EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE IN EDUCATION
Gay Lea Foods worked with D2L to facilitate continuous, easy-to-access learning and development opportunities for its elected representatives.
“We were really impressed with D2L,” says Goodwill. “They had the expertise to help us create what we envisioned, but also the experience to give new users all the help and assistance they need.”
This was especially important for Gay Lea Foods, because some of its delegates were not regular users of digital technology. Working with D2L, they were able to ensure that the courses were easy to navigate, and delegates were able to participate even in rural areas with limited bandwidth.
BUILDING INTERACTIVE TRAINING COURSES
Working closely with the Learning and Creative Services team at D2L, Gay Lea Foods has developed eight courses to-date covering a wide variety of topics, including sessions on each aspect of board governance and membership, as well as courses that provide Directors and delegates with insight into the structure of other co-operatives around the world. Fox says, “The learning and creative services team was instrumental in helping build a series of truly engaging online training courses, providing us with a development space where we could take risks and incorporate nontraditional styles of learning into each module.”
ENGAGING LEARNERS WITH GAMIFICATION
With the support and creative direction of D2L, Gay Lea Foods built a series of interactive courses
designed to make learning as fun and intuitive as possible. For instance, it structured its online training courses around a fictional dairy co-operative called Dombridge Dairy Farmers, which is populated with avatars representing dairy executives and board members.
Fox explains: “D2L really helped us utilize the power of gamification to bring learning to life and create engaging, teachable moments across the modules. Our learners can explore new concepts via interactions with characters within the fictional dairy co-operative. For instance, in one module, the CFO avatar instructs learners about the ratios of a successful company and outlines how these ratios impact the fictional co-operative.”
By interacting with avatars in the Dombridge Dairy Farmers learning environment, Gay Lea Foods’ learners can experience a realistic simulation of the actual scenarios they could experience in their role as a Director.
“The games are a lot of fun, but they also open delegates’ eyes to the fact that Gay Lea Foods faces many of the same challenges as the Dombridge Dairy Farmers co-operative—challenges that might not otherwise have occurred to them, which we think is a valuable lesson,” adds Fox.
INCORPORATING INTELLIGENT DESIGN
To encourage learners to focus on their development and track their progress, Gay Lea Foods has incorporated smart messaging features into its training modules.
“We are really seeing learners apply themselves to their courses,” says Fox. “D2L’s intelligent agents track a learner’s progress and their use of the tools in the course, then send them gentle reminders to start a new module or pick up where they left off.”
D2L also helped Gay Lea Foods incorporate a wide range of quizzes at various stages in their modules, including multiple choice quizzes and drag-and-drop quizzes.
“It’s a great way for us to measure progress, because if participants reach the 60 percent pass mark, we know that they’ve got a good grasp of the concepts we’re trying to teach,” says Goodwill.
He adds: “Many of our learners have commented on how much they enjoyed the quizzes and how they have helped them solidify their knowledge, while also making the learning process much more fun. There’s also an element of friendly competition. We found that many of them were comparing their marks with one another, motivating each other to improve.”