CASE STUDY 2: University of Cambridge
In 2009, Cambridge were in the throes of writing the HR strategy for the University. They recognised the advantages of incorporating learning technologies into their strategy, particularly in terms of cost-saving, but as most of their training programme was delivered face-to-face, they realised that they would need to bring in a specialist to help them to maximise the benefits of online learning.
The challenge at Cambridge was, in fact, twofold:
- To develop an elearning strategy for the University's 8,000 staff which would be fully integrated into the overall HR strategy and also to provide ongoing consultancy and support to help them to implement the strategy.
- To develop the elearning aspect of a blended induction programme.
We were selected from five leading UK elearning consultancies to work with them on these challenges.
As with Sellafield, our approach when developing strategy is to first get to know the organisation, to find out how they think and feel and to discover what really makes them tick. A university has a huge range of staff, from Nobel Prize Winners to gardeners, who vary wildly in their roles, technical capabilities and ability to access PCs, all of which need to be taken into account.
When developing content we start with the simplest solutions and work up in complexity until we find the ideal method to deliver learning content. We don't believe in making something more complicated or expensive than it needs to be.
We looked at all aspects of the learning experience and the University's technological capabilities before making our recommendations. Through employing the right technologies, we were able to realise a considerable cost-saving for the University. So what's the 'right technology'? Well, for example, we worked on identifying the best learning management approach and, rather than recommend that Cambridge purchase a new expensive package, we adapted an existing University course management system, based on the open source content management system, SAKAI, and added SCORM tracking to it.
We are now working with them to build and train an internal development team which will give the University the instructional design and technical skills to be able to build and author their own effective learning content. We won't, however, just build a team and leave them to it – we are there for expert support and guidance at every step of the way.
We designed and built a suite of electronic activities, resources and content that form part of Cambridge's blended induction programme. All content is fully accessible to W3C standards and beyond, whilst still getting top notch feedback from participants for engagement and effectiveness. Cambridge were keen to have a product that was very much 'theirs' and not 'off-the-shelf', so a highly collaborative approach and excellent communications were imperative.
One of the elements involved us using our film-making skills to film nine employees, including gardeners, administrators, academics and the Pro Vice-Chancellor, giving perspectives on their roles and what they enjoy about working at Cambridge, to broadcast online. We can't deny that we love playing Steven Spielberg and we like to think we're rather good at it!
In Summer 2010, we signed an agreement with Cambridge to become their elearning partner for staff development for the next two years. In addition to the courses in induction, health and safety, admissions interviewing and email management that we have already developed for them, we will be developing a range of courses specifically designed for the higher education environment in subjects such as project management, time management and communication skills.
About University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is one of the world's oldest universities and leading academic centres, and a self-governed community of scholars. Cambridge comprises 31 Colleges and over 150 departments, faculties, schools and other institutions and has over 8,000 staff. Academically, Cambridge is consistently ranked in the world's top five universities and as the leading university in Europe by numerous media and academic rankings. The University has more Nobel Prize winners than any other institution.
Fri 24 May 2013
Do you want to improve your personal productivity? Learn how to delegate effectively? Tame your inbox? Super You is for you.
Super You is a chance for you to check out our award-winning goal-based learning system, goalgetter, whilst improving your skills at the same time and the best thing is that it is entirely free of charge. The next course start on 1 July. Sign up online Places are limited and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
Tue 16 Apr 2013
We will be exhibiting under the banner of goalgetter at the CIPD's HRD exhibition at Olympia in London on 25 and 26 April. Rob Hubbard will also be speaking on 'Improving your Peoples' Performance with Goal-Based Learning' at 3.15pm on Thursday 26th. The exhibition is free. Come along and see us on stand 450 for a chat and a goalgetter demo.
Fri 8 Feb 2013
LearningAge Solutions scooped gold in the 'Learning Technologies Solution of the Year' category at the Learning Awards at the Dorchester Hotel in London last night. They were presented with their award by BBC Breakfast presenter, Susanna Reid.
The winning entry consisted of a suite elearning, including scenario-based learning, games and an app, to train an international sales force for Tarkett, a multinational flooring manufacturer.
Managing Director, Rob Hubbard said:
'We are delighted and honoured to have received this award from the well-respected Learning and Performance Institute. It feels fantastic to have our hard work recognised in this way.'
Tue 22 Jan 2013
We are delighted to follow up our eLearning Awards success by being shortlisted for a Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) Learning Award. Our eCampus project for Tarkett is a finalist in the Learning Technologies Solution category. Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London on 7 February 2013.
The Awards attracted over 200 entries this year with represenation from organisations across all five continents. LPI Chief Executive, Colin Steed said 'As the amount and quality of entries increase year on year, the achievement of our shortlisted entries is all the more impressive and we would like to congratulate all of them'.