It’s been a very positive experience from start to finish. Everyone we’ve dealt with along the way provided immense support.Pauline Dwyer, centre manager, IINH
To improve the student experience and upskill staff
IINH provides globally accredited programmes and continuing professional development (CPD) to wellness sector professionals. IINH’s qualified health coaches and nutritional therapists have the knowledge and expertise needed to set up and practise sucessfully in the fast-expanding wellness sector, and IINH’s Alumni community enables them to update their understanding and skills with CPD.
Nutrition & Health Coaches and Nutritional Therapists work in different ways to motivate, educate and empower clients to achieve their health goals through sustainable behaviour change around diet and lifestyle. This includes supporting clients to optimise diet, control weight, reduce stress, establish suitable exercise habits, as well as to manage conditions such as diabetes, obesity, digestive and autoimmune disorders, and other chronic conditions.
IINH’s courses are designed to foster practical skills training, incorporating case study work with actual clients into their courses, alongside the theoretical and academic learning.
IINH has long-since combined digital course content with in-person sessions, but having to migrate all tuition online during the Covid-19 pandemic prompted it to critically reassess its current learning platform.
“It wasn’t user-friendly or easy to navigate,” explains Pauline Dwyer, centre manager at IINH. “We wanted to make the path and the journey for students as easy as possible.”
In addition, IINH wanted the opportunity to start afresh by training staff on a new platform so they would be able to maximise their use of the features they would gain.
“The old system looked quite dated. We wanted something with a new look and feel and also something that we could all learn how to use it in the best way,” adds Caroline Seale, nutritional therapy programme co-ordinator at IINH. “With a new system, we would have all the training to really understand how to maximise and use it in the best way.”
Feature-rich learning and teaching experiences
IINH reviewed the market for learning platform solutions and approached D2L following a recommendation. D2L demonstrated the potentials that Brightspace could offer and IINH were impressed.
“It offered exactly what we were looking for, which is essentially an easy to use, comprehensive platform for our students, where everything is in one place and pleasing to the eye,” says Pauline.
To begin with, staff were trained on Brightspace, then implementation followed over six months, during which time D2L held weekly calls with the IINH team.
It wasn’t just that we had actual features, like how to upload things, explained to us but also how to structure learning materials for the learner to be able to understand better.Eva Campbell, innovations manager, IINH
D2L’s support extended beyond training on how to use the platform and into guidance and advice on course structure and content delivery, as Caroline explains: “It made us really question how we were delivering everything, and how to accommodate different learning styles, like auditory, visual and kinaesthetic learners.”
By the time IINH had completed the rollout, over 200 learners across Health Coaching, Nutritional Therapy and short courses were using Brightspace.
Straightaway, the team made impressive use of the platform’s tools and features to optimise the experience for learners, trainers and administrators. Modules are released every month, students learn the material and test their knowledge through quizzes.
Discussion forums keep students connected, while announcements and the in-platform calendar help with organisation and compliance. Assignments are managed through the platform too, and a range of tools have made efficiency gains for the staff and streamlined course delivery.
“We use intelligent agents for welcome emails,” says Caroline. “We’ve automated notifications and we send reminders of deadlines, so that saves time. Also, we’re starting to see benefits now with the assignments, because we mark on Brightspace and the grading book is great.”
As IINH continues to evolve course delivery through the platform it is reviewing rubrics, a framework of learning criteria for consistent marking and clear learning outcomes, for future use.
Clear learning pathways and positive feedback
IINH successfully transitioned from an earlier learning platform to Brightspace in order to deliver feature-rich learning and teaching experiences to a diverse and geographically spread learner base.
It has achieved its objective of improving the online learning experience by providing clear learning pathways through a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate interface where everything is in one place.
IINH was delighted to see that learner feedback from surveys released after each module was very positive. In addition, the team conducted a standalone survey in early 2023 and discovered that students appreciate the ease with which they can find everything, and like the notifications and automated reminders. These save them from having to manually record deadlines in their own calendars.
Brightspace supports a range of content types and IINH takes full advantage of this to cater to all learning types. This came through in student feedback, with auditory learners appreciating the podcasts and visual learners the visuals displayed on the pages. As one student commented: “Podcasts displayed on the html page with content helps information ‘stay’ in your head rather than reading or listening to each on their own.”
The training and support provided by D2L was central to the success.Pauline Dwyer, centre manager, IINH
Student engagement with the quizzes and assignments has been excellent with 100% completion by first, second- and third-year nutritional therapy students. IINH was also pleased to see a low student dropout rate and gained value from being able to track student progress.
Grading through the platform and intelligent agents that automate messages to students have saved staff time, freeing them up to further engage with students, as Caroline explains: “It allows us to give a better service to students by, for example, picking up the phone and talking to them. In the past, it was so hectic we didn’t have the time to ring and properly talk, and that personal touch is what we’re all about at the college.”
“Even though the move was primarily for students, the old platform just didn’t work for the coordinators,” adds Pauline. “Now, everything’s in one place.”
IINH also values the quality control benefits Brightspace brings as all marking is carried out in the single, cohesive environment, averting the need to copy and paste content from one place to another and the risks that brings.
IINH set out to improve usability and the overall learning experience through the online environment it provides to students. It also aimed to upskill staff in the full capabilities of a modern-day platform. It succeeded in providing up-to-date and feature-rich learning pathways and equipping staff to get the most out of what Brightspace provides. Throughout, the team’s strong working partnership with D2L has helped it succeed in its expansion and objectives.
Discover Brightspace for member training, visit d2l.com/en-eu/solutions/associations/member-training/.