For every election, personnel face two significant challenges: finding staff to run and manage election sites and training them on the same. Elections have well-defined processes describing what needs to happen before, during, and after the election. All elections have a variety of roles at each polling station, such as Greeters, Registration, Ballot Issuing, Troubleshooting, Ballot Acceptance, and others depending on municipal, regional, or federal requirements.
In many cases, even with the continued growth of eLearning, much of this training is done in-person. Even beyond the logistics of organizing in-person training (finding a venue, availability of a facilitator, printing materials, multiple sessions, many locations), there is the issue of providing the correct and consistent message to the workers. One way to combat the potential risk of delivering inconsistent, or worse, incorrect information to workers, is by teaching through eLearning.
What is eLearning?
eLearning can refer to a wide range of electronic training delivered, typically, over the internet. While eLearning doesn’t need to be fancy, it is improved by enhancements such as multimedia using a combination of visual media, audio, and textual content, learner engagements through interactive exercises, and incorporation of familiar elements that broaden its effectiveness for different learning styles. eLearning is often self-paced, giving learners control over how much time they spend in training at any one time. It can also be accessed multiple times for review and reference.
Why should you consider eLearning?
eLearning is exceptional for training the swell of election center staff required once, twice, or several times in any given year. Done well, it provides a reliable, consistent message to the tens of thousands of committed elections officials needed to run elections.
Thoughtfully done, eLearning for elections officials must consider:
- The differences in training material required for different roles
- The diversity of the training audience and their experience with eLearning and technology
- The configuration of your specific elections
- Opportunities to interact with elections materials and relevant scenarios
- The need to confirm the training audiences’ level of understanding
The heavy lifting (input from subject matter experts, design and development of the content) is done well before the election to create role-based training that is approved by subject matter experts within the agencies responsible for election administration. Once created, eLearning can be updated as necessary due to changes that may occur to election processes, requirements, and procedures. The end-product is a unified, consistent message that trains all workers equally.