Friday, June 8, 2018

By Margaret Ochoa, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Specialist, CSSRC

When the legislature tasked the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) to create an educational program to prevent juvenile sexting in 2017, the first concern of the Center was reach. The model needed to satisfy the mandate that juveniles who had been cited with a civil infraction under the new statute could access an educational program, regardless of where they lived within the State. Distance learning became the priority. Although the CSSRC staff enjoy being road warriors, this task was too large to meet statewide needs in person.

In an effort to emulate evidence-based learning design, the Center met with implementation experts from EPIC (the Evidence Based Practices in Implementation for Capacity resource center ) in DCJ. Friendly edits, constructive suggestions, and hard truths later, the course was ready for production, but online courses are expensive to produce, and the Center’s budget is frugal.

In stepped Jan Coffindaffer and Kristina Gavit from the Office of Professional Standards in CBI. That office develops national accreditation standards for the CBI; standardizes policies and training; conducts, reviews, and investigates complaints and allegations of misconduct; and reports on CBI statistics and inspections. It was the technical expertise of Kristina and Jan, together with their love of design and familiarity with Saba Publisher, that helped the Center’s ideas take flight. They worked tirelessly to ensure the product was operational, effective, engaging and attractive.

With the course visual production underway, the Center needed to record the audio. Major Jeff Goodwin, who has been the voice of the Center’s online work since its inception, was in between and working two jobs due to his recent promotion. Along came Trooper Josh Lewis, CSP’s Public Information Officer in charge of social media, who seamlessly picked up where Major Goodwin left off, rendering a flawless performance. Trooper Brady Kobus agreed to voice the role of a youth who had submitted an impact statement. That was a tall order, given the sensitive nature of the topic.
This course, which is unusual for the Center in that its audience is juveniles rather than the adults who serve them, needed an additional element. In an effort to fully engage adolescent girls as well as boys, the Center sought additional voice-over talent. Patricia Billinger, Public Information Officer for DPS, lent her voice to the project to keep costs down.

The School Safety Resource Center received the benefit of the generosity of our partners at CBI, CSP, DCJ, and EDO in a collaborative effort to serve Colorado’s youth. We are grateful to all of you for your efforts in making the project a reality while protecting our budget. The course is tangible evidence that our divisions take the Department’s motto “Safer Together” to heart.

To view the final product, please visit the CSSRC training web site or watch the videos on this YouTube playlist.

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