Kirklees Council has an 18,000 strong workforce responsible for council operations for Huddersfield and surrounding areas including Holmfirth, famously the home of TV’s “Last of the Summer Wine.” Senior Learning and Development Officer Chris Allan and his colleagues are responsible for developing and delivering eLearning to a large and geographically distributed workforce, 8000 of which are PC users.
In November 2007, Chris received recognition that his team was making an impact when he collected the accolade for ‘Best Example of Supporting Learners Online’ at the 2007 eLearning Awards. The winning training programme was developed in-house, using Lectora from Trivantis alongside Adobe Captivate, to train users in new email applications. Now delivered online, such training would have been largely classroom-led prior to the council’s move towards blended learning.
“We found that Lectora was really simple to learn.”
The council had begun using Lectora 18 months ago after commissioning a local company to develop an online induction course. They specified that the course must be easy to update as personnel changes and policy evolves. The developer chose Lectora from Trivantis and Chris says “We found that Lectora was really simple to learn. We had used another authoring tool to create small learning pieces online, but it was not as sophisticated as what we are able to do with Lectora.”
Kirklees has since used Lectora to create a plethora of online learning tools including a vital training and testing process for those involved in the recruitment process. “It is really important that anybody involved in recruitment understands how to conduct interviews within the guidelines. This used to be a classroom course where day one was virtually absorbed by simply reading the policies. Now we have made it easier to read, and can ensure that nobody progresses to more in-depth training until they pass.”
“We use everything we can, including video, flash, pictures and quizzes. We always get very positive feedback.”
Gaining an eLearning award is just one indication that Kirklees is becoming a leading local government eLearning practitioner. Demonstrating effectiveness and cost efficiency is always vital, so the team is currently auditing the success of its eLearning and blended learning efforts. “The early results from the audit are very good indeed, and where we have replaced the classroom with online training in areas such as Email tuition, which is needed by all PC users, we have clearly made significant financial savings.”
The team has clearly been successful in engaging learners by using all of Lectora’s tools. “We use everything we can, including video, flash, pictures and quizzes. We always get very positive feedback, from both the basic evaluation that is built in and from ringing round and talking to learners.”
The investment in eLearning is set to continue at Kirklees. Chris continues. “We have a lot more ideas and projects to action. Currently we have about 50 learning packages online with 8 more to complete with Lectora before the end of the year and at least a dozen on the starting blocks for next year. Every time we sit down we try to find new ways to engage learners, and to get away from questions and answers, texts and multiple-choice questionnaires. We are currently turning what we have learned about induction training towards management inductions, to help new managers or those who are promoted to understand how things work.” Lectora will continue to be the tool that makes eLearning a critical part of Kirklees’ winning training strategy.