North Dakota


North Dakota State Departments Leverage Dawn to Transform Training

The North Dakota State Departments of Public Instruction and Human Services and North Dakota Center for Distance Education address professional development
With the introduction of new early childhood standards for early childhood educators in North Dakota, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and Department of Human Services (DHS) secured a grant that allowed them to create online early childhood training that supported the state’s early childhood professional development needs. Kelli Odden, a professor at Mayville University with 26 years of experience in education, headed up the project. In addition to ensuring that the professional development created met the state’s new standards, Kelli wanted to make sure that the courses would be accessible and affordable for learners. She reached out to the North Dakota Center for Distance Education (NDCDE), which has run North Dakota’s online high school program for almost 30 years, to collaborate in finding a flexible and convenient online solution. Because their targeted population is spread out across the state—with many in highly-rural areas—and includes a broad range of ages, experience, and vocations, Kelli and the NDCDE wanted to find a solution that would facilitate interaction without requiring the time, cost, and travel of face-to-face training. An online solution seemed necessary, but a traditional LMS was too complicated for their needs, and Kelli didn’t want her learners to be tied to a desktop or laptop

Dawn offered flexibility

John Struchynski, the Technical Director of the NDCDE, had heard of Dawn’s mobile-first andvideo-centric PD solution from his colleague who attended the product launch co-hosted by TomVanderArk and Getting Smart at iNACOL. The NDCDE has been a longtime partner of Agilix and usesthe Buzz learning platform to host several hundred virtual courses in their online high schoolthroughout North Dakota and around the county, so he was familiar with our work and thought Dawnmight offer the convenience and flexibility that they needed.

John set up their Dawn site and handed it off to Kelli and her curriculum partner, Katie Larson, tobegin building and importing their curriculum, launching in the first week of September, 2019. Giventhe budget and previous responses to similar trainings, Kelli and her team set a goal of getting40−50 enrollments. To their delight, those expectations were far surpassed, with enrollmentsapproaching 1,000 in the first two months!

Next Steps For The Program

This level of success required quick adjustments by the entire team and collaboration with Agilixsupport and development, but they were able to scale seamlessly and meet the demand. Kelli andher team are ecstatic with the success and recommend maintaining and expanding the project.They are proud to be helping so many educators get the training and certification they need, andhappy to have found an easy-to-use, flexible, and convenient technology solution that resonateswith their audience.We are proud to call them our partners and look forward to seeing what more wecan do together!

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We were trying to figure out how to reach these individuals without having them drive two to three hours.
Dr. Kelli Odden
Associate Professor
Mayville State University

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Praise from Students in the Program

I love that there is an online option for this! I would otherwise have to travel to get all this wonderful information!
Out of all the online training I have done in the last year, I think these courses have been the best yet!

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