Moving to online training and assessment

Skin Deep Learning

Moving to online training and assessment

Beauty and the beast

Skin Deep Learning provides an engaging, dynamic, modern, and fun learning experience for beauty therapy students. After winning multiple publisher awards for training and assessment resources, Skin Deep Learning established a clear goal to maintain their high standard while moving their curriculum to an online delivery method and maximising the benefits this transition offers.

Working in alignment with their brand and visual requirements, we created a platform built on Moodle (Learning management system) that could deliver in-depth training resources, to be included in Health and Beauty qualifications, directly to individuals and to Regional Training Organisations.

Learner experience design

The learner experience needed to be highly visual with minimal clicks and it required intuitive navigation across the learner dashboards, course pages, and activities. Having an eye for Skin Deep’s visual focus meant we knew how to create navigation that was easy and the learners knew how to progress. A tile-driven dashboard provided a navigation system that their learners were familiar with—and testing confirmed—matched the brief. 

Another bonus for the learners was that that the content was packaged as microlearning, making it easier for them to find smaller pockets of time in which they could engage with the course. Our design made it easy to pull together content when it originated from multiple sources.

Task-driven workflows and connected systems

Task-driven page hierarchy is an age-old page-layout design principle, but the real challenge was how to do that with multiple audiences that have different task priorities. We got around it by creating a custom activity and course level view.  Activities were grouped into categories and the modern, tile-based view could be customised by system role to display only the appropriate content. This means that assessors have the tools that they needed while students could work across topics and courses in a streamlined and clutter-free style. 

An external and internal facing system

Building an effective learner experience is hard enough, even if you had system footprints and behaviours to make decisions with. Providing access for two different groups of people—those you know and understand well (system and human), and those you don’t know and who are visiting from an external access point—becomes harder.

The answer for Skin Deep Learning was to focus on the users we knew less about and start there, creating ways to ‘listen out’ for them and build up what we know about them by collecting system information and feedback.

Monitoring system performance is the key

Working with a project that has an external audience who may be using an unfamiliar learning management system can be tricky to support. For the person trying to access the course, it either works or it doesn’t and diagnosing problems can be difficult.

At the launch of this project, we had a known range of learning management systems that connected into the Skin Deep courses. However, as demand grew for external access, we found that new LMS connectivity was required.

If ever there was a tip to pass on, it’s a reminder to always monitor the system’s error logs and collect as much information as you can about the way that people interact with the LMS and content. Even the most detailed project specifications may grow more complicated.  Monitoring system performance provides a window of opportunity to find ways to improve the learner experience and plan for future refinements.

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