Professional and Adult Learning Systems

Our goal: Create interactive, engaging training that helps mission-driven programs deepen their impact. We partner with clients to explore options that work best for their needs, and our collaborative project development and evaluation processes allow them to have a voice every step of the way. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to develop the right scenarios and contextualize learning in multiple formats—in person or online, in real time or on demand.

Featured Work

Creating Professional Development—Available Anytime, Anywhere

  • Economical, Sustainable Approaches to Reach Dispersed Audiences

    Paraeducators: What We Do Matters

    School staff members want to do what’s best for kids, and the state education agency needs to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to support student learning. To that end, we created 12 engaging, self-guided modules that can be accessed online by nearly 25,000 paraeducators across Washington state.

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  • Online Learning Customized for Caring Adults

    YouthBuild National Mentoring Alliance

    To scale up effective youth mentoring, we created a series of online modules to recruit and train mentors across the nation. Combining inspirational stories from young people, evidence of mentoring’s benefits, and detailed information that mentors and youth need about college and career readiness, the modules prepare caring adults to make a difference.

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  • A Cost-effective Approach to Coaching

    Talking It Through

    Coaching can help staff members and volunteers develop valuable skills, but in-person coaching is expensive to provide at scale. As a cost-efficient alternative, we created this custom online coaching experience. The 13 videos, interactive activities, and integrated knowledge checks build participants’ skills, confidence, and experience—anytime, anywhere.

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Making Complex Information Engaging And Accessible

  • Fifty Years Of Federal Policy in Two Minutes

    How Poverty is Measured in the United States

    Onboarding often requires new staff members and volunteers to master highly technical information. This animated orientation video applies best practices in adult learning to make an arcane government formula easy to understand.

  • More Than Compliance—Improving Job Performance

    Equality versus Equity

    Understanding the difference between equal treatment and equitable treatment can be difficult, but when it comes to what students need to succeed, equitable treatment is the only legal choice. By creating a memorable and inviting visual metaphor, this short animation demonstrates why equity matters—and what staff can do to promote equity in every classroom.

  • Putting Best Practices at Everyone’s Fingertips

    A SMART Approach to Training Literacy Volunteers

    When we redesigned online and in-person onboarding for the statewide nonprofit Start Making A Reader Today (SMART), we created support materials that are attractive and functional, as well as informative. These just-in-time job aids provide exactly what SMART reading coaches need to know.

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Designing And Delivering Training That’s Effective And Replicable

  • Reaching Large Audiences with the Same High-quality Onboarding

    VISTA Pre-Service Orientation

    The more staff members or volunteers you add, the tougher it is to ensure everyone is well prepared to carry out your mission. Every year, 5,000 people participate in AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), serving for 12 months at organizations across the country that help eradicate poverty.

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  • Online Training Options to Ensure No One is Left Out

    Online VISTA Pre-Service Orientation

    Online learning should never be a “second-best” option. For VISTA members who can’t travel to orientation, we developed a facilitated blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities that optimize online delivery to meet the same learning objectives as the in-person orientation.

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  • Raising the Bar on Quality, Consistency, and Sustainability

    MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

    Even the best curriculum isn’t effective without buy-in from those who are supposed to use it. When MENTOR wanted to create a nationwide curriculum, we collected and assessed the materials used in each state and thoughtfully engaged stakeholders as we created 12 “best of the best” modules and facilitator guides.

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  • Online Courses That Build Skills Through Personalized Feedback

    Resource Development: Fundraising & Grant Writing Course

    Fundraising is one of the most important—and sometimes intimidating—responsibilities that nonprofit staff members and volunteers have. Participants in this online course work at hundreds of organizations across the US., with highly varied missions and resources.

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Let us design what’s right for you!

What Our Clients Say About Our Work

The opportunity to work with you to develop accessible, engaging, dynamic online professional learning for paraeducators has been our pleasure. The growth curve was steep and fast for all of us, and I am grateful for your team’s commitment to exploring ideas and options. We are very pleased with the final products, and I am hopeful that these tools will help us to provide the kind of support that paraeducators need to continue to do their work, because what they do matters. Thank you for caring so deeply about this work with us. I could feel your sincere commitment to do quality and meaningful work from the onset of this project. I hope we can continue to collaborate to promote these materials. It has been a true gift to work with each of you.
Marissa Rathbone, Director of Operations, Learning and Teaching, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Washington

The needs assessment was invaluable—we went into the project thinking we had a pretty good idea of what we needed, and the assessment revealed several helpful insights from our volunteers that transformed this project.
Kanna Hudson, Start Making a Reader Today

We appreciate that Education Northwest structured the product development process so that it was collaborative and inclusive, allowing our staff and volunteers to provide their expertise every step of the way.
Kanna Hudson, Start Making a Reader Today