We can not wait to launch the Classo platform and make it available to everyone. But before, we will conduct pilot projects with some schools and school boards in January and February 2019. Why? To validate that it meets the needs of users. Planned in consultation with each community, these pilot projects will provide us with accurate quantitative and qualitative feedback. We can then make improvements before a large-scale deployment.
It is certainly interesting, or even necessary for an organization like Classo to conduct pilot projects before launching a new service or a new product. But have you thought that running pilot projects with your school and your students can also be a way to make better decisions about choosing new materials or digital resources to avoid unnecessary mistakes or expenses?
The American organization Digital Promise developed an eight-step methodology to help schools plan and implement pilot projects to test digital products: Edtech Pilot Framework. Here are the highlights.
The Edtech Pilot Framework
1. Identify needs
Above all, it is necessary to state and define the specific need to be answered.
Some examples :
We need to help our students organize better.
We want to make our students aware of the existence of false news.
We want to introduce elementary students to programming.
We want to facilitate communication between the teachers of the school.
2. Discover and choose
Next, identify and evaluate different products that meet the stated need based on established criteria such as existing research and the scope of the pilot project.
This is a step that can take a lot of time. With a growing number of digital resources, it's not always easy to find the right ones.
With its highly personalized search functionality, detailed listings, and the ability to compare resources with each other, the Classo platform makes it easier for you to build such an inventory.
Among the resources and solutions identified, it is finally necessary to choose the one that best meets the needs defined above.
It is then important to set specific goals and ensure a shared vision. It must also identify which data will be used to determine success and ultimately, create common expectations.
In the case of our pilot projects, we have identified the following objectives:
- Identify what are the most used features.
- Obtain feedback on the search functionality and the relevance of the results obtained.
- Obtain feedback about the resources offered by the platform.
- Get feedback on improvements to consider.
- Get resource recommendations from teachers.
- Identify factors that promote recurrence of users.
- Identify what information is relevant to make available to school administrators in a tool intended for them.
- Collect feedback from school administrators to develop a prototype of the tool for them.
4. Offer training
To enable effective implementation of the new tool, Digital Promise suggests that teachers participating in the pilot project receive appropriate training, technology support and coaching. In a practical way, one could imagine that a time slot could be planned during a pedagogical day for a short training before the pilot's launch.
5. Collect data
During the pilot project and of course at the end, quantitative and qualitative data should be collected by conducting short surveys or interviews.
For example, our pilot projects will provide opportunities to collect the following data, including:
• The number of resources accessed per user;
• The number of clicks on the external links of each resource;
• Resources chosen as favorites and added to custom libraries;
• Resources compared with each other;
• The number of times a user has logged into their account;
• The amount of time users spend on the platform at each session;
• The features most used by users.
Qualitative data will be collected through a short questionnaire to be completed by the participants at the end of the pilot project.
6. Analyze the data and make a decision
Analyze the data to assess whether the tested tool has achieved the objectives set and to determine whether to consider a purchase, continue the pilot project or stop using it.
7. Negotiate and make the purchase / acquisition
If you choose to make a purchase, you will be able, thanks to your observations and the data collected, to better understand the price, the recurrent costs of using this tool as well as the costs related to its implementation. You will therefore have several information that may be useful during the purchase negotiations.
8. Summarize the results and share them
As a last step, Digital Promise recommends sharing results with participants to promote transparency, build trust, and help other schools make informed decisions.
In our last blog post, I mentioned an article published in EdWeek Market Brief according to which, in the United States, in 2017, 35% of user licenses purchased for digital resources have never been activated ... This is huge.
At a time when financial resources remain insufficient in education, would not it be worthwhile to do more tests to validate the usefulness and effectiveness of certain products or resources before making the purchase? Before imposing a large-scale deployment or implementation, is there a need to better understand which groups of learners are most likely to benefit from the resource? In this sense, the Edtech Pilot Framework proposed by Digital Promise offers a very interesting guide for schools.
To find out more :
Articles for developers and publishers of digital resources
360 robot pilot project led by the Ministry of Education
360 robot is a pilot project and an overview of the possibilities of educational robotics. On November 20 (9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.), a team of RÉCIT pedagogical advisors (Nancy Brouillette, Lynda O'Connell, Pierre Lachance and Robert Vivier) will present a webinar on the work related to the common core in robotics and programming.