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Cub Leader Online Training: One Review

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  • tvcubtrainers
    I went through some of the online training this evening. Specifically, I went through the Cubmaster training. Here is my professional opinion as someone who
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 6, 2010
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      I went through some of the online training this evening. Specifically, I went through the Cubmaster training. Here is my professional opinion as someone who develops and delivers training (both classroom and eLearning) for a living for the past 22+ years:

      To be honest, it's pretty good. I am pleased with its thoroughness, multimedia, and positive approach to the training.

      The pros are that the training will be more consistent as the training delivered will be thorough and will always ensure that all of the necessary information is delivered. It is actually quite thorough and I'm impressed with that. There is a fair amount of multi-media and interactions. Not quite as much as I'd like but not bad. It does allow the user to go at his/her own pace and print out handy reference guides where applicable. It also allows leaders to review as often as they like. These are pretty much the pros of any well-developed eLearning course so no surprises here. From a content perspective, it pretty much follows the new classroom leader-specific training but does not use those same slides nor is it a page turner of the slides. Thank goodness! It emphasizes FUN, the need for Assistant Den Leaders and Assistant Cubmasters, camping (even giving great detail on the importance and types of camping), training for adult leaders, good adult leadership techniques, and boy behavior. The details were impressive. It does allow you to print a certificate at the end like all of the other courses do. Finally, there are several review sections which allow the leader to answer questions. They get immediate feedback on both right and wrong answers so that the leader will know what the right answer is prior to moving on.

      The cons are that it is pretty long. It took about 50 minutes, however for the detail covered, it wasn't bad . I was afraid to stop the training as I wasn't sure if it was going to allow me to pick back up where I left off. The good news is that if you close your browser, the course does pick back up where you left off as long as you use the same computer to take the course again (it holds a cookie on your machine.) The course did skip a little bit but not a lot. I'm on high-speed wireless so it really shouldn't have. Again, this wasn't bad. I hope it will work better for those with slower connections. It should be okay as I believe it pre-loads the content so it will stream better. At the end of the course, after you print your certificate, the course doesn't tell you what to do next. This isn't a huge deal but just a little thing that can be fixed in the next version.

      So all, while I think that our leaders will truly enjoy and get a lot out of our classroom courses taught by trainers )who, if coached professionally, do a great job), the online course is honestly a reasonable alternative. I might suggest that we all encourage our leaders who do take the online course to have a hotline for questions to one of the training staff via email. That is one of the major drawbacks with this type of learning unless a help mechanism is built right into the course. I'm planning on having blogs or discussion boards for each level of training where leaders can ask questions and other leaders and instructors can answer them. This is in development and I'll let you all know when this is accomplished.

      Of course some of you distinguished colleagues may or may not agree with me. I'd love to hear your opinions as well and recommendations on how to best implement this training program in support of the boys we all serve.

      Yours in Scouting,

      Phil Weiss
      Twin Valley Cub Leader Training Chair
      tvcubtrainers@...
    • Bill
      Just a quick question from someone who has been out of Cubbing for a long while. Is the meaning of the Cub Scout sign really to be quiet?
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 7, 2010
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        Just a quick question from someone who has been out of Cubbing for a long while. Is the meaning of the Cub Scout sign really to be quiet?
      • Bert
        I think that element conflates meaning of the sign in a meeting (in the nature of what it stands for ) with functional use of (in the nature of how is it
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 7, 2010
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          I think that element conflates "meaning of" the sign in a meeting (in the nature of "what it stands for") with "functional use of" (in the nature of "how is it used, and what do you do when it is used"), reinforced by the concept that the "two fingers" are often also said to "represent" the ears of a Wolf listening.

          Technically, I believe, the "meaning" of the two fingers is to highlight these elements of the Cub Scout Promise: "help other people" and "obey the Law of the Pack".

          --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <bnelson45@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Just a quick question from someone who has been out of Cubbing for a long while. Is the meaning of the Cub Scout sign really to be quiet?
        • bnelson45
          None of the wolf element is conveyed in the online training. In fact, your tested on the meaning of the cub scout sign and the only correct answer is it means
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 7, 2010
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            None of the wolf element is conveyed in the online training. In fact, your tested on the meaning of the cub scout sign and the only correct answer is it means to be quiet.

