The Rapid Elearning Blog

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - LINGOs Global Giveback

LINGOS is a consortium of over 45 international humanitarian aid organizations.  The LINGOs mission is to provide learning technologies and courses to the member organizations.

Last December, LINGOS announced the eLearning Global Giveback Competition.  It was an opportunity for the elearning community to help fill the gap for those organizations that lacked some resources.  And the community came up big.  All of the courses listed were filled.

What makes the accomplishment even more amazing is that all of them were done in a very short period of time, some of the volunteers were unfamiliar with the authoring tools, some were even new to elearning, and many of the LINGOs organizations had to divert their attention because of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Despite these obstacles, over 40 courses were developed.  And there are still additional courses in the works.  That’s pretty impressive.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - LINGOs finalists

I’d like to personally thank all of those who volunteered and made the first event a great success.  I’d also like to encourage others to volunteer to continue to support the LINGOs organizations.  Here’s why:

  • If you’re a smaller elearning vendor or freelancer and trying to get your name out, this is a great way to do so.  You get to do a project that not only helps people, but it also gets a lot of visibility.
  • If you’re a student and want a valuable internship or learning experience, this is a good opportunity.  You’ll gain a lot of experience, learn while working on a real project, network and meet people, and have a nice project for your portfolio.
  • Speaking of portfolios, a lot of people tell me they can’t show their projects because of proprietary issues.  Volunteering for LINGOs is a way to solve that.  You can show off your elearning muscles and have a solid project for your portfolio.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - global giveback competiton

Here’s a link to the LINGOs projects that were submitted and made it to the finalist round.  Hopefully, there’ll be a place to see the other projects, as well.

By the way, David and I took up the challenge of creating a course because we wanted to give back and be able to use the course as a teaching project.  The LINGOs projects present some interesting dynamics. For us is working with a compressed timeline and limiting ourselves to PowerPoint, Engage, and the resources that most of the blog readers deal with.  On top of that, David’s in Phoenix, I’m in the Seattle area, and our client is in the UK.  You can see our project below.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - Christian Aid exampleClick here to view the Christian Aid course.

It was an interesting experience.  In addition, we tried out a few ideas.  I’ll write more about that soon where I discuss some of our strategic decisions, working virtually, and give away some assets based on the course design.


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28 responses to “Here's How E-Learning Can Change the World”

April 13th, 2010

Tom and David, thanks for sharing your Lingos eLearning Global Giveback course. Readers of your Blog should know that your modesty no doubt prevented you from reporting that your entry was the winner in the Individual Contributors category. It’s great that you contributed, and it’s awesome that you and David won. It’s about time you earned some credibility 🙂

Congratulations to you and David again! What a great honor!

I became aware of the Lingo competition too late but I have it on my radar for next year for sure. I can’t think of anything better than the three reasons you pointed out:
1. Give back
2. Exposure
3. Portfolio

New goal for next year – have more volunteers to build courses than organizations with courses to build! 🙂

April 13th, 2010

Thanks for all your inspiring posts Tom, I´m new in the whole e-learning concept but I´m putting all my efforts in becoming proficient in the subject and start designing good and engaging learning experiences.

I haven’t done anything yet, do you think starting with LINGO is a good option? I don’t think I´m ready specially after looking at the course you put together with Dave, which I think is very good, and by the way… how is it possible to embed the different engage interactions into one slide? and display them depending on the icon you click on the bottom of the screen?

@Bernardo – We’ll create lessons around everything we did in the course:-)

The Engage technique was to publish to Web rather than as an interaction within PowerPoint. Publishing to Web generates a .swf file which we can insert into PowerPoint (Articulate > Insert > Flash Movie). Once in the slide we can nudge it up about 50-75 pixels so the Engage nav bar is outside the published slide area.

Here are a couple screencasts around the visual design concepts we included in the course. Many more will follow!

1. Setting up scenes (walls, baseboards, floors):
2. Creating depth and perspective:

April 13th, 2010

I am so proud of the two of you! Articulate rocks! I am getting Articulate ’09 installed by IST today and am looking forward to using some of the new features that I saw in the LINGOS projects. It looks like it will definitely take eLearning up another notch!

