Reflections on Remote Learning and Engagement Webinar Series

March 9, 2021 | News

By Nettie Aharon, Alex Pomson, and Meredith Woocher

Since March 2020, there have been very few educational interventions and initiatives that have not had to pivot to the virtual delivery of services and programs. For some, this has involved the expansion of already existing capacities; for others, it has required a radical reimagining of their educational practices and business models. In some cases, it has resulted in uncovering ways of reaching never previously imagined audiences. For others, it has led to being unplugged from the core activities that make them relevant.

Over the past year, Rosov Consulting has had unique exposure to these developments. With a current project portfolio of more than 50 philanthropies and nonprofit clients, our team has been called to evaluate the implementation of such adaptations,and how educators and learners experience them. We’ve had to explore the effectiveness of these new modalities and the outcomes they produce, in and of themselves as well as in comparison to face-to-face alternatives.

In a partnership with the Jewish Funders Network, we participated in a series of three 1-hour webinars for JFN members to explore various aspects of these developments. The goal of the sessions was to introduce JFN members to funder considerations and expectations when supporting such adaptations, program provider aspirations, and research data about what has transpired.

View the sessions:

  1. Remote Israel experiences — Nettie Aharon joined with Josh Donner of the Shapira Foundation and Ilan Wagner of Onward Israel.
  2. Remote professional development — Meredith Woocher joined with Stacie Cherner of the Jim Joseph Foundation and Marc Horowitz of the JCC Association.
  3. Remote schooling – Alex Pomson joined with Rachel Abrahams of the Mayberg Foundation and Marc Wolf of Prizmah Center for Jewish Day Schools.

This was an exciting experience for us. It’s always satisfying to share our work with broader audiences who can derive value from our efforts. In this instance, it was fascinating and affirming to hear our clients and colleagues talk about how they have made use of our work. Some described how our evaluation data enabled them to make smarter decisions and sharpen their practice. Others described how they have used findings and ideas in our reports to help them advocate for different ways of doing things. We don’t always know what happens to our work once we share our reports with our client-partners, so it was especially satisfying to gain this insight.

A last takeaway from this experience came from the learning derived from three very different projects. It was striking to see the extent to which best practices in remote learning and engagement are consistent across different sectors and audience, and to capture what these frameworks are able to and not able to accomplish. We are due to present further insights about this work at the annual conference of the Network for Research in Jewish Education in May. There is more to say!