Student Story: Ian Griffin
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Tell me about yourself and your role?
My name is Ian Griffin and I work for The Insurance Institute of Ireland, which is a membership body for the insurance sector in Ireland. We offer training programs to our members, both from a qualification perspective and a CPD perspective, to promote further lifelong learning and to advance their careers.
My current position is Head of Online Learning & Innovation, and I’ve been with the company for about 12 years now. I’ve been in several positions within the company, but primarily my role is to manage & support online learning and the technology function. This would include the design and development of the highest quality engaging, innovative, practical, and relevant digital learning products that would include learning, CPD and assessment materials. We have a small team that helps develop these digital products (both our CPD and our qualification products), and they ensure the implementation of a successful digital learning innovation.
Can you share a bit about some of the projects that you would work on?
We first started our journey with the Digital Learning Institute back in December 2017 and we were seeking their advice in how we design and develop our CPD products. That was actually a day-long workshop with John Kilroy (CEO of DLI) and his team. They gave us the scope of how-to wireframe our products and helped us develop a new master template to ensure our products were in sync with our new brand.
Once the master templates were developed, we started working with DLI from a capacity side, because we have over 50 CPD eLearning courses in our catalogue at any one time. And obviously, with a small team, the big challenge for us was no.1, our capacity, and no.2, the sustainability of those courses. So we engaged with DLI to help us from a capacity side.
Following these capacity projects and helping us update our CPD products with that new format, we then started the journey of upskilling our staff internally, to help them have more confidence in developing the CPD products with the new templates. We also learned new technologies & functions when we we’re doing training courses with DLI. We implemented a new refined and streamlining of our ADDIE process, that helps speed up our development process for updating and developing new courses. Internally for our staff, one of the benefits we did see was a new sense of confidence that they had in developing digital products. It was something that was always kind of frightening, given the amount of technology that was available in the market, to create those digital learning products.
We’ve seen now that we’ve upskilled a lot of our internal staff, and we’re now actually creating a lot of new digital learning products on CPD, micro-learning products, podcasts, and the list goes on. I think of late on our qualifications, our staff have developed over 60 micro-learning products and that all has stemmed from engaging with the Digital Learning Institute and bringing back those key takeaways from going on various courses.
What impact did working with DLI have on your organization?
It caused a wide impact outside the organization because those micro-learning courses that were developed were given to students who were engaging with our courses, to have them reinforced their learning, or to get more familiar with a concept that was always seen as a struggle for students to understand. The internal team was able to make content that was in a textbook format and repurpose it into a digital learning product, which was more engaging and aesthetically pleasing.
In what benefits did that have for The Insurance Institute directly?
Because our staff were now more comfortable & confident in developing these types of products, it reduced our budget in terms of outsourcing or looking for additional capacity because we’re able to widen the capacity internally for our team to develop these products. So in terms of budgeting, it’s certainly reduced our costs where we would have traditionally outsourced that type of work in the past to get that expertise, but because of our staff going on these various courses we have reduced our costs.
It allowed us as well to reinvest that budget into improving and purchasing new additional technologies to allow our staff to develop these types of products. We were able to purchase different types of eLearning authoring tools, things like Articulate, Camtasia, or PowToon for video content. So the money that we would have traditionally spent on outsourcing, we’re able to reinvest that back with our staff and to purchase the technology that allowed them to develop these innovative types of digital learning products.
What do the next 12 months look like for you?
Having over 50 eLearning courses on our CPD products, a big question for us internally is the sustainability. How do we keep those up-to-date and current? How do we keep transforming to stay ahead when it comes to digital learning? Another big project for us over the next while, is making sure those digital learning are always accessible to our members, that ties in with our diversity and inclusion piece of our strategy, to ensure our students and members can access our digital learning products and get the maximum benefit from them.
Why did you choose the Digital Learning Institute?
We chose to work with DLI was because of the approachable nature of the team inside, be it from the start with John (CEO of DLI), Stefan (DLI Digital Learning Specialist) and Luana (Head of Development at DLI) who helped us out with those master templates and additional capacity. And then as well, we continued on that journey with them through training courses and also being able to network with other professionals in the digital learning environments as well and allowed us to see where our thinking was in comparison with other practitioners in the field, to allow us to see what we could take away from their learnings and share our learnings with them as well.
Can you describe the experience of learning with DLI and the experience that some of the staff would have had?
The staff have all loved going on the DLI courses, and for us it’s taking away the insights from the delivery of guest speakers and the topics. One of the main benefits that we find is that small community in Ireland, and having an outreach network there, just to have some support & reassurance and to learn from those people in that particular field whether that be what they’re doing, what they’re trailing, what challenges are they having as a business and what have they learned? So to be able to share that experience with them as well about our journey, it has helped our internal team gain a lot of confidence.
How likely would you be to recommend the Digital Learning Institute?
In the past, I’ve spoken to other people in the learning & development community, and I’d highly recommend for them to check out the Digital Learning Institute and the courses you offer and shared some of the great experiences that we have got from going on those courses and just our positive general experience of working with DLI. Certainly I would highly recommend DLI to any learning & development provider or staff member who wishes to upskill and see what types of digital products are out there in the market.
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