Shaw Academy accelerates online education
Shaw Academy needed to bring multimedia educational courses to over half a million online learners, and they needed a powerful, user-friendly CMS to make it happen.
Shaw Academy experienced a surge of new online learners during COVID lockdowns, with a big demand for courses that leveled up career skills. To handle the influx of new learners, educators and course materials, the team needed an easy-to-use content solution that could get up and running quickly.
The team needed a content management system (CMS) that was more user-friendly than their previous, homegrown solution.
“We were dependent on tech to do a lot of the work for us,” said Lauren Monaghan, product manager at Shaw Academy. “We needed to give our business users more control, that was the main reason for moving to a new CMS.
"With Contentstack, I can change the content myself, instead of nagging someone who is way overqualified to be doing something so simple,” Monaghan said. “It’s really given us a new kind of flexibility.”
With Contentstack, I can change the content myself, instead of nagging someone who is way overqualified to be doing something so simple. It’s really given us a new kind of flexibility.Lauren Monaghan | Product Manager
Many different end-users work within the CMS to get a Shaw Academy course live, including project managers, production specialists, graphic designers and over 60 course educators. Part of what made the transition to Contentstack smooth is that people of all levels of experience feel comfortable using the CMS, Monaghan said.
“When we introduced Contentstack, our tech course educators said, ‘Brilliant!’ and jumped right in,” Monaghan said. “Then we have other users who are in no way tech savvy and, while it took them a bit longer, once they got used to it they found it really easy as well.”
Getting a course out the door takes a lot of coordination between global teams, with an average course containing 4 modules with 32 lessons each. Contentstack’s workflow, permission, and release features help keep everything on track to meet deadlines.
“We now use permissions to draft, review, and approve for publishing all within the CMS,” Monaghan said. “This ensures we safeguard what goes live on the site.”
“Contentstack also gave us the ability to work within releases, so that everyone knows when content is actually going out,” she said. “We now have two releases per week and having the team work to those deadlines gives us a lot of structure.”
With Contentstack, Shaw Academy was able to release 90 courses in 9 months.
“Previously, just getting one course out took a couple of weeks and there would usually be bugs when it went live on the site,” Monaghan said. “Now, it’s super smooth and we can get a course out in a week.”
"At the same time we launched the CMS we were also launching five new languages,” Monaghan said. “Contentstack gave us the ability to launch that content quicker as well, because it’s easy to see an overall view of content and create language variants.”
“New language educators are able to go in and view all the English content in one place, then easily translate it and make any changes needed,” she said.
As the demand for career-focused courses rises, Shaw Academy is exploring more modular lesson plans. “Say you were looking at developing into a product manager role, so you need a bit of data analytics, a bit of product design, a bit of project management,” Monaghan explained. “We can take pieces of existing courses on those topics and rejig them into a new career-specific structure. Contentstack gives us the flexibility to actually be able to do that, where we never would have been able to do it previously."
Previously, just getting one course out took a couple of weeks and there would usually be bugs when it went live on the site. Now, it’s super smooth and we can get a course out in a week.Lauren Monaghan | Product Manager
- 90% decrease in time it takes to push out promotions
- Creative and dev teams can now work together seamlessly
- The content team can manage 12 languages for 16 locations without leaving the CMS
Shaw Academy offers online certified courses with in-depth lessons on over 100 subjects, from wine appreciation to data analysis to dog grooming.
Contentstack Headless CMS
Ready for more?Contact an expert