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KTP: Hub TV and City collaboration

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project between Hub TV and City, University of London presented an unrivalled business opportunity to create a truly innovative product that is not currently available ‘off the shelf’. The result… meet AhaMo!: The interactive learning tool that wraps around existing video content to create superior user experience.

The Background

With increasing internationalisation and ever expanding online capabilities to share content, organisations are starting to take e-learning seriously.

Hub TV, one of the UK’s top 50 video production companies, recognised a gap in the market for enhanced forms of video interaction in the learning space. It sought a partner to help fulfil its vision of becoming a market and thought leader in interactive video services.

An open day at City's Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCID) brought Hub together with a team of City academics with extensive research experience in user interaction across a wide variety of media. This new collaboration enabled Hub's ideas to be explored further and create something truly novel within the space of interactive video.

The Challenge

The first challenge was finding an accessible way to build the partnership – both in terms of the funding available and the project management structure. After considering all the options, the KTP scheme was identified as the perfect fit for three main reasons:

  • the project was novel;
  • it was likely to deliver significant financial growth for Hub TV;
  • and it had benefits for all partners – benefits likely to accrue as Hub continued to expand its operations.

Following a successful funding application jointly prepared by Hub TV and City, the partners recruited graduate, Sohail Sohab, to manage the day-to-day delivery of the project.

The Solution

Working full-time at Hub TV premises, but with regular support and guidance from academics at City, Sohail set out to develop a new interactive video capability, which would help Hub stand apart.

Through a series of stakeholder interviews, participatory sessions and competitor analyses, Sohail was able to identify the specific user needs for the new product and help develop an interactive prototype. User testing and field trials followed until the commercial product – AhaMo! – was ready for launch.

AhaMo! became available in December 2014, two years after the project started. It is aimed at businesses looking to embed e-learning capability within existing staff learning and development programmes.

What makes AhaMo! different from other e-learning tools is that it supports reflection, offers intelligent analysis of users’ insights and enables peer sharing and discovery of new learning material through collation in wider social networks.

The Benefits

AhaMo! has enabled Hub TV to enter the e-learning marketplace, estimated to reach $51.5billion by 2016. With the continuing use of online video globally, Hub will be able to capitalise on these growth trends. The new skills and knowledge developed during the KTP are now being embedded within the Hub business to ensure it continues to produce cutting-edge interactive products and services.

It wasn’t just Hub that benefited from taking part in the project. The academic team at City were able to successfully apply their research to practice – proving that their theories worked. Two associated Masters students’ dissertations have been influenced by the KTP project, and the academic team has been able to use the KTP as a case study in a syllabus on interaction design. Furthermore, a number of research proposals have been developed on the back of the work, focussing on intelligent aspects of the AhaMo! platform.

As a result, the KTP project was awarded the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’ by Innovate UK.

Find out more about the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) at City.