Client case studies
- Train the trainer (NHS Primary Care Trust)
- Distance learning (old university)
- Recruitment and selection (local company)
- Plagiarism (old university)
- Online tutoring (new university)
The initial enquiry asked for a ‘Train the Trainer’ workshop for functional specialists – not full time trainers – who have some responsibility for delivering occasional training sessions. Our contact had received feedback which suggested that there was a need for these sessions to be more energising and interactive.
We designed a ‘Facilitators’ Development Workshop’ following initial consultancy, which was accepted by the client. We ran the workshop with twelve participants in September 2003.
The workshop set out to model the types of behaviour identified during the training needs consultation phase. There was minimum ‘lecturing’, and lots of short, creative, participative activities where group members drew out their own learning points. Use of music, colour and movement made sure that everyone got involved. Throughout the day, short plenary ‘rewind’ slots helped to review learning outcomes and to ensure that learning was shared across the group.
Initial feedback, written and verbal, indicated that the programme had been very well received, and four months after the event, the client reported the group still very positive. The organisation’s ‘Training Support Group’ had expanded and formed action learning sets to provide support to each other. One delegate had gone on to pursue a professional training qualification.
OCSLD has been working with the university’s distance learning programmes for several years. Our main role is to offer annual events training new tutors in distance tutoring skills and supporting students using the university’s web conferencing facilities. OCSLD staff have worked closely with distance learning co-ordinators in devising support materials, workshops and online activities for their new distance tutors. More recently, we have facilitated sessions for other course teams to consider how they could best make use of the university’s online learning environment to support their distance learning students and programmes.
A local company approached OCSLD for support on improving their recruitment and selection processes. They annually recruit a team of over 50 staff, who are vital to the success of the company.
We worked with company executives on a one day intensive recruitment and selection programme, which they felt was very helpful to them. Their view after 12 months is that their recruitment and selection procedures are much improved, they have better staff retention rates, have reduced their annual recruitment and their customer satisfaction feedback continues to show positive trends.
We ran two half-day programmes on dealing with plagiarism, with the morning aimed at academic staff and the afternoon at administrative staff with, of course, some overlap of content for both groups. This meant that the academics could focus on designing courses that were less vulnerable, inducting and teaching students, and sharing views with others who were also concerned about academic integrity. The afternoon session had a policy and procedures focus and we could spend time on issues such as devising consistent punishments and agreeing how the university needed to move forward. Some people came to both but the split format alerted a large number of folk to issues, solutions and shared concerns.
Our four week Online tutoring course is itself an online course designed for teachers and trainers just starting to use technologies in their teaching. The emphasis is on the skills of facilitating communication, interaction and learning in individuals and groups of learners. It attracts participants from across the country and also from abroad.
A new university about to embark on some major e-learning advances asked us to run the course for a group of their staff. They wanted to tailor development of online tutors to specific requirements and context, and we were able to accommodate their wishes and adapt aspects of the course to their requirements.