CASE STUDY: Cobblestone

How to help clients create custom eLearning courses

Learnovate is helping Irish company Cobblestone Learning to discover and design for the eLearning needs of their customers.

Cobblestone Learning is a growing Irish company that provides eLearning solutions. They specialise in creating customised eLearning courses for the unique needs of their customers. Part of the process involves engaging with customers early on to assess their training needs so that ultimately the solutions will suit them.

Sean Delaney - Cobblestone Learning

Cobblestone has been working with Learnovate to strengthen that process of engagement and discovery, and this is helping Cobblestone to build trust and long-term relationships with customers and to gain market traction both in Ireland, the UK and the US. What’s the best way to find out what a client really needs? Talk to them, of course. It sounds simple but figuring out the nuances that best suit a particular client is a foundation for building long-term trust and delivering solutions that work.

 For Cobblestone Learning, that early engagement with a client helps the Dublin-based eLearning company to figure out what that client needs for effective training. It’s a vital part of the development process, explains Cobblestone’s Managing Director and founder, Sean Delaney. “In learning, that first piece around getting the analysis and design of a programme right essentially decides its overall success,” he says. “If a programme is for the wrong target audience or if doesn’t suit a specific industry, it will fail.” 

To ensure that customers get the solutions that best match their needs, Cobblestone carries out ‘discovery workshops’ with each one. “We have built a toolkit of learning experiences that we use with our customers to map experiences to their learning goals,” says Sean.

“As part of our service, we carry out a discovery workshop with the client to understand what needs to be achieved, then we use this when we develop online courses and programmes for them. This helps us understand our customer’s business and where this training fits in with the overall goal, and ultimately to bring innovation into their training solutions. Then, as we develop a solution, we go through an iterative process, refining the solution with the client as we work on it.”  

Given the importance of that early conversation with a client, Cobblestone sought the support of Learnovate to help them strengthen the initial discovery process further, thus adding even more value for Cobblestone’s customers.

“Learnovate is very active within the learning community, and we were familiar with them through social media, through publications and through outreach events,” explains Sean.

“We wanted to make sure that we had access to excellent research and expertise, so it was obvious we should work with Learnovate for best practice,” says Sean.

Learnovate met and worked with Cobblestone, going through the existing process and brainstorming on how various aspects could be tightened and further developed.

“Learnovate immediately understood what we did and what we needed from them, and we got to the meat of the collaboration very quickly,” explains Sean.

“Learnovate helped us add more structure to our process of engaging with customers about their learning and training needs, and it was great to have an organisation that understands learning to guide us through that,” says Sean.

“As a result, we have updated and restructured a number of our own processes, and we now bring that to our own customers.”

The ongoing collaboration with Learnovate is a ‘two-way street’ of benefits, notes Sean, with Learnovate providing a systematic and evidence-based perspective and Cobblestone bringing insights about the specific needs of various sectors.    

“As a vendor, Cobblestone works across multiple industries, sectors, topics and disciplines, and the challenges are different between the training needs for leadership in the pharmaceutical industry versus training for leadership in retail. We are able to look at those cases and challenges with Learnovate, and learn together about how to tackle the differences in those scenarios.”

For Cobblestone, the impact of working with Learnovate comes in the form of a streamlined and more effective offering for customers, which in turn forms a foundation for solid and productive business relationships.

 “The benefits to us and to our customers of working with Learnovate is that we now have a simplified, rapid and accurate process for engaging with customers, and customers know that we have done due diligence, they are entering into a design that is tailored and targeted to their needs. This has helped us to grow our accounts and it means customers are confident to come back to us again and again,” says Sean.

“In recent years, we really gained traction in the eLearning and training market. We can see the size of our projects are growing and we are designing our second and third programmes for organisations. What we are doing is hitting the mark,” says Sean.

About Sean Delaney

Sean Delaney is the Managing Director of Cobblestone Learning. He has a degree in ICT from Trinity College Dublin and after college he moved to telecommunications company Ericsson, where he developed an interest in learning and training. He spent five years as a technical trainer with Ericsson, travelling around the world, before moving into training management and implementing learning technologies in the company. During this time, Sean achieved an MBA from UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School. Sean then moved to eBay, where he worked as learning design manager. He founded Cobblestone Learning in 2016, and the Dublin-based company has been quickly growing its client base benefitting from the flexibility and cost savings that bespoke eLearning solutions offer.


Cobblestone Learning is an Irish company that designs and delivers eLearning content for customers across various sectors and industries. Based in Dublin, the team includes learning professionals, designers and digital content creators who collaborate with customers to build bespoke solutions for training needs.

The company works with customers in Ireland, the UK and the US, and customers include the Houses of the Oireachtas, UCD Innovation Academy, Dublin Port Authority and the UK British Standards Institute.