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Jisc Case Study

Learning analytics

Delivered for JISC

AT A GLANCE

  • Development of the Jisc learning analytics service
  • Ongoing support

THE CLIENT

Jisc is a not-for-profit company whose role is to support higher education and research institutions. It provides network and IT services, digital resources, advice, and procurement consulting, while researching and developing new information technologies and modes of working. Jisc is funded by a combination of the UK further and higher education funding bodies, and individual higher education institutions.

THE CHALLENGE

The Jisc learning analytics service development project is the world’s first national learning analytics service developed to address the key strategic goals of HE and FE organisations. SkillSet CEO, Tim Stratton, was engaged in the early stages of this project and was tasked with managing the implementation of the service, even as it developed, in the “pathfinder” institutions.

These pathfinders included the very earliest adopters, such as the University of Gloucestershire and Cardiff Metropolitan University, who were very much involved in shaping the Jisc service.

Tim inherited a number of projects that had already commenced and implemented strong project management controls. He created project initiation documentation, planned and coordinated communication with the institutions and managed subcontractors.

OUR APPROACH

Jemma Greener joined Tim on this project due to the number of pathfinder institutions (more than 20 concurrent) and the consequent volume of work. Tim and Jemma worked closely as a team, providing the main liaison between Jisc and the pathfinders. This enabled the Jisc technical team to spend much less time dealing directly with the institutions and more time on developing and setting up the service.

The project management team developed, or helped to develop and manage, several processes:

  • Support, including the introduction of Freshdesk – a trouble ticketing system.
  • User groups for Data Explorer, Study Goal, and the core Learning Records Warehouse set of products.
  • Project set up and reporting.
  • Implementation of Jisc systems (Data Explorer, Study Goal, plugins and data extraction) for each institution.

THE RESULTS

Both Tim and Jemma had considerable experience with relevant systems, particularly virtual learning environments, but throughout this project they have developed a deeper understanding of the technology and issues relating to learning analytics. For example:

  • Data structures – helping institutions to understand how their data should be used to populate the LRW. The progression codes and assessment data fed in by the University of South Wales from its Quercus and Blackboard systems is a good example.
  • Predictive modelling – explaining to customers how the predictive models constructed in OLAP and Tribal Student Insight work. Discussing data and model quality with Unicon and Marist College.
  • Data protection – Tim helped to deal with queries from customers relating to both the original and new data protection/service agreements and for getting these extended/signed by the institutions. Tim and Jemma were also involved in some of the technical implications e.g. the withdrawal of consent by a student who had previously agreed to let their personal data be used for analytics purposes.

OUR CLIENT’S FEEDBACK

Jisc rated SkillSet as a 5 out of 5 on our annual customer satisfaction survey for project management and system implementation. They also provided us with the following feedback:

Very pleased with our dedicated resource.

PAULETTE MAKEPEACE, Jisc

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South Lanarkshire College Case Study

Website migration and hosting for college website

Delivered for SOUTH LANARKSHIRE COLLEGE

AT A GLANCE

  • Migration of existing website to Amazon Web Services.
  • Monthly patching of the website.
  • Daily backup of the website.

THE CLIENT

South Lanarkshire College is a modern, forward-thinking institution, which takes great pride in the quality of its programmes and the success of its students. The college provides excellent education in outstanding facilities, delivered by well-qualified, highly trained staff.

The college welcomes more than 3000 fulltime students each year. It is, therefore, essential that the college’s website is effective in supporting both current and prospective students.

THE CHALLENGE

South Lanarkshire College issued an invitation to tender, seeking to appoint a single supplier for the provision of hosting and support services for the college website.

The requirements included a dedicated server within the UK, with cPanel access, compliance with GDPR regulations, and excellent uptime with regular backups.

SkillSet were subsequently successful in winning this invitation to tender.

OUR APPROACH

SkillSet employed an agile approach to the migration project using sprints, stories, and tasks. All of these could be tracked by the college on a shared Jira board.

