601 Test Instructional Ideas Quickly and Cheaply With Lean Prototypes
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Thursday, October 24
You've got a great idea to increase learner engagement, decrease learner attrition, or improve learning outcomes by adding a new feature to your learning platform or purchasing a new product or service. Maybe you have clear research to back up your idea, or just a solid hunch based on your experience as an eLearning expert. But implementing your plan will take time, money, and personnel. If you're wrong or you implement the solution incorrectly, you'll end up wasting precious resources without improving your learners' outcomes. What you need is a way to quickly and cheaply test your idea before deciding to commit to a purchase or addition to your learning system.
In this case study session, learn how Treehouse—an online coding school—used lean prototyping to test ideas for improving student outcomes without investing excessive time, money, or personnel. You'll find out how we combined a simple patchwork of free tools to evaluate a student-driven assessment process promoting reflection and critical analysis through peer review. Throughout this story you’ll learn how to rapidly test and refine instructional ideas by combining readily-available tools like Google Forms and Docs, email, spreadsheets, and high-touch evaluation-like user interviews and surveys. You'll also explore how to create a prototyping plan, identify risks and rewards, measure and evaluate results, and iterate quickly to develop a solid solution that can convince decision makers to invest in your idea.
In this session, you will learn:
- How fast and lean prototyping can let you test your hunches without spending a lot of money, overcommitting resources, and locking yourself into a technology solution you don't need
- How rapid prototyping of a "great" idea can help you quickly and cheaply identify (and abandon) ideas that aren't so great after all
- Tips for using free and freely-available tools to test instructional ideas to improve learning outcomes
- Ways to identify and measure successful outcomes to move a prototype into production or lead to a purchasing decision
- How to create a prototyping plan to identify risks and rewards
Designers, developers, managers
Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Forms, Email
Director of Learning
Dave McFarland is the director of learning at Treehouse, an online coding school. He is a passionate educator with over 15 years of experience teaching adult learners both online and in person. For the last five years, he's been applying what he's learned about instruction and the science of learning to help build an online learning platform to provide new career opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in tech.