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Storytelling By Bodh For NGO Education – Niranthara

Mar 28, 2022

About the Client

Industry: Non-governmental Organisation
Location: India
Size: 11-50 employees


About the Client’s Users

Target geography: India
Target industries: NGOs across India


The Ask

Our client, Dhwani Foundation, is a meta-NGO on a mission to educate and equip NGOs with knowledge about vital procedures such as compliance, good governance, HR policies, accounting, MIS, technology adoption, program management and strategic planning. These modules are essential for better functioning of any NGO.

The client was running in-classroom sessions that were not scalable as they aspired to reach NGOs across the state of Karnataka. The pandemic acted as a forcing function in the quest to take the modules online. The client conceived of the e-learning program ‘DrishtE’ – certification with DrishtE would enable NGOs to signal their professionalism, transparency and credibility; and help them attract more funds.

Dhwani contacted Clearly Blue to help them leverage the wealth of content they had and deliver an innovative program to reach NGOs across the country. The first testbed for the effort would be the state of Karnataka.

How we rose to the challenge

The E-learning team at Clearly Blue designed a learning plan that was structured to achieve the desired outcome in learning among the target audience. The key components of this plan were:

  • An initial proof of concept to validate the approach

  • Master storyboards to support multilingual needs

  • Storytelling for learning that sticks


The Pilot

The first rollout involved a pilot course with 10 videos, innovative audio bytes and relevant quizzes setup on Shikshalokam, the client’s Learning Management System. The learning design was centred around a conversation between two characters — a learner, the founder of a medium-sized NGO, and an expert, a consultant who is an expert in NGO functioning.
The pilot course was received very well by the client’s initial learner base. It enabled the client to get approval for larger funding that covered all modules needed for a comprehensive basket of courses for certification.


The Master Storyboard Approach

Dhwani’s long-term plan involved having these training videos in multiple Indian languages. Keeping that in mind, the Clearly Blue team planned to create the base storyboards in English and then translate them to other languages as and when needed. The first phase saw the course being created in English and Kannada.


Working with Subject Matter Experts

Our team worked closely with subject matter experts from Dhwani to ensure accuracy and relevance of information presented in the videos. Input content from the SMEs came in the form of manuals, written material, Zoom recordings and live inputs in calls. Our expertise was used to chisel each video into easily consumable knowledge bytes. The SMEs reviewed every script and signed off after suitable modifications were incorporated.


The Not-So-Secret Sauce: Storytelling

Once all the input material was collected, it was time to use our expertise in storytelling to bring the content to life:

  • Varied techniques: Multiple characters from the world of our learners – NGOs – were introduced in different modules to keep the stories engaging and to ensure ease of recall for learners. Techniques such a two-person dialogue, an omnipresent third-person/narrator, a ‘sutradhar’ similar to narrators in traditional Indian plays and role plays were used in different modules.

  • Persona identification: The character development for the Kannada videos was made very locale-specific to the South Indian milieu. The same characters were more cosmopolitan in the English versions to appeal to a larger audience.

  • Local content: Catchy two-minute audio bytes were created to introduce the course and some of the modules. The bytes were designed to be similar to radio conversations in the popular Kannada radio show ‘Nandana’ with Kannada movie songs that the learners could relate to. Similar audio bytes were used at the end of the course and at the end of some modules.

  • Assessment question banks for each module were built to test the knowledge gained by the learners. Questions for a final 2 hour exam were also prepared with suggestions from the SMEs.

A team of 40+ people was built to roll out the videos in monthly deliverables. Scriptwriters, translators, instructional designers, graphic designers, voice over artists, video post production professionals and an army of editors and quality control folks ensured every video delivered was created as per specification with utmost care.

Dhwani personnel performed the final usability testing before uploading the videos to the LMS.


Statewide Impact

For the pilot,

  • A total of 41 NGOs enrolled; the course completion rate was 93%.

  • 92% of the NGOs who completed the course came back with very positive feedback.

For the larger initiative,

  • A total of 334 videos in 2 languages were rolled out, focused on a variety of topics from HR to POSH to Leadership and Governance

  • 300+ NGOs are going through the program to date, with 17 having graduated.


Feedback from Learners

“The conversation style used is engaging. Topics are stitched well. There is a connection from one topic to the next. That makes it very different from any other learning that I have done. It also gave me a feel of systematic learning.”

“The presentation style is really good and I was really able to immerse myself into the topic of each module. Quizzes were good. I found myself trying a few questions repeatedly. But that was because I had not concentrated on the subject matter! That made me revisit those topics, which I was able to do easily.”

“I enjoyed the videos and presentation style. It was nice to hear the expert tell us all that we needed to know. I didn’t get bored of the sessions even though I sat through one entire module at one go!”

‘The content that is provided is interesting and very relevant for NGOs like us. Presentation style is very good. What I liked the most is that every topic within the module was connected. That helped me get curious about and interested in new topics before their explanations started. Further, whatever was presented was unique and relevant to the present situation.”

About BODH

At BODH, we specialize in building engaging courses that move the needle in learning. We specialize in learning for adults – whether professionals seeking to up their winning quotient at work, teams looking to reskill or upskill or those needing to reboot their careers. Bodh is the L&D Leader’s one-stop shop for learning that works. Bodh is the learning group at Clearly Blue Digital.

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