I thought it would be helpful to walk through how we (edCetra) recently worked a project that began as a typical, highly interactive, SCORM driven eLearning course and reproposed a design and suite of analytics based on the affordances of TinCan.
The project began as most of our projects do. Got a call from a highly respected global financial institution with offices in Toronto who heard about us, worked with us (we did work with them but a different department), saw some of our work and wanted to talk to us about building a ‘Global’ online orientation program. The ‘course’ had to be SCORM compliant, run on their LMS and track who did what. Sound familiar?
So we brought some ideas to the table which they loved, that included a non-linear approach but still ‘modular’. Issues started to come up when ‘open navigation’, ‘prerequisites’ and ‘tracking completions’ started to compete with SCORM affordances and the ‘ideal’ was never attainable. There was always a tradeoff. In any case, a happy medium was found and planned out, followed by an early stage prototype to show how this thing would look and work.
Our client LOVED IT! The prototype moved to her boss who loved it. The prototype then moved on to all the divisional VP’s of learning representing the 26 countries this program was going to be deployed in and they HATED IT! Shockingly the feedback all centered around “Why aren’t we looking at mobile?” “Why is this so rigid?” “Is this the image we want to represent to new hires?”. Truth is, I couldn’t have been happier. A huge door was just opened and we jumped in with two feet and started to talk “business”.
So why is it that you need to “track” completions? Is there any reason they should do a before b? What happens before and after this online orientation. Most importantly what is the VALUE this orientation program brings to your business? Why even do this to begin with? If the door wasn’t opened wide enough, the discussions that followed broke the door frame down. The value of the program, that is, what did an orientation bring to the company were employees who were enthusiastic to begin work, who felt CONNECTED to the company and who were ENGAGED with the culture. Ok cool…anyone want to tell me how ‘course completion’ had anything to do with these becnhmarks for value? Didn’t think so!
Ok, so where did we go….well certainly mobile became front and center and the thought of building a ‘course’ seemed to be far less important. At the same time, there was onboarding content that our client was tasked with distributing as the orientation program that all came from a ‘course’ to begin with. So we looked at how content gets distributed through mobile and worked with an ‘apps’ approach. In other words lets build ‘apps’ focused on delivering very specific content in a variety of ways. Some may be game based. Others purely informational (magazine like). Others were data driven.
What would we need to make this paradigm work? We would need an app store, currency, and a segragation between apps purchased and apps acquired through currency. What could we use as currency? We needed a point system. Do we award points for completions? Hell no, because what do completions have to do with anything? What if we awarded points for sharing information? What about points for engaging in optional content such as playing a game? What about points for diving into different divisions of the company and exploring? Hey and how about awarding ‘badges’ (a la Open Badges project…thats hip right?)
The best part about all this was we now had a mechanism to capture data and feed not only a report that focused on the VALUE of orientation, but which allowed our infrastructure to work. In other words, TinCan data isn’t only feeding reporting but is integral to making the system go.
Here is the data we capture:
# of points per user
# of merits earned (merits are badges)
Which merits earned
Pages viewed total
Pages viewed per app
Average time per page total
Average time per page per app
——> all pages are optional. This data will feed into a visualization on ‘engagement’ and will not be presented as separate data
Recommended pages (# per page)
Need more info pages (# per page)
——> We allow users to identify where they liked content and where they feel they need more content – feeds into a visualization on how engaged users felt with the content which feeds overall visualization on engagement.
Aside from this data, we are capturing specific data within each app (when appropriate)
Was slider used? Number of views/ vs # of plays
Our products App
—–> This app is tied to existing consumer facing web sites. Thats right employees learning what their customers learn….crazy I know
Products recommended (employees will complete the same assessment as customers and learn about products by going through what customers go through) by the system vs products researched
Dressing Game App
Number of views vs # of plays
My First Week
——-> App to help employees keep track of what they need to do
Whats been checked off
You are not alone App
——>App that displays real time data about experiences users are having in this app world (Example: Number of employees who have played the game, Recommended content)
(general data only)
Software (name has been changed) Central
(general data only)
Who we are App
Which resources are being accessed
These are the merits that will be awarded to the user as they go:
Map Exploration = engaged with corporate culture
Dressing Appropriately = engaged with corporate culture
Complete History = Connected
Product expert = Connected
First Week Complete = Engaged
Recommendation = Engaged
We also laid out what apps become available as time goes on and points are accumulated
Who we are – points: watch CEO video, Map play – merits: Map exploration
First week – points: every item earns a point – Merits: First week complete
Our culture – points for recommended content
Dressing Game – points: playing the game – merits: Dressing appropriately
You are not alone – Points: looking into analytics
Our products – points: products clicked on – merits: product expert
Our history – points: looking at timeline – merits: timeline completely viewed
Software Central – points: recommendation, completely viewed
My Resources – points per resource
This may not make sense to you. Whats important is that TinCan gave us a mechanism to completely redesign what an online orientation experience good be and provided our client with a platform and infrastructure to use outside of this one project and begin rethinking how information gets distributed.