Due to updates in the core product range and ongoing changes in the regulated marketplace, this programme needed to be delivered quickly and in a flexible way in order to recognise the previous experience of new entrants. The challenge was that a more traditional elearning development approach would mean that the roll out of training would not meet the launch date requirements of the business.
It would take several weeks to gather the core learning content, time to write scripts and even more time to get these signed off. The concern was that the deadline for delivery would come before any of the modules were even ready to be built (let alone delivered).
At City & Guilds Kineo we see rapid elearning as an approach to the production and development of learning that includes the following key principles of collaboration:
- Focus on service; ensure processes are streamlined to deliver best value and meet the individual requirements of a project
- Involve stakeholders in its creation
Focus on service
Ensure processes are streamlined to deliver best value and meet the individual requirements of a project. The subject matter experts (SMEs) were made available over a two-month period. None were experienced in elearning development and so, bearing in mind the challenging timescales, they needed to work directly with an interactive designer right from the start.
Elearning design and development commonly follows a well established process: Scoping -> Scripting -> Assembly -> Delivery. This had to be streamlined to meet the deadlines:
- Day 1 – SME and learning designer agree the overall design of the module and start scripting directly into the rapid development tool Articulate, using its range of Engage presentational tools
- Day 2 – SME and learning designer complete the script; learning designer writes graphical briefs and dispatches to graphic artist working in parallel
- Day 3 – Most of the content is now in Articulate and the SME reviews as each element is completed
- Day 4 – Learning designer polishes the interactions, checks the questions work properly, adds new images and does initial quality assurance testing
- Day 5 – Final review by SME with amendments made on the spot
To get a final sign-off by the end of the day so that both learning designer and SME could move on to the next project on the following Monday. In almost all of the courses, sign-off was achieved within these time frames.
The key was having the City & Guilds Kineo designers on site working directly with the bank's team throughout the two-month design and production time frame. The end result was nearly 30 hours of effective learning delivered by four learning designers and a dedicated SME for each topic. An impossible result if using more traditional elearning development approaches.
Involve stakeholders in its creation
The key to the success of this project was the close working relationship of the bank's SMEs and our designers. This allowed the designers to provide the right design structure and interactive vocabulary, and encourage the SMEs to do more than just provide content. Early on in the process, we were able to get SMEs to start to explore more engaging approaches to present information and check understanding.
Through the involvement of the SMEs we could apply the following principles:
- Sales people are goal-oriented. It must be clear that the learning will enable them to achieve a specific goal or objective. They’re busy, and don’t have a lot of time for ‘learning’. It must be short and focused
- Sales people are relevancy-oriented. Engagement is as much based on relevancy to the task at hand as it is on any look and feel or entertainment factor. So it was important that relevant examples or scenarios were embedded in the learning
- Sales people are also very practical, focusing on the aspects most useful to them in their work. They wanted examples showing concepts in practice, giving them a chance to pause and think
We worked with these principles to create clearly structured courses, following a common approach across the board.
The complete solution involved elearning, workshop delivery and a rich set of learning support and useful links, through a dedicated onboarding site that was built and maintained by the bank's learning design team.
City & Guilds Kineo’s input into this overall solution, with its innovative SME/designer collaboration, represents a significant improvement in how subject matter expertise can be unlocked and channelled into practical and cost effective learning.
"Partnering with [City & Guilds] Kineo on this project gave us fresh thinking on the way that elearning can be developed. This insight enabled us to meet genuine business pressures to deliver faster and more flexible results that are fit for purpose and cost sensitive." - Project Manager, client bank