The existing WordPress site was migrated onto Amazon Web Services with a MySQL database in Amazon RDS and a multi-zone deployment to ensure high availability.

THE RESULTS

The project was completed in only 15 working days. The college website can be found at:

https://www.south-lanarkshire-college.ac.uk/

South Lanarkshire College rated SkillSet 10 out of 10 for communication, value for money, and user satisfaction.

After completion of this initial migration project, South Lanarkshire College has since commissioned SkillSet to make several improvements to the site, which we continue to support and maintain.

OUR CLIENT’S FEEDBACK

“I have been hugely impressed with the way that SkillSet have managed the migration of our website from the incumbent supplier to a new server. Customer service has been excellent, communication has been outstanding, downtime during the switchover was minimal due to prior testing and bug fixing. The team was proactive in monitoring the site in the period immediately following the handover and has made suggestions for improvements, which will be of great benefit to the college, our students, and users of the website. Emails are responded to very quickly. All in all, I am absolutely delighted with the service that has been provided by SkillSet to-date.”

Lucy Flynn, Marketing Manager & International Officer, South Lanarkshire College.

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Office of Rail and Road Case Study

Data security course

Delivered for the OFFICE OF RAIL AND ROAD (ORR)

AT A GLANCE

  • Bespoke GDPR eLearning module.
  • Hosting on SkillSet’s own learning platform – elasticLearning.
  • Reporting dashboard in elasticLearning.

THE CLIENT

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the independent economic and safety regulator for Britain’s railways, and monitor of performance and efficiency for England’s strategic road network. It regulates Network Rail, including setting the targets it has to achieve and they report regularly on its performance. The ORR also monitor Highways England, ensuring it improves the performance and efficiency of England’s roads.

THE CHALLENGE

The ORR wanted to roll out online training for all their staff to support the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). SkillSet were approached to develop and host an ORR-branded GDPR eLearning module.

OUR APPROACH

Working with the ORR, SkillSet were able to clarify the aims, objectives, and the needs of a varied audience, enabling us to prioritise content as:

– Essential – this is directly visible on screen.

– Useful – this may be hidden on a “click for more information” button.

– Background – this was then removed from the main course and presented as a downloadable document.

We first produced a storyboard to show how content would be structured. Once this was agreed, we used Articulate Storyline 3 to build the eLearning, adding animation, graphics and a variety of user interactions, all appropriate for the mix of staff within the ORR.

To measure knowledge retention, we developed a bank of searching questions. Users are presented with different questions each time they attempt them. Feedback is provided for both right and wrong responses, allowing users to learn from their mistakes.

SkillSet hosts the GDPR eLearning on our own platform, elasticLearning. Built on serverless technologies, elasticLearning is a SCORM-compliant, highly reliable and secure solution for the rapid deployment of learning modules globally. elasticLearning provides a more cost-effective solution than a traditional learning management system; customers do not have to worry about the number of users accessing the eLearning as there is no per-user charge. A variety of reports and a management dashboard allows ORR administrators to track learner activity and success and to ensure that all appropriate staff have taken and passed the training.

THE RESULTS

We were able to roll out the ORR’s GDPR course to all of their staff rapidly and effectively. In our annual customer satisfaction survey, the ORR rated the elasticLearning platform as a 5 out of 5 for ease of use, account set-up, and value for money.

OUR CLIENT’S FEEDBACK

The SkillSet team have been extremely helpful and ensured that the eLearning course was up and running within a very short time frame. The main benefit of elasticLearning for us, is the ease-of-use, allowing staff to complete the course at a time that suits them and – at their own pace.

