In partnership with Skilljar, U-Haul expanded its existing U-Haul University training program, ensuring that it’s hundreds of instructors are well-equipped to create and optimize content, and its tens of thousands of students receive a consistent learning experience.
At U-Haul, customer service is the company’s bread-and-butter. The goal of its training program is to help its employees and affiliates provide the best customer experience possible. Whether equipping new team members with the product knowledge to help customers at the counters of their retail locations, or teaching mechanics the specifics of equipment repair and maintenance, education is critically important for the U-Haul business.
U-Haul University, the company’s training program, has existed since 2006. However, in recent years, U-Haul University outgrew its original, on-premises Learning Management System (LMS) incarnation, and the team sought out a more scalable and customizable cloud-based training platform to meet its education needs.
In addition to a more contemporary look and feel for the University, U-Haul wanted a platform with robust analytics and reporting capabilities, as well as an integrated authoring tool. The integrated authoring capability was critical given the company’s reliance on subject matter experts (SMEs) to create and update an expansive library of content. With these needs in mind, U-Haul partnered with Skilljar to power the evolution of U-Haul University.
U-Haul University Today
Today, U-Haul University is a massively scaled ecosystem of courses, instructors and students. By the numbers, U-Haul University trains:
- 6 different audiences, with
- 520+ published courses, created by
- 150+ instructors and SMEs, serving
- 67,000+ students
U-Haul University courses are uniquely, and intentionally, created by internal SMEs and program managers. These managers are responsible for creating and updating their own content with assistance from U-Haul University’s team of five education specialists and regular workshops both of which teach them how to build valuable and effective courses.
Skilljar Implementation and Student Migration
In order to maintain consistency across its hundreds of courses and instructors, U-Haul created a series of onboarding courses that content creators are required to complete before they are granted access to the full Skilljar Dashboard. The courses walk content creators through the course-development process, teach creators how to use the Skilljar platform to create courses, write test questions, develop course competencies, and use analytics to report on the effectiveness of their courses.
In just eight months, U-Haul and Skilljar migrated nearly 1.9 million enrollments, 67,000 students and more than 800 courses (published and unpublished) into Skilljar’s cloud-based platform.
The content creation and evaluation processes for courses in such a massive program is a significant undertaking. Content formats span everything from written documentation, graphics, SCORM and videos, to demonstrations, and simulations. New content often needs to be developed based on student feedback or program releases.
To support the regular assessment and optimization of content, every course is accompanied by an anonymous student survey, which is one method of evaluating effectiveness.
Additionally, U-Haul utilizes Skilljar’s analytics capabilities to review quiz answers and student responses as a way to evaluate if the instructors were effective or if changes need to be made. Between quiz results and survey feedback, the instructors are able to efficiently update and improve their courses.
U-Haul is confident that students are seeing value in the courses because if courses are taken down for a few days to be updated, the University Team is likely to hear about it. Also, when publishing new courses, U-Haul sees notably strong registration numbers upon their releases.
Perhaps one of U-Haul University’s most defining and unique characteristics is its accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), an affiliation of educational organizations officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A unique and impressive achievement for a corporate training department, U-Haul University’s accreditation validates the program’s high standards and ongoing commitment to continuing education.
U-Haul University Steering Committee
To further support its education program, in 2016, U-Haul established the U-Haul University Steering Committee, a cross-functional advisory group that creates and reviews policies and procedures for the company’s program and courses. Spending an average of 10 hours each month, the Committee is responsible for defining instructor requirements, roles and responsibilities, reviewing instructional design and course development, conducting annual instructor evaluations, and conducting course reviews to ensure that content is up to date, among other duties.
For U-Haul, the importance of sharing information and distributing it to their employees, dealers and affiliates across North America has been critical since Day One. From sending out thousands of filmstrips, 16mm films, VHS tapes, and CD-ROMs over the years, to now offering a comprehensive online, on-demand training program, U-Haul sets the prime example for an education program that is both a top priority for the company, and an excellent resource for the company’s various audiences.
Since partnering with Skilljar, U-Haul has seen the following results:
- An average 30-day course completion rate of ~80%+, nearly 4x the industry standard
- An average of 56,000 registrations per month
- 12,000 MAUs (monthly average users)
- An average of 5 courses per student, per month