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Spring-Summer, 2020. Online program

ManGO!'s digital coach foundry

Is it easy to create an online digital coaching program? How many online coaches there really are on the market? What is the best way to become a digital coach? Having found answers to these and other questions, we are now ready to share this case with you.
16 people
2.5 months
ManGO! Games
ManGO! Games digital coaching training. ManGO! Games Portfolio
Mission: Teach experienced offline coaches the skills necessary to create and deliver online training sessions.

Background:

With offline training becoming unavailable during the quarantine period, the need arose to convert face-to-face events to an online format. This gave rise to the project that later on proved to be a significant challenge and an interesting experiment for our company.

A challenging initiative, the digital coach training program was one of the brightest events the ManGO! team has faced over the past few months.

Unable to stand the idea of leaving our customers without new skills and knowledge, we started preparing to move our training online.

This is where we ran into the first unexpected "discovery": among a great multitude of business coaches available, the number of those operating online was minuscule. It was like they didn't exist.

Solution:

Design and deliver an online coach training program.

Preparation

With a wide range of coaches skilled in a traditional face-to-face format, we couldn't find any experts with the right set of competencies to run online practice. Still, we came across some webinar speakers and TrainingSpace interactive instructors. TrainingSpace is a paid platform with an entry threshold of 500 thousand rubles. This, however, wasn't the best option for us to settle on. Under the pandemic and crisis conditions, we didn't want any additional mandatory costs for either ourselves or our clients.
We found ourselves in a paradoxical situation. With the digital coaching profession already in demand, there were no properly qualified candidates available. As the offline format performed its tasks perfectly, its sudden inapplicability shook up the market. The talent shortage became absolutely evident when we browsed HeadHunter searching for coaches to work with.
We used various coaching training programs and corresponding domestic and foreign literature to create a competency model.

We also came up with a questionnaire to assess the level of expertise in four main groups of competencies, including technical, theoretical and methodological, communicative and pedagogical, and administrative competencies.

While we have found people with relevant competencies, there were still none to fully meet the requirements of our questionnaire. Unfortunately, we never came across a combination of competencies necessary to deliver interactive training sessions. If they do exist, they are either busy or insufficient, which is why we failed to find coaches for our needs. At this point, we were left with no option except the development of our own program and the in-house training of such specialists.

A very important detail about the course is its sole availability to coaches with experience in offline operations.

Training process

While we invited all who wished to participate in the experiential training, they were still to be rigorously reviewed and tested. We received about 180 applications, 90 of which passed the preliminary selection process and were invited to undergo further testing. In the end, only 25 candidates scored well, and that with only half of the 90 candidates agreeing to take the tests.

Subsequently, 16 of the 25 people invited accepted the training terms, with just 8 reaching the finish line. Thus, only 8 out of 180 applicants managed to overcome all these trials and become freshly trained digital coaches. That's only 4%!

Only eight finalists, all representing different regions of our country, could demonstrate the skills required to the fullest extent. These figures really make one ponder the complexity of finding a qualified online coach today, as well as how small is the actual number of fully-trained experts in the field.

The training incorporated a flipped classroom model, with the theoretical part being studied independently and the synchronous meetings mainly devoted to practicing each skill.

The training course started in April and lasted for 2.5 months. The graduates received all the skills required to deliver, organize, produce, and supervise online courses and digital learning systems in light of the latest global e-learning trends. Now each of them can act as an author, facilitator, organizer, manager, or technical consultant for synchronous online training.

Conclusions

Oleg Koschinsky, the inspirer and mastermind of our digital coaching course, believes 2 to 2.5 months to be the optimal period to master the digital coaching approach, given that people usually take the studies alongside their work and other projects.
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