On behalf of LINGOs, let me reiterate not only the congratulations to Tom and David for a fabulous course developed for ChristianAid, but also for getting the word out on the eLearning Global Giveback! Without this blog and its loyal, intrepid and very generous readers, I doubt we would have seen the response that led to over half a million dollars’ worth of eLearning developed in just over 2 months for the international NGO sector.

For those who want to continue to change the world through eLearning, we’ll be hosting a second Global Giveback. Stay tuned for details… or drop us an email at and we’ll keep you posted.

Thanks again to Tom and all you Rapid eLearning Blog readers!

Great post. I would like to find out more about volunteering for the LINGO organization.

We were unable to attend the conference and reception in person, but it was great of you to publicize the results and include the helpful links.

I would be delighted to volunteer. How do I learn more?

April 13th, 2010

Thank you for giving back, Tom and David! Wish I could send a big thank you to all who contributed to the Global Giveback from, especially the small, international NGO’s represented in the LINGOs community who could never dream of being able to access the e-learning you and others have made available!

These types of contributions make possible the ability to effectively support diverse learners in the field. As just one example, through this blog, creator Claudia Busch Lee found out about LINGOs and offered up her on-line leadership develoment 360-degree assessment tool.

For a resource-stretched NGO, it’s the difference between supporting the leadership develoment of our staff or letting them try to make it on their own. – Laura

I am an avid reader of your blogs and am able to apply a lot of the information to what I do. Thank you for everything!

I read your blog posts every week!! Thanks for all of them. They are very useful. I love them.

[…] LINGOS is a consortium of over 45 international humanitarian aid organizations.  The LINGOs mission is to provide learning technologies and courses to the member organizations. Last December, LINGOS announced the eLearning Global Giveback Competition.  It was an opportunity for the elearning community to help fill the gap for those organizations that lacked some resources.  And the […] Original post […]

April 14th, 2010

Tom & David – Great job on your eLearning course and for being a winner! As always, you are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for donating your time and skills to such a worthy cause. And thanks for a wonderful blog. 🙂

April 14th, 2010

Congratulations! It’s a great module. Cheers Jen

@GP and @KenW and others interested in volunteering for the next eLearning Global Giveback and learning more about LINGOs, please send an email to globalgiveback[at] or visit — and THANK YOU from all of us at LINGOs and our member organizations. Marian[at]

(Sorry for hijacking the comments, but didn’t know where to post this.)

I’ve just found a shortcut to Zooming-in whilst editing a slide – Ctrl + scroll wheel

But do you Tom or anyone else have a shortcut to pan in PowerPoint, it driving me mad, when I zoom in and need to get around the slide but have to use the scroll bars?

Thanks alot.


@Mo: good tip…not sure about the sideways scroll. I know that in other views, you can click the scroll button down and move around, but that doesn’t work on the slide. Perhaps someone wants to research horizontal scrolling.

Hey Tom,

Love the demo, very cool tips. Can you tell me where you got the little people icon from? The would be great to add to my library for future use.



@Matt: which little people icons are you referring to?

Great post. I found a great non-profit that has been helping
disadvantaged school districts and has had many success stories
improving student achievement in Math, SAT and ACT including Collier County, FL and St. Landry Parish in LA. Their site is CyberLearning also offers Technology courses that many schools could find useful.

[…] I’ve been working on a few ideas.  And they work.  In fact, when David Anderson and I volunteered to build the Christian Aid course for LINGOs we wanted to test a couple of the models: the Gilligan and the […]

love what you did with articulate.
In the Technology Overview section, you have interactive tool bar that stays at all time.
I really would like to know how you did that.

I found the solution. Thanks for being there for us.

May 5th, 2012

As one of the organisations that benefitted from this competition, I would like to thank everybody involved. With support from Lingos and those who volunteered, we are able to provide development opportunities to our colleagues living and working in some of the most challenging environments around the world.

[…] On top of that connect with your peers in the elearning community and read some good books. And of course you can always go to school to get more formal education and then volunteer to gain more experience. […]

[…] a previous post I discussed the Global Giveback program and how it can be a win-win for you and the organization you […]