We have been approached many times about delivering qualifications online. Athena Herd CIC is a very client focussed organisation and we have always wanted to support this.
If ever the time felt right to explore this approach then 2020 was. Like so many around the world our worlds had moved into virtual spaces of Zoom and MS Teams. As active advocates of experiential learning, this shift to cyberspace engaged our curiosity. Our collective neurons fired up and we got creative.
After a few long discussions, quite a bit of software build, and liaison with ACCPH – our accrediting body – our Online Certificate in Equine Facilitated Learning was born.
HERE WE GO
It was not without a little trepidation that in late July we sat down in front of a laptop and big screen TV and opened up the Zoom session. Our online Certificate in Equine Facilitated Learning had begun. Around two and half hours later, we knew this was going to be a success. Boom!
Our approach drew together an online learning module on our website, Zoom, video, WhatsApp and all the standard learning materials that we provide for this qualification. All of this brought to life by an incredible and engaging group of delegates – all as determined to make this a success as we were.
Six weeks later we are very pleased to confirm that this early positiveness was certainly not unfounded, if anything it was understated!
SO WHAT WAS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE
We were blown away by the experience. There were a few glitches early on but the responsiveness of our team and the support of our delegates overcame these with little delay. From our perspective our approach and the supporting materials made this a very effective delivery.
But what did our delegates think of the experience? Well we always think the most important voice is that of the client, so here are a few extracts from our learners’ feedback.
“Distance is the noun to describe how far apart things are in space. Distance learning with Athena Herd may have had us some 420 miles apart. But completing the course this way has allowed me to learn and develop in my own environment with my own horses. This allowed us to start our journey together in Equine Facilitated Learning.”
“I have been thoroughly impressed with the professionalism, values, skills and experience. As well as the flexible & adaptable approach that the team offer. The course has provided a very safe, open and non-judgemental space. It was a much valued time for personal reflection and personal growth. They created a unique learning opportunity with the deep and insightful learnings from colleagues.“
“The support I received from Jennifer and Graeme was pitched perfectly to help me learn, develop and explore my thinking. They have started a great foundation for me to build upon! As a distanced group we focused intensely during our meetings, we became one. We built a family that encouraged one another, offered advice and shared our personal insights from different backgrounds. “
ITS ALL ABOUT THE TEAM
At Athena Herd CIC we always emphasize the value and contribution of a diverse team bringing complementary skills and backgrounds to the learner’s experience. It was never more so than in this case.
We are very proud of what we have created in this online programme, enabling us to reach out to learners around the world. Without the diverse skills we would not have created something so effective. It is a great testament to what can be achieved when we work together. A simple learning that reflects that which the horses demonstrate daily on our barefoot track system.
We would like to share a big “thank you” to our learners who made this happen and breathed incredible life and enthusiasm into it.
From our perspective online is now a core part of any Athena Herd offering. To this end we are running a second online cohort this Autumn, starting on 10th October 2020.
Why not join us?