Helping a purpose-driven start-up to develop a set of key learning principles and lesson content, aimed at widening access to trade apprenticeships.
Faraday was founded by Alex Coleman, who had grown up in a family that worked in the trades. The first member of his family to attend higher education, Alex went on to work for an organisation that helped students from low-income backgrounds access college education. But he was disheartened when, despite best efforts, it was not possible to secure the necessary financial support for all of these students.
Alex wanted to provide a debt-free alternative to the traditional college route. His solution was to widen access to careers in the trades by providing apprenticeships that blended asynchronous video-based learning with on-the-job training, accessible regardless of past academic experience or present financial means.
Alex approached LearnJam for help ensuring that Faraday apprenticeships would provide a robust learning experience and fulfil the organisation’s purpose. Through this project, LearnJam and Faraday aimed to:
- better understand and articulate Faraday’s purpose and vision;
- build a strong learning design foundation to inform future product development that would be effective and engaging;
- create initial content for filming and launching on a very tight schedule;
- work closely with subject-matter experts to ensure content was not only pedagogically sound, but also accurate in its descriptions, explanations and representation of the specialist trade skills and tools involved.
Alignment with LearnJam’s purpose
- Remove barriers of access to education and work
- Support learners who are currently underserved
- Develop skills that we need for the future of humanity
At the start of the Faraday-LearnJam collaboration, the filming dates for video content on the debut course were already set, so timescales were tight. To achieve an optimum learning experience as efficiently as possible, LearnJam took the following approach:
- propose a simple but effective video-centred micro-lesson structure, allowing for Faraday to create new bespoke content within a sound pedagogical framework;
- work with subject-matter experts (SMEs) to develop several initial prototype lessons within this structure;
- review these for accuracy and clarity from a subject-matter perspective and for likely effectiveness and engagement from a learner’s perspective;
- iterate on this structure for the remaining lessons, incorporating ad hoc feedback on the process and outputs of video recording sessions alongside the development of further lesson content.
This rapid and iterative process enabled Faraday to meet their strict filming schedule with the reassurance that they could take the outputs of video shoots and edit and structure these in a logical and effective way for use in a learning platform. And by involving SMEs at every stage, everyone in the team could feel confident that quality and clarity weren’t sacrificed for the sake of speed.
- We worked closely with Faraday to develop a set of bespoke learning principles that allow them to pursue an approach to learning design that is truly in accordance with what they are seeking to achieve: a strong, inclusive community of future-skilled trade and green energy professionals.
- We guided Faraday in writing and structuring engaging content for self-study online learning, in keeping with the belief that online learning should be an active process, in which learners think deeply about the topics, watch real demonstrations, and connect what they’re learning with their own lives and experience.
- We worked alongside subject-matter experts (SMEs) throughout to ensure all content was accurate and promoted safe working practices. We also reviewed material resulting from the video shoots to check that it aligned with what the SMEs had advised and that it could easily be edited to fit the lesson structures we’d previously designed.
- The fast turnaround of the project motivated us all to quickly find ways of working and decision-making effectively and collaboratively, creating a blueprint for smoother future work.