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How to Safeguard Players

This blended solution includes an eLearning module and multiple job aids for the approximately 200 registered coaches and volunteers associated with a recreational softball organization in Atlanta, GA, in which over 300 players participate each season.


Murphey Candler Girls Softball Association

Project Type

Rise 360 with Job Aids


Abuse Prevention and
Legal Responsibility


Coaches Go to Bat for Their Players

Murphey Candler Girls Softball Association (MCGSA) required a comprehensive, yet concise, training exercise with accurate and up-to-date content to streamline the volunteer training requirement on this sensitive topic.


MCGSA also needed a means by which to require this training and track completion in a specific timeframe without an LMS.  Communicating this information in a consistent and complete manner was paramount to safeguarding players, protecting volunteers, and satisfying requirements put forth by the Board of Directors.

Experience the Course

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Design Document

begins with defining the overarching learning objective and can be found by scrolling there:

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Scroll through a selection of pages from a 25-page text-based Storyboard with programming notes for 10 lessons and final assessment.

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Scenario-based Learning     is engaging and effective because it simulates a real-world problem. The learner can practice the skill or behavior he or she has learned from the training in a risk-free environment and receive helpful feedback. If necessary, the learner can review and try again.

To support the storyboard, a Branching Scenario was built in Mindmeister to map out the pathway, distractors, and feedback for the scenario-based learning block in lesson 8:

Job Aids  to Support the Course

This eLearning course serves as an educational tool for all volunteers (mostly team coaches) of MCGSA for the purpose of recognizing the national problem, understanding the difference between a disclosure of abuse and a suspicion of abuse, and to follow the steps in causing a report. As volunteers, coaches must cause a report, not make a report.

  • To cause a report is to notify the designated reporter of the organization 

  • The designated reporter makes the report to the appropriate local authority.

Click here to view the design document for this infographic:  

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Bar Graph

Demonstrates the strengh of a recreational league over time. The design supports the Rise 360 course in which player registration numbers are given and the learners calculate a percent as a knowledge check.

The Problem

The problem was that information was being circulated each season in a virtual meeting format using an outdated PowerPoint presentation. Multiple League Directors trained a batch of coaches on content for which they were not subject matter experts. League Director (LD) roles change over every two years. Learner engagement was lacking, as training was required but not enforced.

In preseason, each League Director leads a synchronous virtual meeting (on a platform of their choosing) and invites head and assistant coaches of the teams (8-12 teams/league) to these mandatory meetings; however, 50-75% attend. Each LD presents a PPT deck that is poorly designed, unengaging, with errors. There is time to ask questions, but there is no assessment. 

Depending on personalities and comfort level discussing this heavy topic, material is presented in various ways. The LD’s record the session and email it to those unable to attend the virtual meeting. As you might imagine, few watch the missed meeting or open the PPT slide deck. Therefore, approximately half the volunteers in any given season do not have the basic training for this very important safety issue.

The LD refers coaches to the documents available on the website, yet the data is outdated (2010).  Current statistics and trends over time would be helpful in relaying the seriousness of this topic. A ‘What to Do’ guide exists, but it is basic and unmemorable. Another document is irrelevant because it is for school educator training. Coaching sports is similar, yet the differences warrant specific training. 

League Requirements:

All head, assistant, and field support coaches, league directors, and non-team personnel (all volunteers) must:

pass a background check before they are cleared to engage in coaching

be trained in recognizing child abuse and how to cause a report


Training Completion

A certificate of training is generated and emailed to each learner. The image harkens back to the training content in which the storyline depicts how adults who recognize and respond to child abuse can save a child from their situation, thus making them superheroes.

This certificate can be posted on social media as a way to:

  • encourage open communication about this problem

  • and promote the training

Hitting a Home Run

Because of the nature of this topic, my hope is that the acquired skills are employed with accuracy.
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