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CASE STUDIESFrom Concept to Completion — Online Course Development for Aecon University


Harper Learning’s development expertise came to the rescue by creating online courses designed by Aecon University’s training team.


As a construction and concession company, Aecon has a long history and diverse portfolio, building key infrastructure projects and landmarks across Canada. Part of their employee development includes Aecon University, where staff can access courses and training to learn tools and further their careers.

Andrew Ambrose, the Director of Learning for Aecon University, reached out to us with their problem: with such a large number of online courses to produce every year, they didn’t have the internal resources to complete the work.

Our partnership with Harper Learning has added a new sense of confidence where we can now leverage Harper Learning’s high-performing learning development team to supplement Aecon University’s current learning team.
The support provided by Harper Learning’s developer, project manager, and director, was insightful, candid, and collaborative.

Andrew Ambrose, Director of Learning at Aecon University

Challenge: Sharing the Online Course Process

The learning and development teams at Aecon are extremely busy with content development and course design. They could get the courses ready for development, but the projects would reach a standstill without enough developers to finish the process. That’s where we came in.

We needed to come up with a joint process to work effectively with learning and development teams in different divisions at the same time. We asked ourselves four main questions:

  • What would each of our roles entail?
  • Where would Harper Learning step in during the course creation process?
  • Where would Aecon take over?
  • How could we streamline this process as much as possible?

Solution: Collaborative Online Course Creation

One of our greatest strengths at Harper Learning is taking ideas — static or partially developed concepts — and bringing them to life with visuals, animations, and narration, packaged in a visually appealing, accessible design.

That’s exactly what we did with Aecon University. We took multiple online courses from concept to launch-ready in a short turnaround time. We managed the project, bringing in various expertise for copyediting, instructional design, graphic design, accessibility consultation, and online interactivity development. The Aecon team could focus on their own areas of expertise and trust that the work they handed to Harper Learning would be done on time and at a high quality.

One of our team members specializes in accessibility in the digital environment, and her expertise really shone during this project. We worked with Aecon to determine the level of accessibility to build into the training. Then, our experts designed alternate solutions for any concepts that wouldn’t meet accessibility standards.

We have worked with Harper Learning on a few projects now and it’s always been a positive experience. The team steps into the project at the point where we need them, and they work closely with us to deliver quality programs. I have worked closely with their lead developer who has a wealth of expertise in online course development and accessibility learning. She is flexible and brought great ideas to the project. Harper Learning is a great team to work with.

Wendy Sinclair, Manager, Learning Programs – Aecon University