How the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health
Online Learning Platform Works
Is it possible to create the best learning platform one can imagine? Yes, it is - only in some imaginary world with unlimited resources.
But what is possible with limitations being in place? I would like to share my experience in doing this. I hope this glance into the process of working on a real task may be helpful for someone who was or is facing a similar challenge.
The article may came off as a bit too long; if you would like to learn about the process details, you're welcome to read it, if you would like to get the summary at once, please, go directly to the Result section.
As I mentioned here, I had joined the Centre to finalize the implementation of the SickKids Global Child Health Course. At that time the Centre already had another course on nutrition live on the web. This course had already been published on an existing online learning platform and about 17 hundred learners were registered for the course.
The challenge we had was that the existing platform was set up specifically for this one particular course and there was no place to publish a new one. We then decided we needed to redesign the platform to make it more flexible for our current and future needs.
Rectification of the Goal
Once I started working on this, it became clear that to reach the goal significant changes would have to be made to the platform. So we redefined objectives for establishing the platform to the following two:
The following conditions had to be taken into account:
The conditions we had were, on the one hand, often a limitation, but on the other hand, also helped us to prioritize and focus on key things. My dear colleagues @Amira Khan and @Jessica Cheng were very supportive in making the right decisions and focusing on the most important stuff.
All the changes were done within the platform with no additional development and, importantly, with the progress of all the previous nutrition course users saved!
The Goal #1 is easy to estimate. Now we host two courses which you can see on the platform. It's done!
The Goal #2 is a bit trickier to estimate. We checked the final solution with the same users and they noticed positive changes. However, the number of users was not as high as with the old course.
There are also a few more numbers which demonstrate positive changes in Goal #2:
The number of clicks users have to do to move from one session to the next one was reduced from seven to just one.
It was seven and it is only one now.
There was no way to see personal progress within the course. Now, there are three ways to do it:
Completion percentage on the Dashboard
Checkmarks for each of the required sessions
List of steps that are still required to be completed to get a Certificate
Previously, the Moodle interface displaced all the technical options available - even the ones which were not necessary. To simplify navigation and improve users' experience we only left necessary links in the platform menu.
Personally, for me, this task was challenging and interesting at the same time. Although I had experience with building platform architecture and design within my previous projects, I had never done it with these limitations and had never worked with Moodle in as much depth. I had to bring up my skills and learned a lot, making it a valuable and fulfilling experience for me.
Should you have any questions regarding this particular course or in general, please contact me on email@example.com.