Chisholm Institute has a great success story on using TrainingVC to increase access, and subsequently enrolments, on their Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing. A story by Charles Crouch.
Changing course delivery from a traditional weekly evening class to a blended model using recorded presentations, online discussion groups, and a Saturday workshop has re-energised the Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing program at Chisholm.
In 2011-2012 Chisholm foresaw a critical need for courses in Digital Marketing. Local businesses were searching for proficient marketers who could navigate the online world, but both skills and knowledge were lacking in the workforce. The Institute gathered a passionate team of industry stakeholders and built a completely new course cantered on the latest in digital marketing, 10151NAT – Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing. With local demand in south-east Victoria, a team of skilled instructors from industry, and courses focused on critical marketing skills, Chisholm felt the course would fill a critical need and quickly become a winner.
Alas, coming into the 2014 educational calendar year, the course was in danger of being cancelled for several reasons. Reduced state funding had impacted marketing qualifications, and a major restructure at Chisholm Institute jeopardised this sought after qualification. In addition, push-back from prospective students was increasing as their busy schedules made coming to class every week for over thirty weeks a daunting challenge. While the instructors and key staff at Chisholm still believed in the worth of the program, they knew that drastic changes had to be made if the certificate was going to continue to be offered.
Realising that converting prospects to actual students was key, the team completely redesigned the delivery method to accommodate their principle concerns of time and distance to class. A blended model was developed using principles of e-learning to design a flexible program composed of five units which students can enter at any time. Key attributes of the new program include:
- The Certificate is composed of five units which students can enter at any time, rather than wait for the next cycle to begin.
- A single evening class begins each unit, followed by an intensive period of online delivery. An all-day Saturday workshop several weeks later closes it.
- Recorded presentations with accompanying handouts are used to deliver the core material for the unit.
- Two online seminars via webinar are scheduled during the online period to provide experience in this medium as well as student interaction.
- An online discussion group with frequent postings is run using LinkedIn to encourage student discussions and introduce short topics not covered in the regular class material.
- The Saturday workshop focuses on student projects, a guest speaker, and assisting students to complete their assessments.
- Course material is made available through a dedicated portal using TrainingVC.
Several units have now been delivered using the new model, and they are already showing positive results. The focus on a flexible delivery mode using some class, recordings, webinars, and TrainingVC has been positively received by both current and prospective students. The digital marketing certificate has now become a successful program going from strength to strength, and thanks to the dedication of our passionate teachers and industry guest speakers, the feedback is fantastic.