The Background

Ice hockey officials are facing significant training and retention challenges. To explore whether eLearning would provide a significant boost to combat this problem, Team Stripes partnered with former NHL Referee Don Koharski to build an eLearning program for ice hockey officials. Koharski, an NHL legend, having worked more than 2000 NHL games, including 11 Stanley Cup finals, developed a comprehensive eLearning program with TSS specialists, who in turn provided a modern platform through which to deliver the training content.

The Challenge

This eLearning program would be hosted on its own platform, which we called Team Stripes Academy. This was launched in September 2018. After launching the program, it was difficult to predict the reception the eLearning program would have for hockey officials because of the challenge of growing brand awareness, as well as introducing a novel concept. However, following the launch, the impact of the program couldn’t be denied. With individual licenses being sold for $99 USD, since launching the Academy has registered students from 10 different countries. These countries range from traditional markets for hockey officials, including Canada, the United States, and Europe, however it also drew students from less-traditional spots like Australia and China.

The Data

Post launch, TSS began to look at the data and analytics for the Academy. We wanted to determine the engagement students were having with the content and the officiating platform. What was found was for period of time that was analyzed, was that 55% of Academy members were accessing the system on at least three different occasions per month, while a further 33% were accessing the system at least five times per month.

This data demonstrated to our team, that presented with the appropriate content and technology, officials would engage with the system on a regular basis, and access resources that would support their development and growth as officials. Perhaps most exciting was the fact that involvement with the system was voluntary, and based on the interest of the individual student. Students were not required to complete modules, but took it upon themselves to participate because of their own interest. To qualify these assessments, surveys were conducted with the members to review satisfaction levels. The surveys found that, on average:

92% of users reported higher levels of confidence.

78% of those surveyed indicated that it was very easy to apply skills to their games.

95% of users found the content easy to access. On a sliding scale from 0 to 100 in terms of ‘fun’, users ranked the program an 86.


The Findings

% of users reporting higher levels of confidence
% indicating that it was very easy to apply eLearning skills to their games
% of users who found the program/tech easy to access
Average 'fun' ranking given by users

Conclusion


The impact of eLearning on hockey officials has been demonstrated with Team Stripes Academy. The analytics show us that officials are engaging with the content and technology, and are leveraging it on a regular basis to improve their skills. At the same time, members are having fun and seeing increased levels of confidence. These findings have the encouraged TSS to apply key principles to developing eLearning systems for other sports and their respective officials.