New Beginnings Doula Training went live with two new websites earlier this month. Our public-facing website (www.trainingdoulas.com) got a new facelift and some new features including alumni testimonials and a revamped FAQ section. Our online training website got a major upgrade. Already our existing students have taken advantage of the streamlined training resources which are now available all in one location at https://course.trainingdoulas.com/. We’re excited to highlight some of the new features in this online version of our doula training course.
All course manuals are now published online. This allows for publishing updates more easily and keeping content up-to-date. In addition to the online course manuals, assignments can now be securely submitted via the in-page assignment editor (details in the next section) just below the assignment instructions. All supplemental materials are now included as part of the course instruction.
Prior to the upgrade, the course was administered primarily via PDF manuals sent to our students via email. (PDFs are still available for legacy reference.) Supplemental online materials were available on the main website via a student portal. It was something of an organizational challenge keeping all materials and requirements straight. The updates to the course manuals have greatly alleviated that challenge.
In-page Assignment Editor
One of the most exciting parts of the new online course materials is the inclusion of the new assignment editor, which allows for assignments to be submitted directly from within the online course manuals.
The in-page assignment editor appears at the bottom of each assignment in the online course manuals. It features an assignment status box, a rich text editor, and buttons to save an assignment as a draft or to submit the completed assignment. Attachments may also be added to assignments, giving students the option of including photos, graphics, PDFs, or word documents as requested by the assignment’s parameters.
Upon submission, assignments are automatically updated in the student’s progress report, with a quick link to access to the course assignments for review. Students also have the option to save their work in a “draft” status, and come back to complete the work at a later date.
Additional features not found on the previous student website now include a simple bookmarking tool, dynamically updated progress report, and direct access to billing summaries and reports.
A new bookmarking tool automatically records where students last visited in the online course manuals. The course bookmark tool becomes available after a student has visited the course manuals for the first time. Without having to click on or save anything, the bookmarking tool automatically remembers the last section of the course manuals that the student has visited. It is only available outside of the course manual sections of the website, and can easily be found as the second item down under the Student Progress column (on the right side of the page for full screen layouts).
Not an entirely new feature to this update, the progress report screen allows you to view the progress of your training at any time by viewing the status of assignments submitted. What is new is the ability to get automatic updates to your progress in real time for assignments submitted. Links are now also included in the progress report that take you directly to the online manual to review assignments submitted.
Assignments will still require up to two business days to be reviewed and graded. There are five different statuses that can be assigned to each assignment: “draft,” “submitted,” “incomplete,” “resubmitted,” or “completed.” The students’ submitted assignments are always available for view in the assignment editor area. Assignments marked as completed will be available in a “read-only” format, and can not be resubmitted or edited once marked as “completed.”
Assignments that were submitted prior to the upgrade to the new online manuals, will be marked as “completed,” but will not show up in the assignment editor area on the individual assignment pages.
Still a work in progress, a brand-new tool for this upgrade is the billing overview section. From within the billing overview screen, students can get detailed information about the status of their student account and access receipts for past transactions related to doula training. (Note that transactions for the Doula Shop are handled by a different billing system and are not available from the student dashboard.)
Individual receipts may be viewed by clicking on the ID # for each individual transaction. Features yet to be developed in this section will include option to automatically payoff your account balance and to suspend training, if needed.
More to Come
The new framework also allows for easier upgrades to include additional features which are still in development. The bottom line though for doulas is that it’s never been easier to complete one of the industry’s most comprehensive doula training programs.