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Transfer Partnership to develop workplace learning diagnostic tools that support data led course design

Alchemist, the University of Exeter and InnovateUK launch Knowledge Transfer Partnership to develop workplace learning diagnostic tools that support data led course design and maximise learning outcomes.

The collaboration with the University of Exeter will address real-world challenges in the learning and development sector through impactful research, and develop new ideas for diagnostic technology services and how to deliver them effectively.  

UK based learning and development provider Alchemist is interested in devising a robust diagnostics tool so that they can provide even more relevant and reliable metrics on the performance of their customer learning programmes, before, during and after the customer engagement. Alchemist intends to lead the way with demonstrating the value of a truly blended learning approach in the commercial sector.

The university will embed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate into the Alchemist organisation ensuring their research expertise fits within ALchemist’s wider business landscape of organisational development, with a particular focus on new and emerging technology in the learning sphere. The Associate will use their expertise and add value to Alchemist through their research with a view to co-publishing research and engage in thought leadership through publishing reports and articles that share an academic insight.

Stu Packham, Chief Executive of Alchemist

“We have high hopes for this research collaboration. It provides us with a unique opportunity to address the value that truly accurate diagnostics based on data can bring to the different types of blended learning deliveries available in workplace learning programmes. The research will help us to understand how we can use data more effectively to identify the optimal mix of activities, content and resources that maximise learning outcomes. Ultimately, we believe this will lead to improved workplace productivity and performance. We are confident that this collaboration has the potential to be truly ground-breaking and we are excited to be a part of it.”

Professor Leroy White, Department of Management, University of Exeter Business School

“From the academic perspective, the KTP offers a unique opportunity for us to develop and apply new theoretical and practical insights on workplace learning programmes, which have primarily been unexplored with academic rigour.”

The KTP is part of a UK-wide scheme that helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity by accessing the knowledge and expertise of the country’s leading universities. KTPs are essentially partnerships between a business and a university, with the aim of transferring academic knowledge and expertise into the business in order to innovate and improve performance. This partnership is between a graduate or early career researcher, who will be seconded to Alchemist and a team of academics from the University of Exeter Business School. The partnership is structured around a specific project investigating the efficacy of diagnostics in learning that has been agreed between Alchemist and the university, with clear objectives that are aligned with  strategic goals. The project is jointly supervised by representatives from Alchemist and the university, and is expected to last for two years. At the end of the project, it is expected that the knowledge transfer process will have resulted in lasting benefits for Alchemist, including improved competitiveness, productivity, and profitability.

Whether the partnership manages to create a ‘model’ or not, the participants are confident the research framework will give them a number of interesting insights to share in the L&D field, co-publishing research between Alchemist and the University of Exeter. There is a completely open agenda regarding the outcomes of the research, as this is a true learning opportunity for the business who is willing to be shaped by the outcome, not shape the research to suit their preference. The participants expect this to be the start an ongoing strategic relationship between Alchemist and the University of Exeter.

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