Be The Match
Case Study: TorranceLearning creates elearning for Be The Match
Be The Match® Expands Its Marrow Drive Volunteer Training with TorranceLearning
The National Marrow Donor Program’s (NMDP) Be The Match® registry matches donors with patients in need of a bone marrow transplant. Its mission is to grow its registry of potential donors to increase the odds that each patient will find a viable donor match.
The Business Need
Be The Match® relies heavily on volunteers to organize and run marrow donor registration drives. These events are the primary means through which potential marrow donors are recruited for the registry. Each volunteer must be trained in a consistent manner to ensure donor candidates are properly screened and accurate samples are collected.
Be The Match®’s traditional face-to-face volunteer training consumes a considerable amount of staff time and resources. In Michigan, for example, the small Be The Match® staff travels throughout the year to conduct face-to-face volunteer training. In a state that takes approximately 11 hours to drive from top to bottom, this means almost non-stop travel. In 2009, they trained 278 volunteers and logged a total of 44,000 miles on the road. BTM recognized that to meet its goal of increasing donor registrations, it would need to find an alternative to its traditional volunteer training method.
To supplement its in-person training, Be The Match® turned to elearning. They worked with TorranceLearning to develop an interactive, online Marrow Drive Volunteer Training course that covers all of the information, skills, and resources people need to successfully volunteer at a donor registration drive. This 40-minute course takes new volunteers through each step in the marrow drive registration process, providing them with information, practice, and video- and print-based support materials.
The interactive, multi-media course includes:
- Direct instruction in how to complete the different registration materials and guide potential donors through the different steps in a donor drive.
- Modeling in how to interact with potential donors including greeting them, explaining the registration process, and being responsive to questions and concerns.
- Practice Activities including: listening to and answering common donor questions and keeping track of paperwork.
- Demonstrations of appropriate techniques for collecting tissue samples and pre-assembling drive materials.
- Tracking tools to identify which volunteers have completed the training.
- A course feedback survey to gauge volunteers’ confidence in participating at a drive and to get their suggestions for ways to improve the course.
For many volunteers, this course will be the first time they learn about what’s involved in marrow donation and the life-saving gift that people offer to give when they register to become donors. Be The Match® appreciates and relies on the efforts of its volunteers who serve as the “public face” of the registry during drives.
The Marrow Drive Volunteer Training course is designed to convey that appreciation. Instruction focuses on helping volunteers understand the mechanics of running a successful drive and provides them with multiple practice activities that closely resemble the actual work they’ll be doing at the drive. The tone is intentionally upbeat and informal to mirror the ways in which Be The Match would like its volunteers to talk with potential donors.
To keep volunteers engaged and reminded of the importance of their contribution, the course is filled with high-end graphics, photos of actual donors and recipients, video demonstrations, and visuals of all drive materials. In addition, the Marrow Drive Volunteer Training course incorporates NMDP’s nationwide branding and color palette.
Initial reviews of the module have been very favorable. One volunteer who completed the course reported:
“It was a very informative course. It was easy to understand. It has all the info I need to help me feel comfortable volunteering. I am excited about volunteering. I can’t wait to get started.”
NMDP is making plans to update the course to offer it to all volunteer trainees nationwide.
Be The Match® North Central District coordinator, Barb Rozier, estimates the online Marrow Drive Volunteer Training course reduces the need for in-person training by approximately 30%. This enables Be The Match® to focus more of its time and resources on volunteer and donor recruitment and on growing awareness of the registry.