Sue MacSwan, Information manager, Office of Rail and Road

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Landex Case Study

Conversion of PDF materials into eLearning

Delivered for LANDEX

AT A GLANCE

  • Conversion of an existing bank of PDF materials into interactive eLearning
  • Diverse topics such as hydroponics, pesticides, and propagation
  • SkillSet were “…highly responsive and very easy to work with…”

THE CLIENT

Landex – Land Based Colleges Aspiring to Excellence – is a subscriber organisation with 43 member colleges in the UK. Landex provides a wide range of teaching and learning materials, which are available only to subscribing members.

THE CONTENT

With topics as diverse as hydroponics, pesticides, and propagation, students can acquire the vital skills required by the modern horticultural and agricultural industries.

Each course is accompanied by supporting information including further reading, resources and learning outcomes.

THE CHALLENGE

Landex wanted to ensure that all online content and services were developed to best meet the needs of users and to offer an engaging and enlightening experience.

The company issued an invitation to tender for suppliers to develop materials for the Landex online learning environment. This involved the conversion of an existing bank of content, written by subject specialists in PDF format, into interactive eLearning. SkillSet were subsequently successful in winning this invitation to tender.

OUR APPROACH

SkillSet delivered this project using the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation) methodology. We created a detailed storyboard following adult learning theories. Content was generated using Articulate Storyline and published as SCORM 1.2. This was fully tested and uploaded to the Landex Moodle system.

The screenshots below show an example of the original PDF on the left and the converted eLearning material on the right.

Original PDF material.
Converted eLearning material.

THE RESULTS

Converting eLearning from existing materials is SkillSet’s bread and butter. The SkillSet team were able to turn this project around quickly and effectively, with very positive feedback from Landex.

OUR CLIENT’S FEEDBACK

“SkillSet Ltd did an excellent job for Land Based Learning Ltd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Landex. They were highly responsive and very easy to work with. All our required deadlines were hit, and the quality of the work exceeded our expectations.”

Steven Porter, Director of Development, Landex – Land Based Colleges Aspiring to Excellence.

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LeDeR Case Study

Replacing classroom training with an online learning programme

Delivered for the LEARNING DISABILITIES MORTALITY REVIEW (LeDeR) PROGRAMME

AT A GLANCE

  • Developing, and rolling out, an automated process for reviewing the deaths of people with learning disabilities.
  • Providing support to regional staff to take forward the lessons learned in the reviews, in order to make improvements to services.

THE CLIENT

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme is delivered by the University of Bristol. It was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England.

A key part of the LeDeR programme is to support local areas to review the deaths of people with learning disabilities.

THE CHALLENGE

LeDeR reviewers had previously been trained in face-to-face training sessions run throughout England. This model was not scalable or sustainable beyond the anticipated end of the funding for the LeDeR programme. Following a competitive tendering exercise, SkillSet was selected to convert the existing material into an online system to train reviewers and representatives throughout England.

OUR APPROACH

SkillSet created a website, powered by the Moodle learning management system (LMS) – www.lederlearning.co.uk. Reviewers and local area contacts can self-register. Once their access has been approved, they are automatically enrolled onto the training pathway relevant to their role. Each pathway was designed and developed by SkillSet to transfer the same knowledge as the existing training.

Courses were created using a blend of video, eLearning, assessment questions and reflection tasks. Using the LMS, the LeDeR programme is able to track and report on learning. SkillSet automated the process of requesting access to the LeDeR IT system once a reviewer has completed the course.

THE RESULTS

The LeDeR programme now has a sustainable and scalable learning solution. It allows reviewers and representatives throughout England to gain the knowledge needed to review deaths at a pace and time that suits them. The LeDeR programme has confidence in the knowledge of reviewers through the use of assessments in the LMS. Managers can track and report on learning progress, including course completions, assessment results and feedback. The automation of the system access request process saves time, replacing a previously manual process. It also provides the audit trail to demonstrate that users of the system have been trained.

OUR CLIENT’S FEEDBACK

Thanks very much for all of your, and your team’s, efforts around the eLearning. We have started to have positive feedback about the content and the ease of use, so happy days!”

Andy Wistow, programme manager, LeDeR

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