Prevention is better
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We’ve heard it a zillion times. And it’s true. When it comes to human trafficking, there is one thing the experts agree upon. Prevention is better.
Human trafficking education can prevent people from becoming victims. The challenge is… how do you get people to care about that education?
At PBJ Learning, we have approached the design of our material from the very beginning to be accessible and enjoyable for our students. We call the design of our courses “PREVENTucation.”
PREVENTucation blends traditional education (rigorous, measurable learning objectives) with gamification (interactive learning using gaming techniques), and allows learners to practice what they learn in a safe environment before their mastery is tested for an assessment-based certificate.
PREVENTucation = the best human trafficking prevention education.
Let’s break it down.
Our PREVENTucation courses meet three basic criteria:
- Rigorous. All material must be accurate and relevant to learning objectives.
- Measurable. Student mastery of learning objectives must be demonstrable.
- Interactive. Students can practice with concepts before they progress to additional advanced learning objectives.
What does a PBJ Learning class look like?
The structure and design of our courses is intentional, and we are open to improvement at any time. Here are the hallmarks of each of our courses.
Our alumni receive a post-course certificate that ensures understanding of the core learning objectives. These objectives are defined clearly by legal requirements or by experts in their fields. They are awarded for performance, not completion.
Pre- course assessment. Every course opens with an assessment to determine a baseline of an individual’s current understanding. This baseline helps us measure the effectiveness of our training.
Post- course assessment. Students must reach a certain mastery level of the learning objectives before they receive their certificate.
Certificates are accessible online / sharable through email. Alumni and those approving continuing education credits must have access to the certificate as well as the learning objectives from the related course.
Rigorous Course Content
All learning material comes from authoritative sources and is reviewed / approved by our advisers. This material is continually adjusted as new data is uncovered.
Measurable learning objectives. The only way we can know we are teaching something effectively is to find out if a student is actually learning. While we utilize multiple learning modalities in our materials, if we can’t measure it, we can’t prove we are teaching it.
Interactive Lessons and Activities
Your success is intentionally considered in every design decision.
You get what you want when you want it and wherever you want it. All courses are optimized for use on smartphone browsers, tablets, and laptops. If you can access the internet, you can access your courses.
Bite-sized videos, lessons, and activities. Your time is important to you. Everything is built to allow you to go “just a little further” instead of feeling the dread of watching an unstoppable 30 minute video.
While studies on interactive learning show 60+% increases in student engagement, we utilize it for students to have an opportunity to make mistakes and learn where to locate the correct answers within our learning / research materials. We believe mistakes lead to wisdom, so we ensure our students have the correct information and then give them tools to ensure they can apply that information correctly, until they feel comfortable with what they have learned.
Instructional and animated videos. Learning objectives are paired with and integrated within the most appropriate video techniques.
All the accurate education materials in the world aren’t going to help anyone if you can’t be sure that your learner can demonstrate their understanding of the expected outcomes.
First, you must determine the knowledge you wish your learners to receive and retain. These are the “learning objectives.”
They can be formulated into an objective question, such as: “What is the percentage of human trafficking victims in the United States are legally in the country?” Or they could be more conceptual: “Learner can explain why a particular case is or is not human trafficking.”
Our courses begin by defining those objectives. Often, they begin as a legal requirement, but they can also be added by us because we believe they are worth the investment of the learner’s time.
We then build a progression from the basic ideas to more complicated concepts. By the time the course is completed, students should be able to complete a quantitative test to objectively determine how well they understand (i.e. not committed to memory) the learning objectives.
You must be able to prove your students actually learned. If you don’t, what are you actually accomplishing?
Assessment-based certificate methodology
Our courses combine a pre-assessment and “mastery-level teaching” of specific learning objectives and end with an assessment-based certificate. Here’s a look at why we believe these are critical tools in education.
“Pre-assessments establish a baseline of performance from which student growth or learning gain can be gauged (Lazarowitz & Lieb, 2006; Wagner, Sasser, & DiBiase, 2002). This typically requires teachers to develop “parallel forms” of assessments that measure the same knowledge and skills but use slightly different questions or prompts.” Learn more here.
What is mastery learning?
“Mastery learning is THE transformational education innovation of our time. At its core, mastery learning enables students to move forward at their own pace as they master knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Effective implementation at scale will completely change how students learn, how teachers teach, and how schools work. It will revolutionize state testing, education research, and the labor market. It will transform how curricula are developed, how learning is measured, and how teachers are trained.” Learn more here.
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development suggests that utilization of a pre-assessment test alongside mastery-level teaching provides greater educational results.
