Professional development is right at your fingertips with the Rotary Learning Center, which offers members a range of interactive courses on navigating Rotary's online tools and developing leadership skills to prepare for new Rotary roles.
Anyone with a My Rotary account can take a free course in the Learning Center. Among the many courses available are How to Run a Webinar, How to Propose Legislation, Rotary Club Central Resources, and role-specific selections.
Get started by finding the Learning Center under the LEARNING & REFERENCE tab on Rotary.org. If you are already registered on the site, you will have a profile. If not, it's easy to create an account. From the MY PROFILE tab, you can modify your profile, find announcements about new and upcoming courses, and join a community to discuss what you're learning.
A great way to begin is by viewing the How to Navigate the Learning Center video tutorial, which covers what's available and how to make the most of it.
The center's catalog allows users to browse a list of subjects or see a complete rundown of all the courses offered. When registering for a course, you can either proceed to the material immediately or save it for later, returning to it from the MY COURSES tab.
Course material is provided in a variety of formats, including PDF and Word documents, interactive e-learning modules, and videos. Only some e-learning modules have audio, but all of them enable you to decide when to go on to the next screen.
A bar at the top of the screen marks your progress through each course. And a snapshot of all the courses you have registered for is available with the COURSE HISTORY tab, which also enables you to print a certificate once you have completed all requirements. Some district leaders require attendees at in-person training sessions to bring a printed certificate to ensure that they review relevant material before their session.
"This is a great way to use the center," says Adam Arents, Rotary's supervisor of learning technology. "It's better preparation than emailing a list of documents and saying, 'Please read these.' "
If your district sponsors fellowships or scholarships, you'll want to point recipients toward the Orientation for Scholars, Vocational Training Teams, and Peace Fellows course.
One of the most popular courses is Strengthen Rotary, which teaches members to incorporate Rotary values into everyday activities. The Rotary Club Central Resources course, another popular offering, helps members set goals and improve membership information.
For the first time, a required course will be added for representatives attending the 2016 Council on Legislation.
And a committee of British trainers, working on behalf of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI), has developed a course covering RIBI policies and practices. The team is preparing other courses for a more global audience.
Rotary's Learning Center is "a powerful tool," says Arents. "Many Rotarians don't realize the extent of what is there and what's useful for them. We're working to change that."