Developing an online learning platform to help people to fulfill their potential
How can we scale up personalised skills development and training across the enterprise?
Nicholson McBride is one of the UK's leading business psychology consultancies. They provide workshops, training and consultancy to organisations seeking to improve the performance of key members of staff.
Nicholson McBride delivers personalised consultancy by asking participants to respond to questionnaires which are then statistically analysed to provide personalised advice. Many engagements also include peer or manager reviews, where the participant completes a questionnaire about themselves and nominates colleagues who also complete questionnaires about them. Although these questionnaires were delivered online, reminders, reports and results were manual, increasing costs and introducing the possibility of errors.
Nicholson McBride commissioned Cursor to develop a bespoke system that would streamline creating questionnaires, sending reminders, collating results and generating personalised reports. Reducing costs, providing a better experience to participants and unlocking the potential to scale workshops to include thousands of participants. All vital components in helping Nicholson McBride with their mission to train and develop employees to produce better performing businesses
We identified an opportunity for Nicholson McBride to use digital technology to help it deliver services in a more connected way. Instead of a one-off workshop, participants enrol in a personalised learning journey consisting of questionnaires, learning resources, reports, and seminars. We visualised the learning journey in the style of the London Tube map with 'stops' on this journey representing activities and 'stations' representing events or learning outcomes.
The eLearning system we developed provided Nicholson McBride with the framework to create and manage a bank of 'white-label' learning journeys that could then be tailored and customised to a client's requirements.
The eLearning system creates bespoke online questionnaires based on tab-delimited spreadsheets that Nicholson Mcbride uploads. We selected this approach as many of the staff wished to continue to use Excel to edit and manage the library of questionnaires. The import files used a bespoke pseudo-language that could quickly define all the questionnaire components, from titles and instructions to options for multiple-choice fields, validation, pagination, grouping, scoring reference etc. We worked closely with Nicholson McBride's experts to develop and test the import system, providing comprehensive documentation and training to all client services and administration teams.
In addition to self-assessment questionnaires, a vital component of the eLearning system was to manage the nominee or 360 questionnaires where a participant could ask colleagues to complete a questionnaire about them. Participants enter contact details of their peer group, and they are invited to take part in a 360 survey. These respondents do not have to be enrolled on the learning journey themselves.
The system managed reminders, providing feedback on the number of respondents who had completed their peer questionnaire. The self-assessment and peer questions are also linked together for scoring purposes and require different wording (e.g. he/she/they rather than I).
From a user perspective, each questionnaire was bespoke to them, including specific questions, company branding and features to make completing the questionnaire as easy as possible. Progress through a questionnaire and answers were automatically saved, scheduled reminders followed up incomplete surveys, and we included options for resuming a questionnaire (without a password). All these features helped make the end-user experience as pleasant as possible. By automating the reminder process, the system provided Nicholson McBride with significant cost savings and the opportunity to scale up workshops with larger cohorts.
A learning journey is not just questionnaires and could include external resources such as links to documents, websites, online videos, other psychometric tools or other online resources; Anything that helps the participant towards their individual learning goals.
Once a questionnaire has been completed, the system uses the information gathered to build personalised reports ready for use in workshop sessions. These include bespoke text and charts generated using the scoring factors set earlier. The number of factors will help select the most appropriate graph to demonstrate the results. This automatic chart generation provides a significant time saving for administration staff.
The final component of a journey was to provide workshop information, including location and relevant travel information, to members of the cohort. At these workshops, Nicholson McBride consultants present their findings using generated reports and make recommendations on how participants can develop their skills to fulfil their potential.
After the workshop, slides and resources could be available on the learning journey and further questionnaires/steps if required. This helped to provide a seamless transition between online and offline learning environments.
The vision was to provide an easy to use, e-Learning system that helps Nicholson McBride deliver its groundbreaking work across digital media. The eLearning system provided a personal experience that can scale with large cohorts. Reducing costs and administration time but also improving accuracy and learner outcomes.
The greatest reward for us is a business partnership that has lasted for more than a decade, proving that we are committed to sustaining productive long-term relationships with our clients, which are mutually rewarding for both parties.
"Daniel and his team are exceeding expectations at every stage in the many projects we have built together." Charles Barlow