How Jaguar Land Rover reshaped its graduate programme with Ashorne Hill

May 26, 2022 | Development

Ashorne Management College has been working with Jaguar Land Rover to reshape its graduate programme.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is a unique business that needs its early talent to be pioneers and change-drivers. JLR and Ashorne Hill reimagined blended learning to develop a graduate programme that combined essential commercial know-how and real-world interpersonal skills.

Jaguar Land Rover and Ashorne Hill requirement gathering

Ashorne Hill was approached by JLR after they had identified that their graduate programme was in need of reshaping.

Jaguar Land Rover discovered that the graduates were receiving inconsistent experiences through their current development programme and that engagement itself was relatively low.

Multiple methods of delivery were discussed with the early careers team’s requirements in mind, alongside content and topic needs.

Some of the prerequisites were to provide access to the learning on a ‘pull’ basis (bitesize modules, in their own time), make the learning interactive, collaborative and with a social element. We also wanted to provide the opportunity for learners to track their own development through prompt feedback for completed activities and a method for the early careers team to track learner progress.

Ashorne Hill were able to offer a streamlined core curriculum that underpinned the required corporate skills, with improved delivery mechanisms, in which the early careers team were able to track attendee progress throughout.

After recognising the needs, agreeing objectives and expectations and appreciating the additional challenges on the graduates’ time, we began to create a blended programme using all aspects of both online, virtual and face-to-face learning.

Why blended learning?

Blended learning is a combination of online and face-to-face learning environments. It is currently seen to be the preferred method of learning due to the plethora of benefits associated with this delivery style. These include adaptability of the training, flexibility of access and time and the appeal to multiple learning styles. 

The term ‘online’ is often mistaken to mean ‘tick box’ or one-way activity. However, this term also refers to virtual classrooms, interactive videos, interactive modules, curated learning, social and collaborative options, self-reflection with instant feedback and work-based activities which are fed back to the facilitator.

To decide on the best cocktail or blend of learning from all these options, one must identify who the audience is, what the learning objectives are and then how best to deliver this.

The same can be true for face-to-face learning, which can often bring to mind a ‘death by PowerPoint’ scenario. However, this term also refers to experience-based activities, reflection and group discussion, embedding of online learning, next action steps, practical application, facilitated discussions and shared experiences.

Building the graduate programme

The structure for each journey remained the same, so that the attendees could become acclimated with the time and input required. However, each journey included differing online tasks, a variety of activities and alternate methods of engagement, so that the learners were not simply ‘going through the motions.’

A primary aim was to make the experience social and collaborative, and we ensured there was a safe space for open discussions between the learners, both online and face-to-face. This was to help them discuss the learning but also share their experiences, which in turn assisted them to network and build relationships with colleagues.

To encourage the cohort to stay ‘on topic’, the facilitators were always on-hand to help, support and offer input and insight where appropriate.

The online sections of the learning were closely monitored by the facilitation team, which included directly assessed work-based-activities, learning discussion forums led by the facilitators and responding to any questions the learners may have. This resulted in a fully supported online experience.

Mid-way through each journey virtual classrooms provided a facilitator led touch point. We wanted to avoid these sessions becoming ‘one-way traffic’ and be as interactive as possible. So, we reduced the number of topics being covered and used break out sessions, where the learners could openly discuss the topics, relate them back to their workplace and feedback to the facilitator.

Considering the number of learners from Jaguar Land Rover attending the two-day face-to-face events, we needed to ensure this was not only rewarding for the learners but also beneficial to the organisation.

We consolidated each journey with the face-to-face event to ensure all the learning had been embedded and to explore different experiences, applications and opinions.

To encourage the social element, promote interaction and engagement, we built-in time around the sessions for the learners to share thoughts and ideas.

Feedback and programme development

At the end of the first year, we invited graduates back to tell us about their overall experience on the training programme. Our thoughts are that if we can keep an open line of feedback, we can continue to recognise learners’ preferences and tweak the programme accordingly.

In response to the feedback we amended some of the tasks through the journey. For example, we noticed that the learners’ engagement increased with competitive activities and that additional feedback was received when the forms were anonymous. We therefore changed some of the tasks and the feedback format to reflect these preferences.

We see the graduate programme being able to continuously grow and evolve, due to the nature of the content and how it was built, together with the chosen delivery methods.

Jaguar Land Rover is now looking at a similar approach for further courses and we look forward to developing this partnership based on collaboration and co-creation.

You can hear more from Jaguar Land Rover and Ashorne Hill in the recording of this year’s ISE Student Development Conference

Read more case studies from ISE members

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