A unique three-way training partnership in Latin America
The provision of Spanish language training in all aspects of publishing has particular challenges in Latin America. The huge distances involved, the busy-ness of potential trainees, as well as limited resources, are major factors. So too is the fact that though there are many who have highly developed skills, not all are also good communicators or trainers. In response to this situation Spanish language publishers network, Letra Viva, BíblicaVirtual, a distance learning training platform from Argentina, and Media Associates International (MAI) are working together to provide distance learning opportunities in publishing skills in an accessible and economic format.
For the first four-week online training course for Spanish-language editors, MAI’s John Maust developed the outline for the classes and lined up the four teachers: Cris Garrido of LifeWay Publishers, Christine Kindberg of Tyndale House Publishers, editor and Spanish professor Diana Gonzalez, and author Christopher Shaw of Argentina. The course drew paid registrations from 60-plus participants across the region. Weekly interactive teaching sessions were followed up with hands-on tasks submitted to and evaluated by the teaching team.
The second four-week course on comics and graphic novels was led by experienced artist José Carlos Gutiérrez from Mexico. In this case advice and additional promotion was supplied by Nathan Butler, of COMIX35 / ROX35 Media. Naturally the visual potential of the virtual platform was key, as was the ability of participants to submit their weekly tasks by electronic media.
A third course, for beginning writers, was taught by experienced novelist Keila Ochoa. The format of a weekly teaching session with time for questions —usually Monday or Tuesday evening for the majority of participants (depending on their time zone)— with time for participants to complete and submit their tasks during the week, worked well. In many ways the timing worked better than short weekend workshops, when there is a tendency to include too much material, leaving insufficient time to digest and respond.
Unique features are the three-way partnership and reaching a wider, more disperse audience through the online courses. That people are actually paying to take the courses shows the level of interest. For the organising ministries the costs were minimal, the trainers received a useful reimbursement for their time, and the technical challenges of the programme were dealt with by BíblicaVirtual. Plans are being developed for further courses for writers, editors and other publishing professionals.
More information on the courses for Spanish speakers is available at www.biblicavirtual.com and is.gd/1jyevn
Contact: John Maust, MAI: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Darke, LetraVIVA: email@example.com
Juan José Barreda, BíbicaVirtual: firstname.lastname@example.org