We’ve recently finished testing MoodleNet’s value proposition with two cohorts of users, in both English and Spanish. During each three-week testing period, we sent one survey per week. In this post, we’d like to share some of the insights we’ve gleaned.
It’s important to note the following:
- We built the smallest possible version of MoodleNet in an attempt to answer the question, “Do educators want to join communities to curate collections of resources?”
- During the testing process, we didn’t discuss future functionality in the user interface or in the emails we sent users. We did, however, discuss the roadmap in a tool called Changemap which we’re using to collect and discuss feedback and feature requests.
- One of the key features of MoodleNet will be federation (i.e. the ability to have separate instances of MoodleNet that can communicate with one another). This will change the user experience and utility of MoodleNet in significant ways.
The survey data we’ve collected suggests that MoodleNet is indeed something that can sustainably empower communities of educators to share and learn from each other to improve the quality of education.
What follows are three things that we’ve learned from the testing process.
1. We’ve validated the value proposition
A couple of days after giving each cohort of testers access to MoodleNet, we asked them, “Do you see yourself using something like MoodleNet to curate collections of resources?”. The functionality, especially during that first week for the initial cohort was extremely basic, and the experience sometimes buggy.
Despite this, by the time the second cohort filled in their first survey, it was clear that almost two-thirds of testers agreed that, yes, MoodleNet would be something that they would use.
2. The best tagline for MoodleNet: ‘Share. Curate. Discuss’
During the testing period we learned that creating taglines that are translatable and impactful in different languages is no easy feat. In fact, many companies and brands simply use English taglines, such as Nike’s ‘Just Do It’. We’ve decided to go ahead and use ‘Share. Curate. Discuss’ for the moment as the tagline for MoodleNet (including on the Spanish version of MoodleNet).
3. Testers are clear on what they want to see next
Through free text boxes in surveys, and from the information coming in via Changemap, it’s clear that users want to be able to:
- Search for specific keywords and topics of interest.
- Easily find out when something has changed within a community they’ve joined, or a collection they’re following.
- Sort lists of communities and collections by more than ‘most recent’ (e.g. by number of collections or discussion threads)
- Tag communities, collections, and profiles, to make it easier to find related content.
- Upload resources to MoodleNet instead of just adding via URL.
- Indicate ‘resource type’ (e.g. ‘course’, ‘presentation’ or ‘plugin’)
- Send resources they discover on MoodleNet to their Moodle Core instance
- Add copyright information to resources and collections
- Easily rediscover useful resources they’ve discovered in collections they’re not following
- Access MoodleNet on their mobile devices
Happily, we’ve already got MoodleNet working on mobile devices, although we’re still having some issues with Safari on both iOS and MacOS. We’re also launching ‘timeline views’ for communities and collections this week which will allow users to see what’s changed since they’ve been away.
As for the rest of the suggestions, we’re working on them! The most user-friendly way to see progress is via Changemap at: https://changemap.co/moodle/moodlenet
When developing software products, it’s easy to come up with a plan and start working on it without validating what you’re doing with users. We’ve still got a way to go before MoodleNet is exactly what community participants want from it, but we feel that in this initial testing period we’ve got a mandate to keep on iterating.
A big thank you to our two cohorts of testers, who have provided invaluable feedback. They still have access to MoodleNet beyond the testing period. We’ll be inviting more people to join at next month’s UK & Ireland MoodleMoot in Manchester, so why not join us there?