British Council custom e-learning

The course has already attracted a good deal of positive attention from exam boards that train their own invigilators.”

Martin Lowder, Deputy Operations Manager, British Council

What were you setting out to achieve with this project?

My job is to look at the whole customer experience and part of that is how we train our invigilators to comply with the standards we have to meet when delivering UK qualifications. We did run training for invigilators but there were concerns about the quality because different countries were doing their own thing which led to issues with consistency. We needed to address these issues. Our invigilators are our ambassadors because anyone who takes an exam in one of our overseas centres will ultimately judge us by their behaviour.

What did the content cover?

Video Arts created a two-hour, modular e-learning course after a steering group of 15 exam managers had specified the required content. The course provides an overview of the British Council and highlights the role of an invigilator before, during and after an exam. The course features video, voice-over, interactive exercises, invigilators talking about their role, 3D images of an exam room and a glossary of terms. Self-tests allow users to check their progress at the end of each module.

And why did you choose e-learning?

We used to run traditional, face-to-face training for invigilators but it was difficult to apply this consistently in different parts of the world; and it’s a lot of information for an invigilator to absorb in a few hours in a classroom. Also, it becomes expensive when you factor in the cost of the trainers and of hiring venues in 110 countries. We decided that an online course would enable us to standardise the training and save money. It also means that candidates can dip in and out of the content at their own time and pace, rather than having to go through all of the information in one sitting.

What made you decide to work with Video Arts?

We knew about Video Arts and their reputation and they impressed us with their understanding of learning management technology and with their ability to create effective learning content that appeals to different learning styles. Their design encompassed imaginative use of video, audio and imagery that made the learning engaging for the candidates; without the expense of high-tech gimmicks. The content could have been very dry but their design holds your attention.

How successful has the course been?

It’s been extremely well received. People like the content and the fact that they can go through it at their own convenience. We’re introducing it now for all of our invigilators and it will be a major asset for us as a training tool. It will also help us to reassure our exam boards that we have competent invigilators who have been consistently trained and who can adhere to their standards and regulations. In fact, the course has already attracted a good deal of positive attention from exam boards that train their own invigilators. We can also use the new course as a tool to help with the recruitment of extra invigilators for our busy periods.

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