New beginnings for Learn My Way

Good Things Foundation's Senior Digital Project Manager, Deborah Fern, tells us what is to come in the next generation of Learn My Way, our digital skills online learning platform.

The 21st November 2018 was an important day at Good Things Foundation – the day that we won the Bronze award in the Best Use of Blended Learning in the UK Learning Technology Awards.

This was a massive achievement for a small Learning Team in a charity that has BIG ambitions. Our vision is one where everyone benefits from digital – we’re currently working towards a goal (set in our 2020 business plan) of supporting 3 million people to have better lives through digital by 2025 – we love a challenge.

How does a small learning and digital team within Good Things Foundation help 3 million learners be digitally able, equal and safe so that they become happier, healthier and better off? That’s a good question and one that we mulled over for the best part of 2019.

So where are we going?

We could carry on developing Learn My Way adding in more functionality and content – based on what our learners need and what they tell us they need. However, there’s only so long that you can tinker with learning content and digital platforms. At some point you have to rebuild the foundations for what you need now and where you think you ought to be in a few years time.

Starting again is scary, but with the support of our board, our management team and the wider team – that’s exactly what we’re doing in order to create the next generation of Learn My Way.

We’ve put together a cross-functional team with all the roles you might expect, learning designers, curriculum specialists, user research, user experience design, test analysts, developers, a technical architect as well as a Product Owner, Product Manager and Scrum Master. You might guess from this list that we’re using agile as a framework to help us make this leap.

We’re asking questions – lots of questions:

  • Do shorter chunks of learning work with our content and our learners?
  • What encourages our learners to apply the things they learn?
  • What can we do to make our learning content better?
  • How do we design a learning platform that is easy to use when you have limited digital skills and doesn’t get in the way of the learning.

These are just a few on our minds at the moment.

We’re looking at the best technologies out there that will meet our needs now and allow us to develop the platform in the future.

We’re trying to get comfortable in developing in an environment of unknowns and making the best decisions we can on the information we have available to us.

We’re taking all that we know from working at Good Things Foundation, all that we’ve learned in our previous roles, and we’re looking to learn a whole load more from our users. So we’re also putting together a user group – from our Online Centres Network, our partners, and as wide a range of learners as we can. We’re tasking them to help us keep the focus on what is most valuable for our learners and those who support them.

If you want to be involved in our user group then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.