Wavelength - A Cognition Education Group Company

Award winning mobile learning 

The Challenge

HITO needed to provide just-in-time, on-the-job learning to apprentice hairdressers, as well as replacing their old cardboard portfolio-based formal assessment. These learners often have poor access to PCs in the workplace, low literacy levels, and varying levels of motivation to engage in formal learning and assessment. They are frequently studying solo and are based all over the country. Most have internet-capable phones. We needed to create a solution that was phone-based, had low literacy requirements, allowed learners to self-check their understanding, actively engaged learners, and allowed them to present evidence of their work electronically.

The Solution

A mobile student learning portal was developed including;

  • Just-in-time learning using video, complete with a voiceover and written summary of key points.
  • Formative assessment quizzes allowing learners to self-check their understanding of each video.
  • Fully online portfolio creation, editing, and submission.
  • Badges to recognise and reward achievement.
  • A communications channel for news and notices.

The solution designed by Wavelength and developed by Touchtech includes:

  • Mobile phone and tablet apps for Android and iPhone.
  • A matching responsive site suitable for use on phones, tablets, and PCs.
  • An administration site optimised for PCs.

The Results

  • The portal was launched in February 2016 and reviewed in October 2016 (including a learner survey).
  • There was over 22 per cent uptake in this time (2 per cent more than the project goal of 20 per cent), and 88 per cent of the learner reactions were positive
  • We judged the success of the learning videos by analysing the results stored for the formative assessment quizzes.
  • Over 86 per cent of the quiz scores were over 60 per cent, indicating that the videos were successful in teaching the key learning points.
  • Feedback from trainers indicates that apprentices are finding the portal useful for preparing for formal assessments – and it’s even finding use as a refresher for fully-trained hairdressers in some salons.
  • This portal won a Learning Technologies Silver award in the Best use of mobile learning category in 2016, and a silver award for L&D Technology of the year from NZATD in the same year.


VUE acts as one source of truth for apprentices, trainers, and HITO staff when it comes to hairdressing skills. VUE provides a range of learning mediums to appeal to all apprentices. It’s also easily accessible, being available on mobile and online so apprentices and trainers can log-in when they need to. VUE is market-leading in the ITO sector. It fulfils the HITO dream of providing suitable training resources for industry. VUE puts all HITO staff on an even playing field. They all have access to the training requirements for hairdressing through VUE. It gives staff confidence in asking questions and a resource they can direct apprentices and trainers too. It is also an extra talking point for sales managers – it is an innovative product that other organisations don’t necessarily have. The team have a sense of pride in this advantage for HITO. – Erica Cumming, CEO of HITO VUE helps HITO staff in doing their jobs. It’s particularly useful for field staff who don’t have a hairdressing background – it gives us a reference if apprentices or trainers have any technical questions. We can refer them to VUE and know they are getting the right answer. – Shelly Forbes, Wellington HITO Sales and Liaison Manager Learner and trainer comments

  • This has all the information needed and I can test my knowledge and the things I’ve learned.
  • I can use my phone anytime and watch videos anytime.
  • Whenever we need to check something out, we go to the videos. We can pause and rewind if needed and there is also a complete description of the video to help us out.
  • My apprentices love using the videos on VUE to prepare for their assessments. They’ve found the demonstrations of cutting techniques, particularly the graduation cut, very useful. I would definitely recommend VUE to other trainers.
  • Prior to any scheduled training in the salon, the apprentice and the trainer look at the VUE videos to prepare. They’ve also great for referring back to after the training. They really help with making sure our trainer is using the correct terminology for all the skills.
  • If we are struggling to find the answer we have quick easy access to them, it means if a tutor is busy we can use HITO VUE to check.