“[U]sing pre-assessments to identify and then teach students those specific prerequisite skills resulted in 20 percent more students achieving mastery on a comprehensive course exam. Using mastery learning strategies led to a 35 percent increase. But when combined, the effects were cumulative. The number of students who achieved a mastery level on the comprehensive course examination rose to 61 percent. Viewed another way, the combination of teaching the prerequisites plus mastery learning resulted in more than seven times the number of students reaching the mastery standard than were able to reach it under more traditional methods of instruction.” Read more here.
“Assessment-based certificates are awarded only after a candidate has demonstrated a specified level of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) on an assessment. The KSAs that must be demonstrated to earn an assessment-based certificate are aligned with a companion training course or program of study. This is a significant difference from other types of certificates that do not require a demonstration of KSAs, such as certificates awarded for simply participating in a given class, conference, or training experience.” Learn more here.
We firmly believe that any human trafficking course that does not objectively measure the results of their training before they provide a certificate is not worth taking.
Rigorous, accurate material
Our materials are sourced from experts in the field, scientifically researched peer-reviewed studies, legal requirements, survivors, advocates, and other authoritative sources.
They are then reviewed by our advisers to determine which data is the most trustworthy. At that point, we translate those into the course material itself.
Finally, once our courses go “live,” we continually verify our materials are accurate and alter training to incorporate needed improvements.
Far beyond a typical “voice over a slideshow” training, Human Trafficking Essentials utilizes interactive education techniques to provide an unprecedented learning experience.
Interactive learning is six times better than passively watching videos or reading. A study from Carnegie Mellon University shows that students using interactive learning out-perform students only learning through instructional videos by a factor of six to one.
Wisdom and understanding come from making mistakes. Making lots of mistakes safely helps generate wisdom quickly. Read more about this concept here.
We encourage our students to make mistakes. We provide them ways to practice the concepts they learn, without threat of failure.
Our teaching style is to teach people how to “think about the material,” rather than just memorize it. When our students get an answer wrong, we applaud them for trying, and we use that opportunity to provide a new way for them to approach and / or understand the material.
We use ‘gamification’ techniques (see next section) that give students the opportunity to get ‘hands-on’ with the materials. Simple actions like sorting a list can activate different parts of your mind.
According to Stanford University School of Medicine, ‘Interactive learning actively engages the students in wrestling with the material. It reinvigorates the classroom for both students and faculty. Lectures are changed into discussions, and students and teachers become partners in the journey of knowledge acquisition.’ Learn more here.
Letting people make mistakes with no guilt or shame earns their trust.
Our post-course assessments not only provide assessment-based certificates, they encourage people to go back to learn from the reference material they have not mastered, instead of just telling them the correct answer.
Gamification is key to interactive learning
Gamification is a way to use proven techniques to encourage, engage, and reward people for successfully accomplishing desired goals.
PBJ Learning wants students to be interested in the course’s material, so we create (hopefully entertaining and interesting) interactive lessons and activities based upon learning objectives. These can be answering a multiple choice question or choosing your path through an interactive story. Whatever the case, what is important is getting a student to physically interact with the materials. Yes, that means something as minor as putting a finger on a screen. This activates multiple learning modalities and engages different parts of your brain.
Everyone learns differently, so in addition to that, we work to provide opportunities for different types of learners.
The use of different forms of testing, such as multiple choice tests, fill-in-the-blanks, true or false, or essay questions can also be used to assess the progress of students with different learning styles. Catering to the needs of different learning styles is an important aspect of e-learning which gives it the edge over traditional learning models. It is a good idea to use different types of material, and varying types of tests and quizzes to engage everyone in an online class. Learn more here.
As an example, human trafficking awareness includes recognition of common “Red Flags,” so those red flags are integrated into videos, reading material, and interactive activities, in context with other learning objectives.
Learning objective knowledge and retention is measured through pre- and post- course assessments.
We make the time to be sure the interactive experience is genuine and authentic for our learners. If there is a disconnect, you can bet they won’t participate, or worse, they will see it as valueless. Human Trafficking Essentials includes interactive elements that are easy enough to use so users can feel (and be) successful. We have heard our users describe the interactive experience to others, and their enthusiasm for this type of training moves those new students to take the course themselves.
Constant maintenance is required to ensure successful PREVENTucation!
We work hard to keep our materials up to date and to be sure that our students are able to use and enjoy interactive activities on every device.
PREVENTucation: Prevention education is better
We are passionate about ending human trafficking through education. We must end the supply of victims.
We believe that can be done.
Join us on our journey.