If you aren’t familiar with the organisation already, Ark is an education charity that exists to make sure that all children, regardless of their background, have access to a great education and real choices in life. They believed that, with the right approach, every school has the potential to succeed – even those in the most challenging circumstances. Nothing should be a barrier to children achieving. Things can, however, only be changed through hard work, high expectations and evidence-driven approaches. In some cases, it could be about tweaking the way a lesson is taught; in others, it’s changing the way they think about training teachers. Ark’s structured approach to teacher training and professional development is helping to embed outstanding teaching in all 37 schools they run– from trainee teachers right through to executive headteachers.
Ark’s mission is one that aligns perfectly with ours – to improve lives by providing equal access to high-quality learning opportunities and experiences.
Ark and Thinqi: enriching lives through the power of learning.
Our mission and values are just a few of the reasons some of the biggest multinational organisations have chosen to work with Thinqi. Our modern learning system, along with our guidance and expertise, is designed to empower organisations and their people to flourish, adapt quickly, and embrace new knowledge and skills. We’re committed to delivering exactly what’s needed to succeed in the modern workplace.
“One of the main reasons we chose to work with Thinqi was that it met the vast majority of our requirements,” says Victor Voutov, Training & Events Programme Manager at Ark. “We were looking for something that combined face-to-face with e-learning for a truly blended solution. Other offerings seemed to be good at only one or the other.”
Thinqi enabled Ark to continue face-to-face training but add digital into the mix. Before using Thinqi, most of Ark’s L&D was delivered in a face-to-face environment using workshops, with supporting documents being delivered via email. Tracking progress and completion was hard and a very manual process.
As Ark’s network expanded and its regions grew, L&D staff were faced with constant pressure to reproduce face-to-face sessions multiple times across different regions. This resulted in three key drawbacks:
- Duplication of effort
- A heavy admin workload
- Limited resources (there simply weren’t enough people to meet demand)
- Working in this way proved to be ultimately unsustainable. Ark needed to find a way to engage staff more effectively and efficiently.
According to Victor, this formed the key argument and business case for Ark’s investment in blended learning.
However, investing in technology is never a straightforward decision. Choosing the right LMS carries significant responsibility and while it can dramatically improve productivity and reduce costs in the long run, it can have serious financial repercussions if the wrong choice is made.
After extensive research in which a selection of different learning platforms were trialled, Victor found a good fit with Thinqi.
“Thinqi was different from other alternatives we had tried,” he says. “We loved the fact that it had an in-house system for event registrations, and that it was easy to manage and share resources. We also found it was simple to use, easy to navigate, and appeared intuitive. So far, the user experience has been extremely positive.”
A particular highlight for Victor is Thinqi’s ‘Playlists’ feature – a handy tool that allows users to aggregate content from different sources quickly and easily to combine them into a single piece of learning content. It’s a feature that facilitates and promotes the self-led journey of the modern learner.
The start of an exciting journey
Thinqi successfully went out to a cohort of 30-40 learners at Ark from July to August 2019, with the aim of training admins and staff as ‘LMS Champions’. This pilot was also used to identify ‘digital readiness’ across a sample group within the organisation and gauge the appetite for blended learning amongst employees. Since then Ark have launched the platform to their 300+ staff members in their Head Office and plan to launch to all staff across their network soon.
It was the start of a more learner-led approach to Ark’s L&D strategy.
“One of the main improvements we’ve noticed so far is that it’s questioning the way we build our face-to-face sessions,” says Victor. “We’re moving away from ‘death by Powerpoint’ and redesigning our sessions to be more blended and active, making full use of the digital tools to make the sessions more interactive and engaging.”
And the most positive experience for Victor so far?
“A member of my team became really excited by the platform and soon became a Playlists expert. They got right into the Advanced Editor and produced lots of content, repurposing a large portion of the curriculum. It really incentivised engagement.”
It’s still just the beginning of Ark’s journey with Thinqi. Our aim is to revolutionise the way organisations train and support their people, putting in place the foundations for a solid culture of modern learning.
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