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San Diego Zoo Global Academy

Academy e-Learning Connects
with Brevard Zoo Volunteers

Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, began using its branded eLearning Academy website around the end of October 2013, and the program is receiving top marks!  Jean Galvin, director of volunteer programs for the Brevard Zoo, reports the e-Learning Academy site “has become actively used by the volunteers and is now rolling out to the employees.  “We use Volgistics for the volunteer program but because of the ease of sharing information on the eLearning site, I am gradually migrating all communications and resources to the eLearning Academy and using Volgistics for scheduling only,” Galvin writes, adding that, “as a small zoo, we never thought we’d be able to afford an eLearning management system but I was able to find a donor who is very supportive of the volunteer program and is actually paying for the whole thing which is why our website is the Brevard Zoo eLearning Academy and the Brevard Zoo Volunteer eLearning Academy both ‘powered by Toyota of Melbourne.’ ”

As part of their onboarding process, Galvin explains, volunteers are required to register.  “We are just opening a sea turtle rehab facility, which, under the supervision of our vet and vet tech, is being run completely by volunteers.  As a requirement of volunteering for this assignment, it was made mandatory for them to register on the eLearning Academy, as we are using it as our sole means of communication and resource sharing among the group, including our vet tech.  It has worked beautifully!  They are sharing in discussions and we are able to keep them notified of progress in the permitting process while educating them in preparation for when we can take in turtles.”

Galvin adds that Brevard Zoo volunteers “love being able to be involved in the online discussions and I love the ease of communicating and sharing information with all of them or particular assignment groups we’ve formed.  I know I’m not yet using it to full capacity—I’m waiting for version 2.0 to come out before trying to completely maximize the program and can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to do.  We are also getting ready to make some of our own modules that are specific to our zoo’s training needs.  All in all, it’s very exciting and the folks at Cypherworx are an incredible support team, making it a painless roll out!! Thank you San Diego Zoo Global Academy!”

To get more information on the Academy, please contact Jon Prange, jprange@sandiegozoo.org or Linda Duca, lduca@cypherworx.com.

Global Academy News

Published Articles about the Academy!

Please check here to access articles written about the Academy's courses and collaborative learning environment.

The San Diego Zoo Global Academy welcomes the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has joined the Academy's collaborative learning environment!  They will have two privately branded customized sites, one for their employees and one for their volunteers.  Welcome!

Have you joined the Academy Aquarium Group?

If you are a subscriber to the Academy, the Academy Aquarium Group is another great way to stay informed about effective ways to leverage online training in your organization.  As new announcements are made in the group, the notifications can be sent directly to your email in-box.  If you are subscribed to your institution's site, you can quickly and easily be set up to receive these notifications.  Just send Gary Priest an email at gpriest@sandiegozoo.org to join the group.

Seeing Stripes: New Tiger Module Added to Animal Species Series

Get the inside scoop on these iconic cats!

What attracts us to tigers? Those hypnotic eyes? The grace and dignity of the walk? The power and cunning of the hunt? Choose any of a tiger’s charms and you’re hooked.

The newest addition to the Animal Species Series, Tigers, explores the physical characteristics, reproduction, distribution, and current conservation efforts to save Panthera tigris. The module includes stunning tiger photos along with interactive learning exercises, videos of tiger behaviors, and a full-audio narration. Quick quiz questions at the conclusion of the module let you assess your knowledge; you’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn. 

Watch a preview of the Tigers Species course

The Tiger module released this month complements the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s newest experience, the Tull Family Tiger Trail, opening on May 24, 2014. Tiger Trail immerses Park guests in the culture of Sumatra, the home of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger. Tiger Trail includes three separate yards with rocks for climbing, ponds for swimming, deadwood trees to use as scratching posts, and long grasses for catnaps for six tigers.

Helpful Hints from San Diego Zoo Global’s My Academy and The Volunteer Connection

My Academy and The Volunteer Connection are the privately branded custom employee and volunteer sites at San Diego Zoo Global. With the launch of the San Diego Zoo Global Academy we also set out to integrate online training into our own organization and this new section of the newsletter will highlight helpful hints from our respective sites.

My Academy Helpful Hint

Need a new safety topic for your department meeting?  There are hundreds of safety videos loaded in My Academy.  Historically, our organization required renting out the very limited safety DVDs—now we have access to a plethora of safety topics to keep the meeting fresh and informative.
Please note: San Diego Zoo Global is actively pursuing the integration of online training into our safety training efforts across the organization.  Watch for more information to follow as we share steps we take with this important endeavor.  
Have questions regarding the helpful hint? Ask Stephanie Crise, My Academy, at scrise@sandiegozoo.org

Volunteer Connection Helpful Hint

Are your volunteers afraid to use the Volunteer Connection site, or perhaps uncomfortable getting familiar with it?  Most people learn best by doing, so while introducing the site using a classroom format or tutorials is a great way to start, why not try creating a fun Volunteer Connection Scavenger Hunt?  Perhaps you can incentivize it with a fun prize for those who complete it.  Your volunteers might surprise themselves with how much they enjoy it, and how easy it is to use when they are motivated to play around and get familiar with it.
Have questions regarding the helpful hint? Ask Tammy Rach, The Volunteer Connection, at trach@sandiegozoo.org

Zoo & Conservation News Highlights

Scan through all of the Zoo & Conservation News compiled by the San Diego Zoo Global Library this week at the library website.

Not a Member Yet?

Contact Linda Duca

San Diego Zoo Global Academy


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