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Case Studies

Natural Resources Training Group

Essential Field Skills eLearning

The Client

Natural Resources Training Group (NRTG) is a privately registered training agency specializing in developing and delivering quality ‘hands-on’ and in-demand natural resource-related training programs. NRTG is Canada’s leading provider of natural resource training. Their guiding principle is to offer programs and a service that helps learners build and advance their careers.

Key Project Features

The Need for Change

NRTG was approached by a US-based client to offer a series of courses to its American employees. This training initiative provides courses to employees who wish to gain in-demand skill sets that will propel them into new careers. In this case, NRTG proposed to offer an overview course that reviewed the essential skills needed for environmental field work. The client asked for this course to be hybrid in design, offering both live and self-paced components. Learners also needed to be assessed for credit purposes.

The Path for Change

PathWise and NRTG consulted extensively to consider the many possible ways to best support the educational experience for the employees of this client. The resulting strategy was to offer a 10-week course that was a combination of live instruction, self-paced eLearning, and assessed learning assignments. Each week, two modules were made available to the learners, and two sessions were held to introduce additional material, answer questions, and review assignments.

The Approach

Below are some highlights of the approach PathWise took for the EFS course:


Creating a 22-module course required a high level of collaboration before and during the course. These teammates used meetings and electronic methods such as shared documents, review notes, and written feedback to hone the material. During the live run of the course, PathWise was present as an administrator for each session, helping instructors behind the scenes so each class ran efficiently and smoothly. The web team also was available to troubleshoot any problems that arose in the 10-week session.

Web Features

Because NRTG and PathWise wanted learners to have both self-paced and live instruction, care was given to choose the best web-based tools to facilitate learning and interaction through the Learning Management System. One such tool was Padlet, an application that allowed students to post text, images, videos, links, and files. This tool is just one of the examples of how web features were used to facilitate interaction between the instructor and learners.


From an instructional design standpoint, the team chose to create narrated presentations to accompany the live instruction. This allowed learners to experience some of the background material as if it were delivered by an instructor. These videos were embedded in the self-paced Articulate Rise modules that supported those live sessions. These included images, professional narration, and custom graphics.


NRTG and PathWise created an effective model for hybrid learning that combined structure and flexibility. Students commented on both the excellence of the eLearning materials and the support and guidance of the live instruction. The client will offer this course a number of times a year, and plans to expand it to employees in other countries. NRTG will also be developing other courses for this client.

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