The research was conducted together with the University of Amsterdam. Its design focussed on some ‘classical’ A-B studies combined with a pre-test-post-test-approach. This means creating randomised groups of people (A and B) and give them a different ‘treatment’, based on the hypothesis that the one is more effective than the other. In workplace learning, this is a very brave and unconventional approach. It’s hard to create the circumstances where you can deliberately offer half of the group a good/effective training program and the other half a possibly ‘bad’/less effective program. Online Academy took a smart approach to tackle this: they offered the training program ‘Information Security’ for free to their existing customers and were clear about the fact that learners would be part of this experiment.
Online Academy took this research design even a step further to combine different research questions. They also had to create five different ‘learning journeys’ on the aNewSpring platform to have the right and different ‘treatments’ to do the research. The different designs were related to adaptive / non-adaptive and to learning preferences: text based, audio based or a combination.
It took three months to develop the five different learning journeys, creating 177 screens, and 510 questions. In total 397 participants completed the course.