Staff Perspective: Virtually There - CDP's Online Training Efforts

Staff Perspective: Virtually There - CDP's Online Training Efforts

We here at the Center for Deployment Psychology are dedicated to our mission of offering high-quality training on evidence-based treatments for behavioral health providers. To help further this cause, we’ve recently begun offering training opportunities online. We recognize that taking time away from their practice and clients, in addition to the expense and hassle of travel are significant hurdles to many providers when it comes to attending live, face-to-face CDP events. These new online training sessions allow us to reach out to providers who otherwise may not be able to attend.

Our online training consists of the exact same high-quality, professionally delivered content as our in-person events. The slides, agenda, handouts, breakout sessions are all the same as you’d see at any of our training events. We’ve worked hard to ensure that we can offer a similar experience in a virtual environment to that of our traditional sessions. Judging by the responses we’ve gotten from participants in our first few pilot online training sessions, we’ve succeeded.

Of course, there ARE some significant differences between face-to-face events and the virtual environment! Participants generally don’t need instructions on how to enter and sit down in the presentation room in “real life,” but that act can pose a challenge for some in an online environment. We realize that many people may be intimidated by the prospect of using new and unfamiliar technology. To help alleviate these concerns, we do our best to make these training events as accessible as possible, even to those who many not consider themselves technologically savvy.

Before every event, we offer several “open house” sessions in the virtual environment, to allow participants to explore the training area and become familiar with the technology they and the CDP presenters will be using. This also allows us to take care of any pesky software or hardware issues that may crop up. This helps ensure our training can begin on time the day of the event and all participants can fully take advantage of it.

In addition to the open houses, we’ve also begun creating a series of tutorial videos for our events in Second Life. These videos will help show participants the ropes and generally get a feel for the basics of Second Life. We’ve got a few more of these videos coming up. They will talk about some of the more advanced features of the program as well as provide a virtual guided tour of CDP’s education center in Second Life. Hopefully, these will help convince those who may be on the fence about participating in online events. For now, check out the video as Dr. Kelly Chrestman covers the basics of the Second Life Viewer.