“Enovation proved to be an expert and helpful partner on this project. At all times they worked closely with our team and were able to overcome any issues we encountered. We are delighted to have been able to meet our deadlines and that the project has been so successful.”
Aer Lingus & Moodle
The airline industry is highly regulated and all pilots must continually refresh their skills by undertaking compulsory annual training courses. Aptly named, ground-school, the pilot training courses at Aer Lingus incorporate simulator training with procedural and aircraft operation training. Up to now, the majority of the ground-school programme has been delivered in a classroom environment with 10 pilots in each class. All 500 pilots must complete the course each year in order to maintain their flying status in accordance with EU regulations.
Talking about how online training is becoming more prevalent in the airline industry, Aer Lingus Chief Pilot, Captain Davina Pratt explains: “Online training offers flexibility, allowing pilots who spend a lot of time travelling to access the courses from anywhere in the world that their work finds them, without compromising the quality of training. Of course expenses are also a factor; online courses don’t need trainers and other related costs.”
Moodle for Compliance & Flexibility
Aer Lingus researched a number of learning management systems from other providers but found that proprietary offerings varied in what they could do and were not as flexible as open source solutions. Moodle satisfied requirements in terms of features and functionality, but also had the open source flexibility which allowed Aer Lingus to customise it to suit their own needs. The reporting aspect of Moodle also meant that Aer Lingus could meet one of their key requirements; the ability to report on user activity to demonstrate regulatory compliance to the relevant authorities.
Other requirements included security and the ability to deliver third-party content; Moodle includes an authentication module and supports third-party standards compliant content.
Liam Ryan, solutions consultant from Enovation Solutions, commented: “Aer Lingus were genuinely impressed when they saw how user-friendly and functional Moodle was as a learning management system. We were able to demonstrate functionality in each of the area’s outlined in their request for proposal.”
Bring in the Moodle Experts:
As Ireland’s official Moodle partner, Enovation took on the consultancy role in the project. The initial project phase, which kicked off in August 2008, involved conducting workshops with relevant Aer Lingus stakeholders to determine the modules to be deployed within Moodle. Following on from that, Enovation provided the following services in line with Aer Lingus’s technical requirements:
- Hosting – Enovation securely hosted the solution for Aer Lingus.
- Moodle Training – Enovation provided hands-on training to all administration staff at Aer Lingus.
- Reporting – To comply with industry regulations, Aer Lingus has to produce a report to show that users view and complete all tasks within Moodle. As part of this, Enovation integrated the third-party reporting solution, Jaspersoft, with Moodle to allow administrators to report on user activity.
- Customisations – Enovation customised Moodle to match the Aer Lingus branding.
- Support – The availability of local support was important for Aer Lingus. Enovation put in place a support agreement with Aer Lingus, which included a web-based issue reporting and tracking system.
- Courseware – Enovation worked with Aer Lingus to transform their original course content into high-quality courseware.
In October the project was successfully piloted to a group of instructors in a classroom environment. Aer Lingus then went on to launch the live site in January 2009 for the first round of 2009’s training schedule. The pilots had three months to complete the course with the end of March being the cut-off date.
An All-Round Success!!!
Feedback from Conor Rock, Training Captain at Aer Lingus, is a positive validation of Enovation’s work on the project: “Enovation delivered on all of our requirements, Moodle has been universally well received by the pilots and we have reduced our training costs, what can I say - the project has been a huge success.”
Conor went on to talk about other area’s that Moodle could be applied within Aer Lingus: “Moodle has obvious potential in other areas. I see Aer Lingus expanding Moodle to the wider employee base for cabin crew and technical training.”