IBC develops online learning for a business audience in Articulate Storyline on topics ranging from digital marketing to web design. They needed to be able to sell and deliver this content without modifying the current production process.
The process of browsing, purchasing and discussing the courses had to be as compelling as powerful e-commerce sites in order to persuade the learners to part with their cash. There also were a number of teachers at the College who needed to be able to deliver their own content to the website and manage communities.
An additional challenge was that the website would be developed in English and delivered in Danish, meaning a full translation along with a secure and familiar payment method which was trusted in the Danish marketplace.
IBC attended a seminar run by Saffron at the 2014 Learning Technologies Summer entitled: ‘The dinosaur LMS and the new learning experience network’. Fascinated by our vision for the future of learning and knowledge platforms, IBC’s Chief Digitalisation Officer, Flemming Bornemann, contacted Saffron.
We won the business by demonstrating the capability of open source software to offer an Amazon-like ecommerce experience and integrated social networking capabilities alongside learning management. A sleek, mobile-ready user experience which could be customised from scratch (not just branded) was another key selling point.
The technical build combined multiple plugins for managing courses, enrolments and instructors, a player for Articulate Storyline packages, several e-commerce components and a social networking tool.
To maximise participation, we used social APIs to allow sign-up via LinkedIn or Facebook. We enabled content discovery with e-commerce-like browsing pages and relevance indicators.
Existing students are met with a familiar dashboard when they log into the system, displaying the courses they own, their progress and highlighting a range of notifications from the communities linked to each course.
The Storyline packages were ‘framed’ by enticing preview pages featuring a rating and recent reviews. Inside each course a clear structure sits alongside interactive content which plays without using a light-box or pop-up – essential for multi-device learning. Units are broken up into ‘bitesize’ chunks which ensure learners are constantly rewarded for participation.
The aim was to not only have a social section of the website but to integrate social features into the main user experience. Drawing on our expertise on social knowledge management, we:
- Allowed users to leave reviews on courses and give star ratings
- Pushed all student activity and progress into the activity feed
- Created communities for users to actively discuss specific courses
- Allowed users to send direct messages to instructors and tag others in posts
The result is a site which offers learners a ‘consumer-technology’ user experience on any device.
Hydrogen has a demanding, competitive, and time-pressured learner-audience. So they needed to build a platform which could capture and keep the attention of recruitment consultants. The primary focus of this audience is to get back to the business of earning commission, and not necessarily learning that would improve their performance.
Though fast-growing, Hydrogen is a small to medium sized enterprise, with only 350 employees. Budget for the project was limited. To create a sustainable solution, we needed to work with an existing open source platform, Moodle, within a limited scope for development work.
After researching other LMS providers, Hydrogen approached Saffron because of our innovative approach to LMS development and design.
The open source aspect of our technology solution appealed to Hydrogen as it didn’t tie them into any expensive licence fees and restrictions.
We based our solution on the Saffron Grow distribution of Moodle. We wowed the client with a fresh design approach was inspired by the Windows 8 Metro tiles, which made use of existing brand iconography.
Our theme completely transformed the home page of Moodle into a personalised and colour-coded dashboard, inspired by the Windows 8 Metro style. The design is responsive for tablet and smartphones.
The central purple tile immediately directs learners to the elearning pathway in which they are enrolled and notifies them of pending activities. In addition, a live feed of selected content delivered via an RSS feed keeps learners updated on insights from the L&D team.
Whilst budgets were limited, Saffron found innovative design solutions which allowed us to use functionality native to Moodle, and existing tools to produce a corporate level of functionality on a much lower budget. Our development included:
- Learning organised in a bespoke, pathway course format underpinned by personal development plans
- Rating functionality, so content can be improved through social peer review
- The ability to ‘Add-a-note’ at any point, and also to print out a report which contains all the evidence of learning. This is ideal for the weekly performance reviews with supervisors that consultants need to attend
- A team reports block
On 6 July 2005, the Olympic Committee awarded London the rights to host the 2012 Olympic Games. The following day, four men detonated four bombs, three in quick succession aboard London Underground trains and a later one on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. Fifty-two people, as well as the four bombers, were killed in the attacks and over 700 were injured.
While planning for the Games proceeded on the assumption that the national security threat level will be severe, there was a clear focus on ensuring that the Games would go ahead under almost any circumstances.
The Heathrow Express rail service (HeX) already transports over 16,000 passengers daily between London Paddington train station and Heathrow airport, with an additional 43,000 people arriving every day at London Heathrow during the Olympics, a 45% increase in airport traffic.
Previous incident response training consisted solely of a highly detailed but difficult to navigate procedures manual, with no supplementary formal training for on-call managers. Even more experienced staff were put off by the compliance-orientated structure and size of the documents. As a result, the documents were not thoroughly read by those responsible for their execution, or accessible in the event of an emergency that could risk lives, the company’s reputation and its future. With the number of service users likely to increase by over 50% during the Olympics, and with all the world’s eyes on London, HeX needed to be sure that staff could make the right choices instantly under immense pressure, should the worst happen.
