An e-learning mega-project – Francisation en ligne (FEL)

FEL image for portfolioJacques had the amazing opportunity to work on this huge Québec Ministry of Immigration  project for about 7 years, as it evolved from an idea shared with a long-time e-learning colleague, to a very successful worldwide online learning program serving many thousands of prospective Québec immigrants in dozens of countries. The logic is simple:  Improve your French-language skills in your own home country as you wait for the immigration process to take its course. For the Québec government, that spends over $50M per year to teach French to immigrants, the business case is clear. Millions are saved by having future citizens learn online before they arrive, rather than attending the already stretched classroom language courses offered by the province. Continue Reading…

Yoshi Goes for a Ride – Environmental Awareness Training

Sustainability education for Nissan Japan plant employees (in partnership with TM NewMedia Inc.)

nissan obstacle 3 flying partsThis interactive 20-minute course, awarded the Industry Minister’s Prize at Japan’s e-Learning World 2007, uses an entertaining story-based approach (see storyboard EXCERPT and screen mockups) to introduce Nissan Japan’s 30,000 production employees to the serious sustainability issues facing auto makers, and to the varied measures being taken by Nissan to address these issues.

Produced in both English and Japanese, the course takes learners on a test drive with Pivo, a NISSAN electric concept car, and highlights the innovative technologies and programs deployed by the company to curb CO2 emissions, reduce the use of chemicals, and achieve one of the highest recycling rates in the industry.

Jacques was lead designer on this course, and led the content and course review process on behalf of The Natural Step, and in close collaboration with both Nissan Japan the development team at TM NewMedia. All partners judged the project a success,with the team overcoming language barriers and other challenges to produce a useful and effective learning tool. See PRESS RELEASE here and Japanese press COVERAGE.pivo 3 quarter view

This is the first time that an e-learning course actually got me ENGAGED! (Nissan Japan employee.)

Sustainability Step by Natural Step

french alcoa 1-hr section overviewCreated for The Natural Step Canada, this 4-hour award-winning eLearning course provides a rich, interactive overview of sustainability and of The Natural Step Framework. The highly interactive course has become a key part of sustainability training in communities such as Whistler, BC and Canmore, AB and in organizations like the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

“Sustainability 101″, a one-hour condensed version of the course, was also developed and customized for a number of leading organizations such as the Cooperators, Alcoa, Bell Aliant and Hydro-Québec. The course is now available in English, French, Italian and Swedish (other languages to come) and is used by tens of thousands of people around the world.

For a YouTube preview of the condensed Sustainability 101 version of the the course, click HERE. For a sample interaction from Sustainability 101 highlighting The Natural Step’s powerful “funnel” metaphor, click HERE. To find out more about purchasing and/or customizing TNS e-learning, click HERE.

Telling Stories at Hydro-Québec

An e-learning course intended to raise the awareness of thousands of Hydro-Québec employees on the company’s sustainability Action Plan could have been a pretty dry affair… But we turned it into an engaging, much-appreciated and very effective tool by putting exemplary employees’ concrete sustainability stories front and centre!  The course was entirely built with Articulate Studio – which made prototyping and validation a relative breeze – and uses re-purposed corporate video, hundreds of images, interactive maps and question-based interactions to bring the Action Plan to life.  This was the first e-learning course at Hydro-Québec created with Articulate Studio, and they liked it so much they’re using this approach with many other projects now.

To access an almost final version of the course deployed in 2010, please click HERE.

A Training/E-learning methodology with Staying Power

Processus InventaireAs co-owner and managing partner of groupe Mentor in Montreal, Jacques was responsible for devising and continuously improving the processes and methodology used by company staff and contractors on all client projects. The methodology, which came to be known as “le petit mentor”, was initially based on the work and research of Ruth Colvin Clark, David Merrill and others. Evemtually, Jacques and his colleagues developed and refined processes, procedures, templates and other resources embracing everything from preliminary analysis to project evaluation, and including task and content inventory, documentation design, e-learning prototype development, and so on. The methodology also integrated seamlessly with Mentor’s project management processes.

Mentor project lifecycleThe methodology took on a life of its own, and contributed in large part to making Mentor a leading provider of training services in its niche markets. Although initially developed for internal use only, clients impressed with the efficient, high-quality work of Mentor professionals began to ask for their own staff to be trained in our methodology, which led to an unexpected new line of business of Mentor. To this day, several large corporations including Hydro-Québec and CGI Group continue to use a training methodology based on “le petit mentor”.

