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KNOXVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Social Work is piloting a new online learning management system that allows state employees to fulfill civil rights training requirements as well as other mandated courses and assessments.

The civil rights law training, offered through the college’s Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (SWORPS), uses video clips from the past as teaching tools. They include John F. Kennedy’s 1963 speech on civil rights and Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It was developed in conjunction with the state Department of Human Services (DHS).

The course, which is on a password-protected site, contains four video components that are set up as news broadcasts. It also has integrated online assessments. More than 5,000 state employees have completed the training.

Previously, state employees “met this requirement with material that was pretty dry,” said Betsy DeGeorge, assistant director for publications and media technology for SWORPS.

The program was revised by DHS’s Office of Learning and Professional Development, the College of Social Work, and UT’s Video and Photography Center.

A lot of the legal language had to be kept, but “the folks at DHS and SWORPS agreed that this material is both important and rises from very interesting historic roots; so we designed a training that tries to capture both history and requirements,” DeGeorge said.

SWORPS has worked with the children’s services department to develop a fully customized learning management system that will be released for general use by the department in January 2012. This system will allow the department to track the training and testing success of employees throughout the state.

To learn more about the training, visit

To learn more about SWORPS, visit

C O N T A C T :

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,