MTI Online University

The Online University is the online platform for investment education.  

MTI ONLINE UNIVERSITY

BACKGROUND

Market Traders Institute is a world-renown trading education company that designs online learning tools to help traders become successful. The Online University is the learning vehicle that delivers these tools. 
 
Choosing the Right Learning Management Tool

Originally, we had set up the learning environment through Moodle; however, that system didn’t give us the advanced tools we were looking for. We wanted to provide our students with a learning hub that was more user-friendly and while also giving us tracking tools that would monitor user activity and performance, allow us to learn from our users. Thought Industries, a relatively new LMS, opened the door for so much more. Even better, their system included an ecommerce solution, which we previously didn’t have.

OVERALL PROJECT GOALS

  • Improve student engagement by creating a better online experience
  • Provide students with visible tracking and performance metrics
  • Allow users to purchase or manage products

MY OBJECTIVES

Organize and Deliver Content

One of the biggest challenges we faced was being able to keep users engaged. We found that a significant percentage of engagement would drop off after lesson three of our flagship product. Wanting users to naturally understand the progression of each course and stay actively engaged, we first broke down the education material into modules, each module covering a specific topic. Then, for each module, we designed an overview page to help users recognize objectives, set goals and keep them focused on completing tasks.
On-boarding Users
Another challenge we faced, was providing an adequate onboarding experience for new students. Prior to the new launch, our flagship product included 12 items for “Getting Started”, not in any particular order. We wanted to simplify that process to get users learning as soon as possible. We ended up sprinkling in secondary to-do’s later in the learning material.
Creating a Usable Dashboard

For the user’s dashboard, we really wanted the focus to be on utility. There are several resources students like to have on hand at all times and the original wireframe concepts serviced those needs. Unfortunately, Thought Industries doesn’t provide enough HTML customization for us to support these design concepts, but the ideas are worth mentioning.

WHAT DID WE LEARN

The Results Were In

We created a HotJar poll on the user dashboard to get feedback from our students. Some responses we found to be particularly interesting. 
“Having a visual display of the course title, similar to the former sign in page would lighten up the page”
Give the People Visuals!

It was very apparent that users preferred visuals to identify their courses over a list view. Fortunately, Thought Industries provided a thumbnail versus list option for users to toggle, so we implemented that right away.
“Provide an Introduction Section to explain to new students how to navigate through this.”
"Is This Thing On?"

Another commonality was users were looking for how to use the new learning management tool. Again, some of these users had been in the habit of navigating the previous University. In the urgency of launching the new University, we had neglected to communicate to engaged users how to navigate the new environment. But, we’ve heard our users and are in the works to develop an onboarding class available with every new University enrollment (free or paid) and we’ve started brainstorming how we can offer an interactive walkthrough using tools like Inline Manual.  

TURNING ON THE "BUY"

For this piece of the project, I worked with the platform technology team to understand how marketing could leverage Thought Industries’s (TI) e-commerce tool on both the front and back end.

For the original scope, we focused on providing students the ability to purchase courses, which previously could only be acquired over the phone during regular office hours.

For the design, I took TI’s framework and skinned it to match our brand. The real work was understanding how the e-commerce platform worked.
Here’s the flow chart I created that illustrates the complete checkout flow, using TI’s model. Doing this, helped the marketing team understand how they could drive traffic to the e-commerce tool.

LAUNCHING IN 3...2...WAIT!

We decided as a team not to official launch the e-commerce piece to students to see what would happen. Within a day or so, we had two students purchase a course (around $3,000) without any marketing or sales initiative.
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