Can Studios Home
Case Study

Safeguarding on campus

Responding to national evidence about the prevalence and impact of students experiencing abuse, Middlesex University’s Changing the Culture Initiative asked us to help them create an online course. This was more than just a tick-box exercise – they wanted to support staff to respond appropriately to safeguarding concerns and raise awareness of everyone’s responsibility for creating a safer community for all their students.

The brief

The university’s Changing the Culture Initiative had already created a safeguarding manual and workshop materials.

They needed this converting into elearning that would work as both an engagement tool to improve staff member’s understanding of safeguarding, and a live learning resource they can refer to at moments of need.

The course content needed to be appropriate for all university staff, across academic, administrative and support roles.

Key points

Scenario-based learning
Custom graphic design
Adapt authoring

Our approach

With a comprehensive safeguarding manual ready for staff to use, the University wanted to achieve lasting behaviour change. So we proposed a course focussed on interactive scenarios that would unpack the manual’s process and tools in a practical way.

Our instructional designers worked with the Changing the Culture Initiative to create stories that would demonstrate the university’s Three R’s approach: recognise, respond and report.

From the get-go our working relationship with Can Studios was awesome – we were co-creators, building something together that would change behaviour and have a genuine impact.


Ben Serlin

Programme Manager –
Changing the Culture
University of Middlesex

We also organised the content so each scenario is self-contained and addresses a stage of the process in full.

This makes it easy for staff to:

  • completing the learning around other commitments
  • refer back to specific information when they need to apply it.

The course is structured around:

  • a concise, interactive overview that introduces the manual and explains what safeguarding is all about at Middlesex University
  • three scenario-based modules where learners apply the procedures for recognising, responding and reporting, with reference to the relevant manual section
  • a short test to check understanding.

The 80-page manual itself is embedded within the elearning as a PDF, so staff have everything in one place.

Can Studios’ number one priority was achieving our training outcomes. When we suggested anything that might distract or confuse the learner they’d steer us away – even if it could have been an opportunity to charge us more!


Ben Serlin

Programme Manager –
Changing the Culture
University of Middlesex

We built the course in Adapt, enabling us to provide a first-class learner experience for those using mobile devices and accessibility via assistive technology.


Skilful instructional and graphic design enabled us to produce a course that – even on a modest budget – engages staff with highly interactive, performance-based learning activities, and strong visuals.

By using scenarios that focus on staff actions and their impact on students, the learning works well across different roles.

It’s modular structure allows staff to dip in and out easily, completing the course around varied schedules. It also lets them revisit specific information easily – and because it’s fully mobile-responsive, they really can use it wherever and whenever they need to.

Compared to other ways we engage and train staff – elearning has proved to be incredibly good value. Having Can Studios design and build the elearning for us was definitely the quickest and most cost-effective way to get a fully-bespoke course of this quality.


Ben Serlin

Programme Manager –
Changing the Culture
University of Middlesex