How user-generated video is increasing engagement with leadership programme

The EDF Energy learning team has a reputation for innovation so we were particularly honoured to share the stage with Carl Lovett at Learning Technologies 2019. In his case study talk, Carl outlined how his team is using StoryTagger to extend the classroom experience with user-generated video.

This short round-up highlights how EDF Energy is successfully embedding self-filming as a strategy to increase engagement with their leadership programmes.

Need to support cultural shift and changing expectations

Like many large organisations EDF Energy has to balance current and future needs in a complex operating environment. With a strong renewables programme, as well as the largest construction project in Europe with Hinckley Point, IT security levels are high. The company also has an incredibly diverse audience with very different profiles and roles. From people in power stations who don’t have regular access to computers to field engineers to contact centre staff responding directly to EDF Energy customers.

Against this backdrop, Carl explained what’s core to his team’s ethos. Scanning the market for technologies that help people learn in innovative ways is crucial for keeping up with the way we live and work. Making the shift from hierarchical push training to a more self-directed learning approach is a priority.

“We haven’t cracked it yet, but we’re making the right steps and this is where the partnership with StoryTagger comes in.”

Following a research project investigating the why, how and what of social learning, the team decided to try out user-generated video as a proof of concept.

Carl’s session preview

StoryTagger was the official video storytelling partner for the Learning Technologies conference. Carl Lovett recorded his session preview using a tailored story pack.

Find out more about our Learning Technologies partnership

Mission: Increase engagement with blended learning experiences 

The team identified a strong business case for trying out StoryTagger as a pilot with their Fundamentals of Leadership Programme (FLEP). EDF Energy’s flagship blended learning programme has more learners through its doors annually than any other on the roster.

FLEP aims to help leaders achieve peak performance through emotional intelligence competencies, skills and knowledge. Running over 100 days, in cohorts, with four core modules, it’s a combination of classroom-based learning, workplace application, online support and resources plus line manager coaching.

Two known challenges were to a) find a way to improve the quality of the online course components to match the great experience supported by the programme’s facilitators and b) support learning transfer beyond the face-to-face sessions. The team had experimented with online forums as a way to help leaders share and extend their learning but with limited success.

Solution: Getting people to reflect, self-film and share their stories

To help solve these challenges EDF Energy chose to partner with StoryTagger as a smart way to guide delegates through a meaningful reflection and self-filming process. Instead of text on a fire-walled forum, the cohort would now record and upload their own personal videos from tech they always have in their hands.

“We’re a nuclear organisation and you can hide a spaceship in our servers but we were able to get IT onboard and secure their buy-in.”

Within 15 days of signing the contract StoryTagger was up-and-running to support the first face-to-face event of the FLEP programme’s next cohort.

The programme’s facilitators worked with StoryTagger to create three story frameworks to bring to life key aspects of the 100-day programme:

Three story frameworks

Introduce yourself

All delegates share a simple personal story to connect with each other before the kick-off event. 

Application of learning reflections

Delegates reflect on what they’ve learned and commit to do in their role.

My FLEP experience

Opportunity to gather qualitative feedback and all-important impact data a few months after the programme is complete.

Pilot #1

For Pilot 1 it was a sprint to launch. This slide shows how we got organised and how the stories support the programme.   

A/B testing (against the previous model) showed an immediate improvement in engagement with highest ever recommendation score. 

“My team’s remit is for short, sharp digital and innovative pilots. To keep it simple we adopted a very standard A/B testing approach.”

People instantly felt more connected to the cohort with which they would be spending three days meaning less time breaking ice and more time actively learning.

“Learners felt instantly more connected to the cohort that they would be spending three days with.”

With the sprint to start there wasn’t time for the full pre-engagement piece so only a proportion of people had completed their videos prior to the face-to-face. The good news was that the majority had engaged with the content watched and feedback confirmed that they were delighted to be using a new, accessible video technology on their phones.

As the time scale created a few challenges, what could we learn and apply to the next cohort?


Pilot #2

Together with the EDF Energy team we analysed the FLEP learner journey and developed an engagement plan which integrates user-generated video into the programme at key touchpoints.

Neil Pavitt, the facilitator, recorded his own welcome video to share the purpose and value. This also acted as seed content to give people a strong example. He then used the pre-course webinar as a critical touchpoint to launch and take the cohort through how StoryTagger would support the course.

Another key tactic to support ongoing engagement is data-driven communications. Rather than a blanket mail to everyone, the team used StoryTagger’s analytics to nudge individuals in personal ways depending on their actions so far. E.g.

“Thanks for installing. We hope you’ve found it simple to get started with StoryTagger. Did you see [Delegate #1] intro video? “

Carl confirmed that this approach has been extremely successful. With personalised nudging and a clear demonstration of value upfront the second cohort has adopted self-filming video reflections as a new positive behaviour. 100% conversion was achieved before the cohort turned up for their first face-to-face and the group were buzzing in full conversation as the facilitators entered the room. They continue to record their Application in Learning stories.

Tips for optimising user-generated video as part of a classroom blend

To get great results from user-generated video it’s important to take a strategic view of your programme and think about the learner journey and where it’s going to add most value.


Analyse objectives and key touchpoints to identify where reflection, personal communication and feedback is going to support the experience.

Be like a penguin

Include seed content from facilitator and super-engaged colleagues upfront. Just like in Blue Planet when one penguin leaps off the ice the others follow. 

Use data-driven personalised comms

Nudge specific groups with next tasks that build confidence and encourage new behaviours.

Final word: Potential future uses of StoryTagger with EDF Energy video

As a final word, Carl looked ahead to potential future uses of StoryTagger with EDF Energy video. This includes rolling it out to other leadership programmes, storytelling around Hinckley Point, an API to allow Moodle to talk to StoryTagger and distribute content directly via their LMS. Also, as StoryTagger is set up to share personal, authentic and meaningful stories it’s a brilliant way to break down cultural and language barriers.

With this in mind, Carl explained that another potential use is helping colleagues from EDF Group and EDF Energy build stronger networks. Finally, there’s a robust user case for field engineers to share how-to videos to support the company’s ambitious smart-metering targets.

View seminar slides here

Thank you Carl and EDF Energy!


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