23 ALRN (D)
Designing, developing, deploying and maintaining an interactive learning platform at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Business Technology is an undergraduate programme at Manchester Metropolitan University (Department of Operations, Technology, Events and Hospitality Management at the Faculty of Business and Law). The programme aims to shape the technology professionals of tomorrow, equipping them with essential technical and business skills.
The cohort of the programme is very diverse in terms of skills background— some students have previous experience in industry, while others have never written a line of code. To create a level playing field, some of the technical units assume little prior knowledge and introduce students to particular concepts from first principles.
The final product
Most coding concepts cannot be taught purely through theory— hands-on learning is an essential part of the student experience.
To offer students with an interactive learning experience, I worked on developing a platform internally codenamed Aileron. Aileron provides a simple interface for students to complete interactive coding tutorials, at their own pace.
By utilising in-browser development environments like CodeSandbox and StackBlitz, students can jump straight into code in their own practice area, without having to install or set up any software on their device. They can even complete tutorials on the go, using a mobile phone.
Over 89% of the cohort engaged with the interactive tutorials.
The platform enables the awarding of incentives, which can contribute to a student's grade. Fairness is ensured by monitoring students' behaviour while viewing the tutorial— they are only able to claim rewards once the platform is satisfied that the student has engaged with the tutorial adequately.
Aileron provides step-by-step instructions, as well as a practice area for every tutorial. To help students focus on one thing at a time, they can toggle different panels on an off. Additionally, the design of the platform will match their system theme— light or dark.