Case Studies / Coillte

Discover how Coillte provided innovative forestry digital training.

Coillte logo with transparent backgroundImage

Product & Service

Custom eLearning

Use Cases

Health & Safety

Key Challenges

Reduce operational staff workload.

Improve compliance with Environmental standards.

Reduce Health & Safety risk across contracted operations.

Key Features

Video-based branching scenario

Animated explainer videos

Dynamic layout design

Coillte, Ireland’s semi-state forestry company, is responsible for managing 440,000 hectares of primarily forested lands. It is the nation’s largest forester and producer of certified wood, a natural, renewable and sustainable resource. Coillte is also the largest provider of outdoor recreation space in Ireland, it enables wind-energy on the estate, processes forestry by-products and undertakes nature rehabilitation projects of scale. Coillte delivers the multiple benefits of forestry, including forests for climate, for nature, for wood and for people

Coillte is part of a wider forestry sector, that together manages approximately 11% of Ireland's land, supports 12,000 jobs and contributes €2.3bn to the economy annually.

Cobblestone helped us translate our vision from paper to an award winning eLearning experience.
Kay Maguire
Learning and Development Manager

The Challenge:

Coillte partners with contractors in addition to staff to carry out some of its operations. Once such operation is the harvesting of timber. Contractors need to take Health and Safety training before being able to start work onsite. Currently the training is delivered on site by a health and safety instructor and may need to travel to remote sites across Ireland to deliver this training.

A new site may require training for one or two individuals who cannot start work until the training has been successfully implemented. This can cause delays for contractors starting work and can be inefficient and costly for trainers to travel and provide onsite training.

The scheduling, resource management and reporting of training participation is currently a manual paper-based system where it is time consuming for administrators to enter administer and report on participation.

The Solution:

The learning goal

Coillte has identified the need for a new contractor/staff online development programme within their Establishment, Engineering and Harvesting operations.  The goal of this programme was to:

  • Gain potential efficiencies and realise potential cost savings on contracted operations.
  • Improve compliance with Environmental and Health & Safety standards and reduce Environmental and Health & Safety risk across contracted operations.
  • Reduce operational staff workload through reduced contractor management & monitoring requirements.

The learning needs

The Learning needs Analysis included a review of best practice and engagement with staff, customers and contractors, to explore possible approaches to contractor development and to understand how Coillte could implement and fund a new contractor development programme.

A learning needs matrix identifying the proposed learning modules for inclusion in the Contractor Development Programme was created. within Coillte. The learning needs were grouped into four key learning categories: Health & Safety, Environment, Advanced Operational Skills & Knowledge and Business Development.

Stakeholder feedback suggested that there would always be a requirement for a degree of on-site learning in order to contextualize certain learning material within the real working environment, whilst eLearning modules would verify and validate proper engagement across all contractors. Therefore, a blended approach was recommended for the delivery of the Contractor Development Programme, incorporating a combination of e-Learning Modules and forest -based mentoring by Coillte field staff.

Some of the exceptional elements of the learning experience

Branching Scenario

A video-based first-person branching scenario where users get to choose next steps and experience the benefits or consequences of their choices during a working alone simulation.

Aerial Drone Footage

The use of aerial drone footage with motion graphic overlays, allows learners to visualise parts of forestry sites and close-up shots of harvesting machinery in operation that has never been seen in Coillte before.

Extensive Video Use

The various stages of a harvesting operation were filmed over 3 months. We created a time-lapse view of harvesting in proximity to powerlines that shows correct tree markings and safe operation at each stage.

Animated Explainers

Use of animated explainer videos at the start of each course provides the learner with an overview of the topics and fosters early engagement with the content.

Dynamic Layout

Dynamic layout design of the course content provides optimal display for the learner, whether they are taking the course on a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

What made it so innovative?

eLearning of this standard has not been attempted previously by the Forest Industry and a number of innovative approaches were implemented at each stage of the analysis, design and development stages of this project.

A robust analysis was conducted combining a range of research techniques to connect the business goals to competence gaps. It was identified that dedicated Powerlines training for the forestry Industry had not been created before, and where it was critical to implement this for this a high-risk area.

At the design stage Coillte used a learning experience toolkit, a system developed by Cobblestone Learning to help shape the discussion and best practices for using different learning experiences to implement specific learning objectives. The toolkit uses cards to describe various learning experiences (scenarios, case studies, activities .etc) which can then be mapped to implementation methods (interactive, video, animation .etc) and learning objectives using a wall planner.

Coillte worked closely with Cobblestone suggesting ideas for inclusion in each of the courses e.g. clear idea of what was required for Working alone scenario. Each interaction was chosen to allow the learning objective to be described, visualised or practiced in the most visual and memorable way possible. This approach is innovative in the forestry industry and beyond the level that can be seen in most industries.

Filming behind the scenes

Cobblestone Learning - Coillte filming behind the scenes
Cobblestone Learning - Fran on site
Cobblestone Learning - Coillte
Jake Drone Flying Cobblestone Learning - Coillte

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