eLearning custom digital product development | by Uruit

Transforming Education with Custom Product Development

ABOUT

Working with an eLearning giant

E-learning has become an increasingly popular way for students to access educational materials and resources, and Macmillan Learning is one of the leading companies exploring this modern innovation.

Macmillan is a global publisher of educational and academic materials. It is one of the five largest editorial groups in English and is known for producing high-quality educational resources for students and educators around the world.

Through their Achieve platform, Macmillan Learning provides universities with a variety of materials, including Macmillan e-textbook content and additional features designed specially to enhance the student learning experience and assist instructors.

The program is crafted to assist students in building the skills and acquiring the information they need to succeed in school and beyond. It offers a range of content and activities in various disciplines, including math, science, English language arts, and more.

This digital product is intended for use in schools and other educational settings and is typically accessed through a web browser or a mobile app.

Students across the world have continuously faced challenges in pursuing their studies due to a number of factors. This would otherwise be solved by incorporating modern technology such as Macmillan Learning’s Achieve into the existing education system.

As a company that provides custom product development services, we were brought on board to work with the Macmillan Learning team to improve and maintain the Achieve platform.

In the efforts to link technology with education systems, the implementation of an improved Macmillan’s Learning Achieve platform serves as another significant step in easing access to education. That is for both underserved students and those facing other limiting factors.

An education institution in the South needed an improvement in their students' academic performance and to address several shortcomings that they faced, and this aimed at utilizing Macmillan’s e-learning platform.

This corporation with Macmillan Learning aimed at developing an interface that would include several features, such as:

  1. Address the challenge of serving underserved student populations by implementing features such as personalized learning paths and language translation.
  2. Introducing a calendar view for students to see their tasks and homework.
  3. Updating the tech stack to the latest version of React and improving the platform's tool performance and functionality.

CHALLENGE

How we laid out the project

We needed to develop a more convenient way for students to connect with their instructors and get access to learning materials for a smoother learning process. However, we faced some challenges in the process, which include:

1.       Time constraints

Developing and implementing new features or updates to the Achieve platform was a time-consuming process, and it was crucial that the project was completed within the allocated timeframe.

2.       Budget constraints

This project was costly, and it was necessary to work within the institution’s limited budget while still achieving the desired results.

3.       Technical challenges

Working on the frontend and backend of the Achieve platform was complex and involved overcoming various technical challenges, such as enhancing security for the intended user’s activities.

4.       User experience

Ensuring that the platform is easy to use and meets the needs of the intended users (in this case, professors and students) is important and may require careful planning and testing to ensure a positive user experience.

5.       Integration with existing systems

The platform was being integrated with other systems, and so it was necessary to address challenges related to compatibility and functionality.

6.       Collaboration

This project involved multiple stakeholders and team members, and it was necessary to coordinate efforts and work effectively with others in order to achieve the desired results.

DEVELOPMENT

How we worked

1.       Defined the scope of the project

We identified the objectives of the project, as well as the resources that were needed for its success. This involved working with the client and stakeholders to determine the desired outcome of the project.

2.       Created a project plan

We developed a detailed plan that outlined the tasks and activities that would be completed in order to achieve the goals of the project. This included identifying timelines and budgets, as well as assigning responsibilities.

3.       Assembled a team

Identified the personnel and resources that would be needed to complete the project and assembled a team of experts and professionals who could contribute their skills and expertise.

4.       Identified and assessed risks

We identified the potential risks and challenges that would have arisen during the course of the project and developed strategies to address these risks.

5.       Set up project management tools

We used project management software to help us track progress, assign tasks, and communicate with team members and stakeholders.

6.       Communicated with the client

We maintained regular communication with the client and stakeholders to ensure that the project was on track and to address any concerns or questions that may have arisen.

7.       Monitored progress

Regularly monitored the progress of the project and made the necessary adjustments to ensure that we stayed on track.

8.       Tested and evaluated

We thoroughly tested the platform and its features to ensure that they were functioning as intended and that they met the needs of the users.

9.       Launched and supported

Once the project was completed, we launched the platform and provided ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that it continued to function effectively.

RESULTS

Present and Future

Over the past four years, our team has worked closely with Macmillan to maintain and improve the Achieve platform.

We have made significant updates to the tech stack and added new features, such as the calendar view, which has been well-received by users and has helped to improve the overall user experience; with it, instructors and students can view and edit assignments which helps them visualize, manage and plan out their course easily.

We are also super stoked about two new exciting features -that also came from user feedback- we will be rolling out soon:

A new “Teaching Assistant” role will be included in the course access. Instructors can grant teaching assistant roles to students and revoke their privileges whenever they want. This new feature will allow students to access the course's syllabus, lectures, and discussions and set up courses with ease.

Another feature we are truly excited about is the “IP Paywall Bypass”. When we provide free access to the product based on the user’s IP address, instructors will now require Achieve usage by the students. This is in accordance with Canadian law, which mandates that schools provide free access to all learning materials on campus.

Some of the ideas we are considering include incorporating additional resources and tools to support students and educators, such as advanced machine learning. We believe that such digital product development will make the Achieve platform a leader in the education sector.

We also understand the importance of ongoing support and maintenance in ensuring the long-term success of the platform.

We are committed to providing timely and effective support to clients and users, and we will continue to work closely with Macmillan to address any challenges that may arise. We are confident that our continued collaboration will lead to even greater success in the future.