How might we help online learners feel supported and connected with other learners taking the same course/MOOCs so that the attrition rate decreases, making online learning more effective for learners?
Struggling to complete your online course? Lost your sense of urgency toward your learning goals? You are not alone. Over the years, the advent of digital technologies to deliver ubiquitous education spiked in popularity however, learners are finding it difficult to commit to online learning because of the flexibility and autonomy they gain from it.
For example, self-paced courses have suggested due dates to help you manage your schedule, and if you do not complete all graded assignments before the suggested deadline, you have the choice to reset your deadline. Though there are benefits to self-paced learning, this approach ends up making learners feel demotivated to finish their courses.
Researchers Keller and Suzuki (2004) argued that students of E-learning platforms face motivational challenges because they have to work independently at a distance in most cases. Studies also show that students who make connections with peers have less stress and more motivation for their academic pursuits. This led to the birth of Nudge and its mission to create a sense of togetherness for online learners.
Nudge is a web app focused on building an online community to help learners collaborate and form peer groups.
To validate the problem space and bolster existing research, 4 user interviews were conducted to understand the reasons why people struggle to meet their learning goals. The key insights were:
The main takeaway and core problem derived from the user interviews is that there is a lack of human support and interaction when it comes to online learning. Therefore, it’s important to address these users’ pain points so that learners can stay on track and achieve their learning goals.
The premise of Nudge web app is straightforward- helps promote peer learning and foster human connection in a virtual learning environment. Due to the short timeline,(~3 weeks) I focused on the MVP and prioritized 4 key features that will be valuable to the early adopters.
Below is an example of a high-level user text flow to explain how a user forms a peer group.
Enters website > Enters username and password > Click on login button > View profile dashboard > Enters course name > View peer groups > Click on available peer groups > view details of peer group > Request to join peer group
I will not be moving forward with this project but will definitely continue my PM journey, and will take it a step further by working in a cross-functional team with designers and developers to come up with a solution to another problem so that I can build my PM portfolio.