Early in the COVID 19 pandemic, the Canadian Women’s Foundation created the Signal for Help, a simple one-handed sign someone experiencing abuse can use on a video call to silently show they need help. Building on the signal’s success, the Foundation engaged Onlea to design and build an interactive, engaging, low barrier eLearning that would help people respond to the signal or other signs of gender-based violence in a safe and supportive way.
Following a series of workshops to identify the target audience, we designed and created a program of non-linear micro-courses. Learners can customize their own learning from a menu of short modules that fit into their busy schedules and meet diverse needs. The program is inclusive, fully accessible, and available in both French and English, conveying quick and practical information through engaging scenarios with custom graphics. An optional final immersive scenario using our custom-built interactive tool allows learners to practice their new skills in a realistic but low-stakes environment.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation supports women, girls, and gender-diverse people through funding, research, advocacy, and knowledge sharing. A key area of their work is combating gender-based violence. Early in the COVID 19 pandemic, the Canadian Women’s Foundation created the Signal for Help, a simple one-handed sign someone can use on a video call to silently show they need help and want someone to check in with them in a safe way. As part of this campaign, they also created the Signal for Help Action Guide to help people recognize and respond to the Signal or other signs of gender-based violence.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation was successful in reaching a large audience with their Signal for Help campaign. As a next step, they needed to expand on and transform their PDF Action Guide into an interactive, engaging, low barrier eLearning that would help people respond to gender-based violence in a safe and supportive way and counter the stigma and silence that often surrounds the issue. They needed a solution that was inclusive, fully accessible, and available in both French and English.
Our work with the Canadian Women’s Foundation was conducted in two phases.
Phase One included extensive consultation with the client. We conducted learner persona and learner journey workshops to help identify the needs of diverse learners for the Signal for Help courses. We reviewed existing materials and consulted with Canadian Women’s Foundation subject matter experts to map the content and recommend a content strategy. We assessed the requirements for a new Learner Management System (LMS) for both the Signal for Help Responders program and other corporate uses, and provided research and advice to help them make their selection.
In Phase Two, we developed the Signal for Help Responders program as a series of micro-modules. This included the development of a style guide, customized menu and interface within the chosen LMS, and interactive course content featuring original graphics and animations. The menu interface and one module were tested by 45 learners who provided invaluable user feedback in the early stages of development. The final program consists of:
At every point in this project, the priority was providing the shortest path to a customized learning experience with the fewest barriers. By carefully researching and consulting the target demographics, we learned that the audience needed quick and easy-to-understand information that they could consume at their own pace in the midst of demanding lives. The result is a program that gives learners control over their learning, with an open, non-linear menu from which learners can choose whichever modules best fit their needs and existing knowledge. The content is inclusive, fully accessible, easily digestible, and practical.
To learn more about the signal for help, please visit Canadian Women’s Foundation website. You can also register for this course here.