across the world is early 2017.
  • Rollout will be by Region to facilitate training and support. We are in Region 11 (8 Districts) –no news yet on when our Region will ‘go-live’ with the REP
  • We expect more information from World HQ in late summer/early autumn 2016
  • In the meantime, it’s business as usual in your clubs.
Why is it taking so long?

When I do presentations about the REP around the District, many people ask me why the REP is not ready yet.

I can emphatically tell you that since the original decision by the Board of Directors to modernize the programme, an enormous amount of work has been going on to give us a programme that is truly fit for the 21st century. But as Toastmasters International have declared ‘the program will only launch when it is ready—in other words, until it’s the best it can be and members can effectively be supported’.

What has been achieved so far?

Toastmasters Where Leaders Are MadeFirst there was the Needs Assessment phase which assessed the education program, identified gaps and conducted surveys on member needs.

Then the project moved into the Content Design phase when competencies were identified.
The Learning Masters group was created to help validate content and provide feedback on how the current education program was used in clubs.

The Ambassador Program was also launched to help share information to members about the program as it develops. There is a Chief Ambassador like me in every District around the world. I have appointed 27 experienced Toastmasters as Ambassadors (all unpaid volunteers) to spread the word about the REP to clubs and members and to answer your questions or feed them back to the Development team at World HQ.

Then the Content Development phase began to create all the project content. This is now almost complete.

Next came the development and testing of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – an online system for delivery of learning materials, including assessments, course materials and communication tools – and its integration with the support and training materials. Toastmasters International has chosen an experienced partner organization to provide the VLE – CornerStone OnDemand – who have a strong track record of working with membership-based organizations like Toastmasters.

Alongside the VLE, work is going on to deliver the Learning Management System (LMS) – the way we manage our internal Toastmasters business processes such as:

  • Registering new members
  • The contents of new member kits
  • Tracking and handling education awards
  • The impact on the Distinguished Club Program

And at the same time, the vital Support and Training Materials are being developed. With the REP there will no longer be people that have been in the program for months or years who can help other members learn. So we will need materials such as tutorials, guides and webinars to prepare us all.

Next came the Content Testing stage. Club members completed the REP learning projects in their own clubs and provided feedback to World Headquarters. I am delighted to report that the feedback about the educational content was overwhelmingly positive.

Future phases

There will be three more phases of testing before the REP goes live:-

  1. Alpha testing to improve the quality of the REP and ensure its readiness for beta testing
  2. Beta testing (which is targeted to happen in Autumn 2016) to further improve the quality of the REP
  3. The Program Pilot – the last phase of testing (currently scheduled for late 2016) to test and measure the impact of the program in a “live” environment.

I’m sure you appreciate that all this work takes time and effort and I am sure the end result will be worth waiting for.

Where can you find out more?
  1. The Ambassador assigned to your club will make presentations during club meetings. He/she is available via www.toastmasterclub.org to help to answer your questions and provide information. Please make him/her welcome and make space on your meeting programmes for this important communication
  2. On the Toastmasters International website there is a whole section on the REP which is regularly updated.  Just log in, go to ‘Resources’, then ‘Revitalized Education Program’
  3. Keep an eye on the District 91 website where information will be published about the REP and what is happening in our District.

Sandra LawesThis is by far the largest and most ambitious project that Toastmasters International has ever undertaken and it is also the most exciting. Please be patient and support everyone who is working so hard to achieve this challenging goal and bring you the best possible learning experience as quickly as possible. I am sure it will be well worth it!

Sandra Lawes DTM – D91 REP Chief Ambassador

The Revitalized Education Programme (REP)

From Sandra Lawes DT, D91 REP Chief Ambassador

The biggest & most exciting change in the history of Toastmasters

What is the Revitalized Education Programme (REP)?

 

In 2010, the Board of Toastmasters International took a massive decision – to revitalize the education programme. A dictionary definition of revitalization is ‘to restore vitality or animation’ – literally to give new life to something.

Why revitalize the education programThe current programme is good, but it is complicated and hard for new members and those outside Toastmasters to understand. If you need convincing, take a look at this diagram showing our current education awards!! And far too many members leave Toastmasters without gaining awards – so there’s certainly room for improvement!

Since the Toastmasters Board took that radical decision in 2010, a great deal of work has been done to identify the best elements within our current programme and bring them right up to date.

Club meetings will continue to be the core of the REP, and based on the organisation’s four guiding principles – experiential learning, self-paced learning, peer evaluation and mentoring – it will offer a mix of compulsory and elective projects, all using modern technology to give members the best possible learning experience.

When is the REP being introduced?

Development, testing and piloting will continue through 2016. Full details about the REP are not available yet, but we have already received very positive feedback from the 79 Districts that are piloting some of the content.

Once World HQ is confident that everything is ready, the REP will be rolled out with 10 Districts coming on line each month. We don’t know exactly when our District will ‘go-live’ with the REP, but if we are one of the first, by the start of 2017 we could be using the REP here in District 91.

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Sandra Lawes is D91’s Chief Ambassador for the REP

Have you heard of the REP? If not, you will do very soon!

 

It stands for the Revitalized Education Program and it is the largest and most important update to the Toastmasters education program since 1942, when the first basic training manual was developed.

Making sure that the program is up to date and meets the needs of our members and our clubs is crucial to the future of Toastmasters. It’s exciting and positive but like all change, it can make us feel a little uncertain until we get used to it.

This is where Sandra Lawes comes in. Sandra has been nominated by the District Leadership Team and appointed Sandra Lawesby World HQ as District 91’s Chief Ambassador to lead a team of Ambassadors.

The role of the Ambassadors is:

  • to communicate the information about the new program to all clubs
  • to get answers to your questions and feedback your views and ideas to World HQ
  • to make sure our members understand the benefits of the new program and how it will
  • work for them
  • to help ensure all our clubs are ready for the introduction of the REP.

There is a lot to do but we’ve got plenty of time as parts of the program are still under development and the earliest pilot Districts (probably not us) are currently scheduled to start using the new program from the Autumn of 2016.

Ambassadors Needed!

Sandra is recruiting the Ambassadors now (each one will support about 5 or 6 clubs – perhaps more in London due to the close proximity of the clubs). They will not be Area or Division Directors (who already have plenty to do!). Sandra is looking for experienced Toastmasters who understand the current education program and are confident about visiting clubs and communicating new ideas and concepts, as well as feeding questions and ideas back through her to World Headquarters. If you are looking for a new leadership challenge and want to play a key role in preparing our District for this crucial change. To contact Sandra click here

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