Online Learning



At a time when Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were on the rise, one of the top business schools in the country wanted to create their own platform to give their classes true global reach. The school prides themselves on offering a truly unique on-campus educational experience, and wanted to reflect that in it's online classes. For confidentiality reasons I've anonymized the name of the client throughout the text and images.

My Role

I was the lead UX designer on this project. Having a background in education, this project was exciting for me, especially in light of the recent surge of MOOCs. Taking cues from the principles of adaptive learning, I wanted to design a platform that was highly interactive, feedback-oriented, and individualized.

Discovery Process

Our initial discovery process informed the design of the experience and influenced the initial roadmap and digital strategy. I completed an analysis of the top competitors in the MOOC space, as well as some recent innovators who were disrupting the online education domain.


Gathering Requirements

We brainstormed features for the platform that helped to achieve our goals, and rated them based on their business value, design effort, and technical complexity. This exercise allowed us to have a holistic view of all the included features and understand the effort, scope and value of each individual feature to inform the project plan moving forward.

Defining the UI

From there I began to define the UI framework and created wireframes for the rest of the experience. This process included many trips to the school's campus to workshop with the clients. As part of my research I sat in on real-time classes and got feedback from the professors. Below is a sample of wireframes I created for some of the interactive teaching elements.

The Results

The first program launched with great results. The completion rate, typically in single digits for MOOCs, was just over 85%. Engagement with course materials and with peers was extremely high - all of the students who completed the program regularly submitted analyses and reflections, and a majority of them participated in content discussions with peers. And because the faculty wanted a hands-off approach, we incentivized students to help each other. This worked well, with questions on help discussion boards largely being resolved by students. The program's ability to stand on it's own without intervention from faculty was crucial to it's ability to scale.