            ://

            --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, "Bert" <bbender@...> wrote:
            >
            > I think that element conflates "meaning of" the sign in a meeting (in the nature of "what it stands for") with "functional use of" (in the nature of "how is it used, and what do you do when it is used"), reinforced by the concept that the "two fingers" are often also said to "represent" the ears of a Wolf listening.
            >
            > Technically, I believe, the "meaning" of the two fingers is to highlight these elements of the Cub Scout Promise: "help other people" and "obey the Law of the Pack".
            >
            > --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <bnelson45@> wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > Just a quick question from someone who has been out of Cubbing for a long while. Is the meaning of the Cub Scout sign really to be quiet?
            >
          • Bert
            I suspect that this may be something that needs to get tweaked as they work out the bugs, and there are a few, like odd notes about certain required
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 7, 2010
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              I suspect that this may be something that needs to get tweaked as they work out the bugs, and there are a few, like odd notes about certain "required" achievements in Wolf and Bear that don't line up with reality.

              The good news is that as an on line course, tweaking should be faster than new books.

              Some of this is due also to the condensing of the material: there is less information (and nuance) conveyed in the On Line Training than if a Live Trainer covered all of the slides and notes in the Syllabus. (that is not necessarily a bad thing, as a lot of the choices are valid to be effective and succinct).

              --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, "bnelson45" <bnelson45@...> wrote:
              >
              > None of the wolf element is conveyed in the online training. In fact, your tested on the meaning of the cub scout sign and the only correct answer is it means to be quiet.
            • Gerry
              Back in 1962, at my first Pack meeting, I was told When the hand goes up, the mouth goes shut . Functional use of the Cub Scout sign, however convoluted,
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 7, 2010
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                Back in 1962, at my first Pack meeting, I was told "When the hand goes up, the mouth goes shut". Functional use of the Cub Scout sign, however convoluted, seems to have become a part of our culture - regardless of how PC we are when we describe its use. Today, it's "the ears of a Wolf listening" - a kinder, gentler way to communicate basically the same message.

                --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, "Bert" <bbender@...> wrote:
                >
                > I think that element conflates "meaning of" the sign in a meeting (in the nature of "what it stands for") with "functional use of" (in the nature of "how is it used, and what do you do when it is used"), reinforced by the concept that the "two fingers" are often also said to "represent" the ears of a Wolf listening.
                >
                > Technically, I believe, the "meaning" of the two fingers is to highlight these elements of the Cub Scout Promise: "help other people" and "obey the Law of the Pack".
                >
                > --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <bnelson45@> wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > Just a quick question from someone who has been out of Cubbing for a long while. Is the meaning of the Cub Scout sign really to be quiet?
                >
              • Ryan L
                ... Thanks for your review Phil. As someone that does this for a living your feedback was very interesting. I just completed the Tiger Cub online training. I
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 8, 2010
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                  Phil said:
                  > The pros are that the training will be more consistent as the training delivered will be thorough and will always ensure that all of the necessary information is delivered.

                  Thanks for your review Phil. As someone that does this for a living your feedback was very interesting.

                  I just completed the Tiger Cub online training. I thought it was very similar to other online offerings from BSA. I liked the convenience. I can read the books to fill in any other material in between.

                  I took a snippet of your review above. I agree. Uniform presentation is a good thing. It bothers me when trainers give incorrect information in training courses. How many times have we heard, "at training they said..." followed by incorrect information. I've been doing Venturing training for several years and I cringe when TRAINERS say "VenturE" or "VenturE Scout" or any other incorrect term, let alone information.

                  An aspect of the online training that I don't think has been mentioned yet, is that I hope the accessibility of this training online will hopefully reduce the work load of trainers. If the online training is successful I think this will be significant. For a few years I've been responsible for putting on LST courses for Varsity Scouting and Venturing and it is no small feat to recruit the instructors, advertise, arrange for the training facilities, gather equipment, etc. I like training, but I would love to have this time freed up so that I could put that time and effort into other scouting endeavors.

                  Other feedback on the training:
                  - I think that BSA is too fond of _lists_ in their trainings. There are lists of methods, purposes, core values, meeting order, and on and on and on... I think more often than not these lists are forgotten on the very next screen. I know they are for me and I have been involved in Scouting for several years.
                  - I did the Tiger Cub training in two sittings, at two different computers and I was able to pick up where I left off which was nice. I think the introduction screen was repeated but that was ok. A one screen review of what was presented before would have been nice.

                  I haven't had a chance to read the new Cub Scout syllabus, so I can't compare online to written yet.

                  Overall, I liked the training. It was convenient and presented the information I needed to know. Now I'm Trained! ;-)

                  Ryan
                  Ore-Ida Council
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