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2) Reinforcing behaviour change Rather than simply teach colleagues about policies and procedures, behaviour change was achieved by reinforcing the importance of one key action throughout the learning – checking your conduct and asking ‘Is it OK?’ – linked to Channel 4’s comedy chat show The Last Leg.

3) Using an authentic voice Channel 4 has a distinctive culture, which is valued by employees. In order to build engagement and trust with learners it was essential to capture and convey this culture throughout the learning content: Style – Content was written to encapsulate Channel 4’s core values for employees: ‘Fearless’, ‘Curious’, ‘Cheeky’ and ‘With Heart’. Imagery – Throughout the e-learning, imagery from Channel 4’s broadcast output reinforced the key learning messages. This built the link between the Code of Conduct and the cutting edge broadcasting that Channel 4 tries to deliver. Voice – Where audio narration was used, it was provided by the familiar voice of a Channel 4 continuity announcer. Peer contributions – Contained content contributed by Channel 4 employees in a variety of roles, from graduate interns to the chief executive.

4) Technology – responsiveness, LMS Channel 4’s workforce profile is young, creative and of course media-savvy. It was essential that the content met their high expectations of interface and technology:

Placing learning in context The e-learning was driven by authentic scenarios drawn from real work situations at Channel 4 that presented possible choices of conduct in a particular situation and then posed the question ‘Is it OK?’ The scenarios were set in the context of key messages from the Code of Conduct and referenced the underpinning policies and procedures. n Attractive and engaging interfaces A visual learning experience was created with minimal text on screen. Interfaces reflected contemporary touch-screen design styles to facilitate use on mobile devices. n Responsive HTML content To maximise accessibility, the e-learning was created using responsive HTML content formats. n Powerful learning management Learning management was provided by Acteon’s Knowledge Centre. This tool was integrated with the Channel 4 intranet to provide seamless access to the learning via a single login. The Knowledge Centre provided an intuitive, contemporary interface for users to access content, and was responsive for use on mobile devices. Knowledge Centre made it easy for Channel 4 to generate the management

information required. Dynamic reporting functionality means that managers could ‘cut’ usage and completion data in any way they wished to meet specific audit requirements. n Communications – a campaign for change not just a promotion for a course The critical challenge for the project was to build engagement with the necessary constraints of ‘codes’ and ‘policies’ in an organisation that thrives on taking creative risks. To help address this, and to really drive behaviour change, the programme was delivered as six focused modules released at weekly intervals and supported by a range of internal communication. The result was a campaign to staff around appropriate conduct and its importance to the reputation of Channel 4. Communication channels used to support each module included:

n Posters: Delivered on internal graphic message boards with striking images and provocative headlines to capture attention.

n ‘Message of the day’: A weekly slot in this important internal communication channel that is displayed to all staff when they first log in to their computer each day.

To build engagement from learners, the ‘important but dull’ message of compliance and conduct was linked to the aspirational goals of taking risks and pushing boundaries.

n All staff emails: Sent from chief executive David Abraham at key points during the implementation campaign.

n Video teasers: Short impactful video delivered via the intranet throughout the campaign.

After initial roll-out, focused reporting from the Knowledge Centre was used to guide communications from local managers to individuals or groups who needed additional prompting and support to complete the learning.


When the results are considered it’s important to remember that the objective was not engagement but behaviour change, and this is precisely what has occurred at Channel 4. n Enthusiastic uptake Learning to Take Risks achieved its critical audit requirement of 90% completion in only 11 weeks, 24 weeks ahead of schedule. Examination of uptake of the e-learning over time shows the effectiveness of the campaign-led approach with each communication initiative increasing the incremental uptake of the programme. n Engagement and behaviour change An evaluation was conducted of 100 learners to assess their experience of Learning to Take Risks and the impact of the learning on their behaviour. n 80% of Channel 4 employees said they were more likely to report a conflict of interest;

n 89% say they were more likely to declare gifts or hospitality. Channel 4 employees reported much greater awareness of the Code of Conduct as a result of the e-learning. Responses from delegates all followed a similar theme, that the programme

was: “Interesting, important and amusingly put together. A great achievement with what is essentially pretty dry material. Video inserts with staff were especially effective. That the programme was intuitive and fits perfectly with our culture and diverse learning styles.”

Summary Learning to Take Risks harnessed the potential of online learning to change behaviour in order to meet a key business need for Channel 4. Engagement from staff was excellent; business impact was demonstrated; and critical audit requirements met. Great communication, combined with engaging, responsive content and

powerful learning management created online learning that captured the cultural values of Channel 4 and used them to reinforce essential behaviours.

Laura Overton is managing director, Towards Maturity @lauraoverton

This case story by Towards Maturity is part of its good practice partnership with e.learning age and the E-Learning Awards

e.learning age april 2015 11

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