ICAS is a professional body for around 19,000 world class business men and women who work in the UK and in more than 100 countries around the world. All members have achieved the internationally recognised and respected CA qualification (Chartered Accountant). ICAS is an educator, examiner, regulator, and thought leader.
Setting the Scene
ICAS continuously reviews and develops its training towards the CA qualification. Each year ICAS trains a new cohort of learners whose previous experience of online learning grows with time, in addition, their employers require a cost-effective flexible programme to allow the training to dovetail with client commitment. A blended learning approach was therefore sought, combining classroom teaching with eLearning. By allowing employers to choose the timing of some learning and allowing learners to utlise online resources that best met their learning style, ICAS was able to deliver a programme with benefits for all parties.
ICAS, in partnership with their technology partner eCom Scotland, introduced CABLE (the CA Blended Learning Environment), ICAS's branded Learning Management System.
ICAS was seeking a solution that was available to students 24/7 from one centralised learning pool to ensure all students had access to the same materials, with instant access to a reporting and tracking system that provided real time information. As one student said:
“Using CABLE I could concentrate on the parts of a module that I found most difficult. I liked the fact that I could move at my own pace and work on the material anywhere or anytime.”
CABLE also needed to bridge the communication gap, enabling groups of students to contact their tutor online as well as via email.
CABLE provided students with “anytime and anyplace” access to learning content. In adopting eCom’s Learning Management System, CABLE, ICAS were able to centralise, manage and engage with students, all online. In particular CABLE provided the following key benefits:
- Access to all training records in a single, consolidated system
- Ability for employer to track employees’ training history
- Creation of a streamlined administrative function
- Access to management reports to assess the learning
- A uniform learning content
- Online collaboration tools such as forums and email your tutor
- Genuine return on investment
Fiona Winter, Director of Development within the Education division, said “CABLE has allowed us to reach students across the whole of the UK, and occasionally beyond, with training material delivered by the same tutors involved in material creation and assessment, giving learners a consistent message from start to finish”. Since 2009 over 3,000 students have used CABLE as part of their blended learning. During 2012 CABLE underwent a new look and feel bringing it in line with the Institute’s new corporate branding. Through time new features all designed to enhance the student learning experience have been added into the system. The use of calendar, ratings, news feeds and “meet your tutor” have all been added into CABLE.
Fiona Winter comments “Each year we have developed and improved the functionality and look of CABLE. eCom have not only worked with us to implement these changes but have been able to suggest best practice in the key areas that affect our learners.”