Case Study: Coles: Learning Bites

“Using smart technology to help supermarket staff learn, away from a desktop computer.”

A project leveraging bite-sized learning via smart devices.

The Challenge

When faced with the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses needed to pivot fast to adapt operations on many levels, and the learning and development function was no exception. Some organisations carried a particular responsibility to keep Australians supplied with food and essential provisions while keeping their large and dispersed workforce safe under rapidly evolving public health conditions. One of these large organisations was Coles.

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Our Approach

With our Liberate team as their learning and development partner, Coles has been transitioning towards a new digital learning strategy. The new approach included a move away from traditional, adaptive learning technology towards mobile-first, xAPI-enabled, fully responsive authoring through App-eLearn.

After redesigning governance compliance modules to provide training to 35,000 staff that cannot access a desktop PC, this initial success proved invaluable for training development and measurable deployment during the unfolding pandemic. Using the successful roll-out of compliance training via mLearning as a blueprint, Coles engaged Liberate Learning to rapidly design, develop and roll out learning content critical to maintaining Coles’ staff and customer wellbeing.

To make the learning accessible to a widely dispersed workforce and to ensure tight workplace health and safety training compliance recording, Coles and Liberate Learning decided to rely again on App-eLearn as their authoring solution.


With the help of App-eLearn as a fully responsive and natively xAPI-enabled tool, Coles and Liberate could generate highly relevant, fully contextualised mobile learning bites, in record time, in sync with changing public health requirements as they emerged. Floor staff were directly involved in user content creation which led to an increased sense of ownership, credibility, and engagement for the learning content. App-eLearn’s fully mobile responsive development meant that the learning could be created once and deployed across all platforms without the need for re-coding breakpoints, thus saving valuable time and budget.

Traditionally, Coles’ eLearning would be created with tools like Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline. As part of Coles’s new Digital Learning Strategy, Coles agreed that for redeveloped modules to be genuinely engaging, we would use an online newspaper-style look and feel in some modules to engage the learners.

In the words of Coles’ Digital Learning Manager (DLM):

“App-eLearn achieved our goal far better than a traditional tool like Articulate Storyline – it provided the engagement we wanted, the adaptability of look and feel and, as importantly, the learning data from the learner engagement. Using App-eLearn and its components has provided a better learner experience through greater engagement. In addition, the uniqueness of the tool has meant that mobile learners can now get the same learner experience as PC users.”

Another major impact has been that Coles has been able to generate much more value from its LRS to the point where it no longer needs a separate Learning Management System (LMS). In fact, Coles has decommissioned its LMS.

Curious? Reach out to us and learn more.