A Course Design Success Story

Find out about a classroom training programme we created for Santander speech bubbles(formerly Alliance & Leicester). The programme was designed to help their intranet content creators:

  • get to grips with using a new content management system
  • learn the basics of creating good quality content, and
  • write to comply with accessibility guidelines

The programme won an Award of Excellence from the Institute of Internal Communications. Read more about the programme and what the panel of judges had to say:

About the programme

Responsibility for writing intranet content was devolved across the organisation, so content creators came from a variety of different job roles and levels.

Our brief was clear. From a content perspective, a comprehensive programme. From a delivery perspective, a 'break the mould' approach. More innovative than other classroom training happening in the organisation.

What the panel had to say:

"A well thought through training programme designed to address the specific needs of a clearly defined but varied audience. It contains stimulating, involving material with a clear objective and a refreshing approach to a 'dry' subject."

About the learners

In the early stages of development we sliced and diced potential groups of learners to understand existing levels of knowledge and which pieces of content they would or wouldn't need to know.

What the panel had to say:

"The target audience has been clearly defined and segmented with needs differentiated depending on current knowledge and the role they play in Content Management."

About the benefits

The programme brought three major benefits:

Benefit 1: Quality content

The programme achieved better quality (accessibility compliant) intranet content, increasing job support and leading to improved organisational performance.

What the panel had to say:

"The benefits to the organisation from better quality input on the intranet are clear. The organisation has identified a particular need to train and develop the skills of its intranet publishers, rather than just retrain them on a new system.

This holistic approach means that the objectives for the training have been clearly stated and are appropriate to the business' need in a comprehensive way."

Benefit 2: Increased engagement

While developing the programme, we devised and ran highly interactive "lunch and learn" workshops. This introduced the intranet publishers to us, the style of training they could expect during the programme and the key concepts of the new content management system.

What the panel had to say:

"Using Pacific Blue as an external agency, has enabled the participants to see the learning as something new and fresh that has been brought in from outside."

Benefit 3: A sense of community

The "lunch and learn" programmes and our learner-centred approach to training meant the intranet publishers felt they were taking part in something different and special.

This encouraged a sense of belonging to a key team of people, contributing to the continuing success of the organisation.

What the panel had to say:

"Although the publishers are all individuals with different skills and work histories, the shared training experiences have given them the sense of being part of a team of experts. This sense of community has helped to ensure that there is support for people in their work with some helping others to develop expertise and confidence."

About the evaluation and feedback

After the training, we followed up with written feedback and phone surveys. We organised face-to-face sessions with trainers to understand which parts of the programme worked well and which parts needed tweaking.

What the panel had to say:

"Evaluation has been clear - phone questionnaires happen after the courses and feedback is gathered through meetings with trainers, providing a mix of qualitative and quantitive measures."

The success of the programme

The programme helped deliver the overall desired benefit of better quality content. A measure of success: after the programme was complete, the organisation's intranet was voted top intranet of the year by the Intranet Benchmarking Forum.

Getting your course designed

Find out about the nuts and bolts of getting us to complete a project by visiting our Getting Your Course Designed page.