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leadership training for volunteers overseeing young cadets


  • E-learning
Walkgrove created four comprehensive e-learning modules on communication, risk, security and roles and responsibilities for leaders in the Army Cadet Force (ACF), supporting their blended management and leadership training programmes.

The training need

The ACF is a large voluntary British youth organisation supported by the Ministry of Defence. The organisation required a range of e-learning modules to support its national training programme for adults who volunteer to lead groups of young cadets in over 1600 locations around the UK. The ACF management and leadership training included substantial face-to-face elements, so the bespoke e-learning modules needed to complement the overall blended education programme.

The target audience included Junior Officers and Detachment Commanders. Such ACF volunteers were diverse in all aspects, including age (18-60), occupation, gender, educational attainment and experience in the role.

The learning goals for the modules varied from developing soft skills for effective communication to acquiring essential technical and procedural knowledge to assess risk and manage the security of young cadets (aged 12-18), premises, weapons and ammunition.

Our bespoke e-learning solution

Walkgrove developed four engaging custom e-learning modules of between 45 minutes and two hours to develop the leadership and management skills of the ACF adult volunteers. Each module contained a mixture of clear, easy-to-understand theory and frequent interactive exercises and activities that challenged learners to apply their new skills in practice. For example, the module on risk assessment included a series of case study analyses. Learners were asked to read a description of a cadet activity and examine the associated risk assessment forms before deciding if the assessments had been completed appropriately. Learners were given feedback on their choice, helping them to consolidate their knowledge or identify learning points that they may need to re-visit.

E-learning development included careful selection of a range of bespoke imagery and the resulting modules were packed with dynamic, positive photography of real-life ACF cadets and officers engaged in practical group activities. The use of photography helped to maintain engagement by ensuring that the content felt relevant to the everyday reality of leadership in the ACF. Image selection also highlighted diversity in ethnicity, age and gender, supporting a positive and inclusive learning experience.

Combined with detailed attention to branding, the visual approach supported a seamless blend with the rest of the training programme. To further complement the training blend, modules were divided into short bite-sized topics that could be accessed in small bursts and in any order, supported by a resources bank. This was useful for those learners who wished to refer back to the modules as a refresher prior to or during subsequent face-to-face training.