HeX had previously worked with Saffron in 2008 to produce Fire Safety compliance training. The training that was delivered was bespoke and tailored specifically to their infrastructure. In this instance the scope of the training went beyond the traditional user groups to include external groups such as contractors and sub-contractors.
As the course was mandatory, Saffron built a back-end mechanism which meant that users could only receive their security pass on completion of the course. HeX wanted the same innovative approach to developing back-end solutions for the new Incident Respose training.
HeX and Saffron Interactive tackled the training need with a three-fold blend:
- A ground-breaking elearning course
- Thorough documentation available to all staff
- A live practice exercise that recreated an emergency situation
These learning methods were all designed to ensure that HeX personnel would make the correct choices in the event of a serious incident that threatened lives or compromised the business.
To effectively convey the seriousness of the learning, we drew inspiration from ‘film noir’ to design an immersive, graphic novel style course. The course allowed the learner to become a protagonist in the scenarios – to become the agent of their own success or downfall. The innovative presentation and content has inspired learners to explore modules that extend past their own role and responsibilities, resulting in a workforce that has a much deeper understanding of each others’ roles and responsibilities during an emergency event.
By maintaining a commitment to behavioural change and immersing the learner in dramatic interactive scenarios, we went far beyond nominal compliance to achieve genuine performance improvement. What’s more, the LMS and the takeaway resources have changed the way that HeX people learn, and have empowered and re-engaged an entire workforce.
The live exercise day demonstrated that individual and team performance was improved by the elearning, which has extended to improved collaboration with over 20 external agencies and given people a thirst for continual improvement.
As one learner described the experience: ‘I was quite surprised to find myself questioning my knowledge and understanding – I have 15 years experience of on call, and was also involved in writing the emergency plans and the emergency procedures. But even so, going through the modules, there were a couple of questions that I had to really think about, and one or two that caught me out!’
As a further result of the training, a number of inefficiencies within the organisation and partner organisations were uncovered. By analysing their approach to emergency procedures and highlighting areas for improvement, HeX has been able to refine and develop their approach to make travel safer for all. HeX is now looking to extend this outreach programme to an even larger selection of partners.
In 2014, 1.2 million women were victims of domestic abuse, over 400,000 were sexually assaulted, and 60,000 were raped. Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) is a national second tier service working with schools and youth services to change this.
After a project involving AVA-led research projects at six participating schools, an unprecedented wealth of insight was generated for the first time. Funded by Comic Relief, the Digital Prevention Project aims to spread this insight, influencing policy and changing the facts on the ground with a digitally-enabled blended approach. The aim: to equip practitioners to deliver a whole-school approach to prevent Violence Against Women and Girls.
Saffron won a tender process for this project by demonstrating our passion, ingenuity and appetite for innovation through previous work on mental health with TfL and Amnesty International, alongside learning management. A sleek, mobile-ready user experience which could be customised from scratch (not just branded) was another key selling point.
We thought hard about designing for the difficult messages, and finding the right visual approach to communicate. Universal, line-drawn graphics capture the attention of a practitioner who, perhaps just a few days ago, noticed something yet felt unable to take action.
The programme is also action-orientated: story-telling screens and conversation screens with vivid tips boxes and warnings deliver difficult content about holding disclosure conversations in an experiential way.
A key challenge for all the learning was to take on a dual function: both as a ‘catalyst’ experience and as a toolkit for facilitators to use in the field. ‘Detachable’ assets like images, infographics and animations make this possible. These bitesize learning experiences are as effective in the classroom or online or in a live event as they are in the context of the whole module. Saffron trained AVA on how to re-use any asset from the module.
The website is a mobile optimised gateway to constantly updated resources and a community of practice:
- The Toolkit structures diverse materials into a clear action framework following the ‘Understand, Prevent, Educate’ model
- The Network maps current projects to allow practitioners to register and connect with the nearest group, and connects to the e-Forum
- The Database is searchable, filterable and includes 50+ pages and 90+ multimedia resources, all curated or contributed by the AVA network
- Safe space provides immediate links to support for those directly affected
- The Suggestion Box asks users to contribute new resources to the database
We used Survey Monkey to create a diagnostic to capture key data points about users at the beginning and end of the programme. This is the remarkable change that our survey data showed among pilot participants:
- The number of learners who felt ‘very confident’ they knew what abuse was more than doubled, from 19% to 47%
- The number of people who felt confident they could make a difference in stopping VAWG doubled from 30% to 60%
- Those who were aware of the legislation surrounding forced marriage jumped from 36% to 67%
Disclosures at a school where the blended programme has been implemented have already increased by 300%. Amidst widespread media coverage, the platform has now entered official government guidelines from the Home Office, Department of Health and the Department for Education and been rolled out by two new local authorities.
It has also gained the support of the Times Education Supplement and the NSPCC. Here’s what one user had to say:
“The Digital Prevention Platform is the culmination of years of research and collaboration with projects around the UK and provides a unique resource which fills a much needed gap. Winning this award shows that it is possible to utilise technology to increase knowledge and confidence around sensitive issues and that ending violence against women and girls is a global priority.”
– Jo Sharpen, Children and Young people’s project co-ordinator, AVA