Discover eLearning’s founder and director Chris Hodgson is proud to have been announced as a runner-up at the 2019 Learning Technologies Awards.
Chris, in collaboration with Middlesbrough College, was nominated in two categories; Excellence in the Design of Learning Content (public and non-profit sector) and Best Online Distance Learning Programme.
After receiving his nominations in September last year, Chris was invited to the Learning Technologies Awards gala evening – a glittering black tie celebration that attracts guests from across the learning and development industry worldwide.
The Learning Technologies Awards is recognised as the most prestigious awards scheme in the industry, rewarding the past year’s most innovative and creative learning developers.
The independent judging process, led and co-ordinated by the eLearning Network, is seen as being especially credible due to the team of judges being drawn from leading professionals rather than from the organisers themselves.
For both categories, Chris worked alongside Middlesbrough College on the Access to Higher Education: Diploma in Health programme.
The innovative, original and highly popular eLearning programme was created to give mature students a second chance at building a career in the health sector after they may have missed out on higher education earlier in life.
With the NHS needing to recruit 40,000 members of staff over the next five years, both Chris and the college believed that an accessible, engaging and ultimately successful training programme was imperative.
They also knew that dry learning experiences would lead to a high number of drop outs. With such a large number of new employees needed, minimising the probability of this was an added challenge they needed to embrace.
With that in mind, the developers created ‘Access Street’, an interactive journey through the diploma programme featuring artificial intelligence (AI) hosts, games and locations.
The course also contained a variety of quirky characters, places to visit, and role-playing features.
Seven out of 10 students have already progressed to university after completing the course, proving the validity of the design, layout and features included.
The awards gala was held on 27 November 2019 at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London.
Chris had the pleasure of sitting next to a team who’d travelled from the Netherlands called Digital Chefs, and enjoyed hearing about their work in developing mobile-based training for KLM amongst others.
Chris said: “Being nominated for the Learning Technologies Awards was an absolute honour. Along with the success rate of the Access course, this is proof of the good work going on between myself and Middlesbrough College. The whole team deserves credit for the creativity and hard work put in to making this project work.
“Attending the awards gala was a nice bonus too, and a real opportunity to meet plenty of like-minded learning developers from all over the world. I had a fantastic time at a superb event.
“If you take a look at some of the names nominated for the awards, you can see the sheer quality required to win. When you’re up against the likes of Channel 4, the BBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland, you know your project has to be good!
“Obviously I’m delighted our work was considered for the award, but not quite winning gives us something to aim for and definitely improve upon for next year.”
Following the nominations and subsequent awards ceremony, Chris and Middlesbrough College will continue to work together on the Access to Higher Education: Diploma in Health programme.
The next stage of the programme is a module on eHealth, covering several areas of healthcare provided through access to the internet.
Their new module is planned to launch later on in 2020.