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Interactive and bespoke e-learning utilising branching scenarios to train compliance in the field for global humanitarian workers


  • E-learning
  • Mobile friendly, non-responsive
  • Marketing collateral
  • Animation
  • Multiple languages
  • Story/scenario driven
  • Gamification

The training need

It was recognised that compliance of people managers in the field had to be improved where the minimum standards for duty of care was concerned. The learning needed to take into account pre-existing knowledge and experience and be pitched at the right level so as not to be patronising to the senior audience, whilst at the same time being challenging and engaging.

W​alkgrove was commissioned to produce an e-learning module for the Council’s recently launched ‘Duty of Care’ policy. They were open to ideas on how we could elevate what most would see as an intrinsically ‘dry subject’. The ‘Duty of Care’ represents the everyday choices that people managers must take to make sure that their people are as safe, trained and informed as possible as they work with beneficiaries in bringing aid and support refugees worldwide.

Our learning solution

We worked closely with the stakeholders to gain an in-depth understanding of the training need and quickly established learning aims and outcomes. It was agreed that we wouldn’t follow the well-trodden path of most compliance based courses – ie, supply the learner with reams of policy information to digest, after which a compulsory assessment is administered. Instead, we opted for a more modern and inclusive learning solution, enhanced by an accompanying marketing piece to raise awareness of the course’s launch. The use of branching scenarios would afford the learner with a truly immersive experience where ‘learning by doing’ would play out with simulated, but real world consequences.

The bespoke e-learning is set in the remote fictional country of ‘Simuland’, where the Council had recently set some of their key security based courses. The learners’ mission is to assume the role of ‘Country Director’ and ensure the safety of their team as they partake in a mission across a highly volatile landscape. The team face inhospitable roads and warring factions of militant groups along the way. For each and every decision made by the learner there are directly related consequences. The aim of the learning supports the notion that, if minimum standards are adhered to, potentially negative outcomes could be avoided.

At the completion of the mission there is time for the learner to reflect on the decisions they have made. The e-learning also calls the learner to action by asking them to make commitments on future actions. This was done using the tried and trusted coaching model of ‘start, stop, and continue’. Commitments to each section must be made; ie ‘what will I start doing now, what will I stop doing etc.’. The outputs can be be exported via pdf and/or email so that the learner can refer back to them at a later date.

Key NRC stakeholders and Walkgrove designers worked closely to create the scenarios. The desire to make them believable, challenging and ultimately effective became a mantra for all involved. If any of these criteria fell short, the newly founded project team pulled on all available resources to ensure that they were brought back to being the best they could be.

This same team moved forwards together as the marketing piece was tackled. Producing a ‘teaser campaign’ comprising posters, promotional emails and a film style trailer to raise awareness and interest for the course soon became a reality.

The bold and brave choice of moving forwards with such a collaborative approach and learning solution has enabled Walkgrove to forge a great working relationship that has no doubt gone some way in securing our next collaboration with the NRC.