Missouri LEND Takes Training to the Cloud

January 1, 2015

TIPS for Kids (Missouri's LEND) is a partnership between UMKC's Institute for Human Development (IHD), Missouri's UCEDD, and the UMC's School of Medicine, Dept. of PM&R. The LEND is located in Columbia. The didactic classes specific to Autism Spectrum Disorders have been shared by UMC via video conference with professionals and family members who meet at the UCEDD. This year, the LEND decided to offer the presentations as videos in an online training for professionals, families, and graduate students across the state of Missouri.

The online training, offered free of charge, is designed so participants can go at their own pace. Each of 12 lessons consists of 2.5 hours of videos, broken into 20-minute segments, as well as handouts and resources provided during the presentation. Online trainees watch the videos and discuss their thoughts on a moderated discussion board. Thoughts and questions are shared back with the speakers through feedback forms. Each participant who completes the training can earn continuing education units in either social work or education. Currently 60 people are participating in the training from locations throughout the state, with additional people expressing interest in participating.

Here are some quotes from the discussion board where participants introduced themselves:

"I am excited about taking this training and very much appreciate that it is available on-line... a great way to reach a lot of people without requiring extensive time and travel."

"On a personal note, I have a 13 year old daughter who has an ASD diagnosis and am hopeful to learn some techniques in this program to help other families dealing with the spectrum diagnosis especially in the public school setting."

"I've worked for years as a therapist working with children and families. I'm looking forward to learning new and current information about Autism and other neurological disorders."

The videos are recorded using the videoconferencing equipment and posted on a server. IHD staff downloads the videos and edits them lightly. The edited video is transcribed and a film student intern captions each video. Approximately 2.5 hours of presentation are posted each week for the online trainees.

For the first year, Missouri LEND wanted to focus on delivering a training with useful information and learning how to offer an effective online professional development experience. Missouri LEND hopes to offer this again next fall with the goal of finding ways to increase interaction among the online trainees.

For more information on Missouri LEND, visit the TIPS for Kids website: http://www.tips4kids.org/

To learn more about the Institute for Human Development located within the University of Missouri-Kansas City, visit the website: http://www.ihd.umkc.edu/