Best Practices Research with Brandon Hall

Hall coversFor a number of years, Jacques was a senior researcher with, a job which provided a great opportunity to stay up to date with the growing e-learning sector. In this capacity, he contributed to several well-known Brandon Hall initiatives such as the annual LMS Review and Report (the most thorough and authoritative in the industry, at the time), and the well-known “Excellence in E-learning Awards”.

He was also the lead researcher and  author of several unique projects, such as the ground-breaking and bestselling “E-learning Across the Enterprise” benchmarking study in 2000 (see a brief EXCERPT here), the innovative “Making E-learning Work in the Non-Profit Sector” report, and a unique white paper on the integration of learning management and knowledge management.

One of his favourite writing projects was profiling award-winning e-learning programs in the “Design Lessons from Winners” reports he created in 2002 and 2003. Click HERE for an excerpt from one of these popular reports.

Cities and Climate Change

It’s nice when the World Bank comes knocking – even if a bit indirectly. We were asked to help out with a very challenging e-learning course being created for the World Bank Institute’s growing e-learning curriculum by the Consensus Institute and our friends at TM NewMedia. We helped the designers and developers manage a huge amount of content, integrated more interactive elements into the program and did a lot of editing and reviewing to make the final course more consistent and effective for learners. You can find out more about the wide range of online learning available to city leaders in the developing world by visiting the WBI’s e-Institute.

Training in Organic Farming – Online + On-farm!

The Organic Farming Institute of British Columbia ( offers first-rate training in organic farming. Unique in Canada, OFIBC training is designed to meet the needs of farmers. Courses are a combination of rich and varied online learning built around in-depth training on working organic farms. The Similkameen Valley is the perfect place for an organic farming training centre. It has the highest concentration of organic farms in Canada.

ofibc collage small

Jacques was the lead designer and developer (using Articulate Studio and Moodle) of OFIBC’s first 3 courses on Organic Soil Management, Transitioning to Organic Methods and Organic Vegetable Production, working closely with Lee McFadyen, long-time organic farmer in the Similkameen Valley and key contributor to provincial and national organic certification standards. These courses were quite a challenge to develop, but our mission was to make this knowledge available to farmers in the most efficient and dynamic way possible.

The online parts of the courses include varied interactive activities, knowledge and practical assignments, collaboration with other students, wikis, databases of additional resources, video demonstrations, and online support from an expert instructor. For a small sample of an interactive activity, click HERE. There are also sample materials available on the OFIBC Moodle site HERE.

In collaboration with colleagues at 7th Floor Media and also with Lee McFadyen, Graham Gore (first chair of the OFIBC board) and Michael McLaughlin (former EDO in the Similkameen Valley), I also worked some years ago on the creation and launch of OFIBC. We organized and co-facilitated the kick-off focus group where 35 community leaders selected an Organic Farming Institute as a winning strategy for using rural broadband capacity for education and sustainable economic development in the Similkameen Valley, co-authored the OFIBC strategic plan and Business Plan, and toiled in fundraising to get the OFIBC off the ground.

Blended Learning for Sustainability Change Agents

A unique approach to sustainability education for the European chemical industry

BTH DL titleJ. LeCavalier & Associates played an active role in the design and launch of this ground-breaking eight-month distance learning course that trains professionals in the European chemical industry to become “sustainability change agents” within their respective companies. Hosted by Sweden’s Blekinge Institute of Technology and the Natural Step – and financially supported by Hydro Polymers and Rohm and Haas – the course is a rich blend of e-learning, expert-led webinars, on-site workshops and collaborative project work. In its first year, the course attracted participants from 14 companies in the UK, Austria, France, Sweden, Norway and Germany.

This is an excellent start to our endeavour of creating cross-sectoral cooperation for sustainability. (Karl-Henrik Robèrt, Founder, The Natural Step)

Click HERE for the course home page, and HERE for participant reviews of the course.

Helping Be Even Better


Jacques Lecavalier was selected as external evaluator for the Pembina Institute’s initiative, a sustainability education web site serving Canadian school teachers and students. In this role, he completed a web site usability analysis (with 7th Floor Media), carried out interviews and focus group testing with Alberta and BC teachers, benchmarked leading North American environmental education web sites, and provided design advice on curriculum materials provided through the site. Many recommendations were implemented in GreenLearning’s improved web site, launched in the fall of 2007.