Education New Zealand, a Crown Agency, is responsible for marketing New Zealand as an education destination to international students. In a number of markets, potential students and families often use education agents to assist them in investigating whether to study overseas, and can act as a key influence in the decision making process. Thus, it is imperative to train international education agents to effectively promote New Zealand education to potential students in existing and emerging markets.
Previously, staff from ENZ's Wellington office would travel annually to multiple international destinations to deliver face-to-face training workshops, which was neither sustainable nor cost effective for the organization or the agents. It made sense to have an online solution that could curb these challenges.
Education New Zealand reached out to Kineo Pacific to develop an online learning model that:
- Would help train agents to sell New Zealand as a destination to live and study, by providing accurate information about education and life in New Zealand
- Improve the motivation, professionalism and effectiveness of education agents
- Increase the number of students choosing New Zealand as a place to study
- Coordinate elearning with a learning management system to track agents in the Education New Zealand Agent Program
Understanding the international reach this program would have, the up-skilling of agents had to be accessible, engaging, and interactive, while attracting new agents to participate in the program along the way. Kineo Pacific looked to an easy solution to solve ENZ's concerns:
Start with the Stories
Kineo Pacific's skilled designers created friendly and straight forward elearning modules, focusing on the stories of fictional international students who had positive experiences living and studying in New Zealand. The goal was to create an engaging storyline that was relatable and provided agents with a broad range of product knowledge on promoting New Zealand education to prospective students.
Out of the Box Learning Platform
ENZ needed more than just courses; they needed a learning management system with a variety of key functionalities to work effortlessly with minimal administration. Based on the following capabilities that ENZ required, Kineo Pacific identified Totara LMS as the best solution:
- Language packs and automatic translation: catering to overseas agents where English may not be their first language
- Scalable: ENZ had the ability to start out with just a few users and quickly expand their numbers without a great need to change infrastructure or be stung by a per-user license
- Reporting power: track program and unit completion across different countries and markets
- Branded interface: a simple custom theme was built to match the exact design of the content to create a consistent look and feel.
The end result has been a great success; not only did the program win a coveted Platinum LearnX Award in 2014 for Best Online eLearning Model, but the overwhelmingly positive feedback from agents serves as a true testament to the success of the engaging storyline, and interactivity of the modules in the ENZ Agent Portal. Since the August 2013 launch date, the number of new agents in the ENZ network has grown from 566 to 1550 across the world. Not only that, but Education New Zealand has been able to effectively promote the elearning program to agents through marketing communications, and has begun using the program within the ENZ organization to train staff as part of their induction program.
Overall, the seamless transition from face-to-face training to the elearning modules hosted on Totara LMS has reduced travel costs, increased agent satisfaction, and ENZ continues to see success in the effectiveness of education agents promoting New Zealand as an education destination.
"Kineo were a pleasure to work with on this project and quickly came to grips with what we were trying to achieve through the elearning program. They worked closely with us every step of the way to bring the project to fruition. Feedback from agents has been extremely positive and has allowed our staff both offshore and in New Zealand to have an excellent tool to promote New Zealand education to current agents and to attract new agents to the program. The recent award that Kineo and ENZ has been awarded by LearnX has proven that not only have we created a great tool for agents and staff, but we also have the industry endorsement which can only lend further credibility to our program." - Mandi Van Weede, Education New Zealand, Trade Marketing Manager.