Ages 18 and older; 87% women (1% trans women); 33% BIPOC; 33% LGBTQ+
As an instructional designer and curriculum writer for an award-winning online coding boot camp, I was only given two weeks to familiarize myself with three months’ worth of course content, then create a new course outline and curriculum map with proposed instructional design solutions and learning strategies.
The original course was thorough & accessible for all types of learners. Upon review, I found that the curriculum could easily be modified to better meet student needs & alleviate concerns through consistent terminology, some new lessons & videos, and reorganized content. Students were complaining that the course was overwhelming, that their free trials of the Adobe software were running out before they had sufficient time to complete the course, and that they were very interested in learning more about User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) concepts, which were new to them.
My methodology and thought process used backward planning and a variety of learning theories/models. I proposed teaching project planning & design theory first (week 1) to set the foundation for further learning and best utilize the limited timeframes for the software free trials (weeks 2-3).
To address student concerns, I added more time for in-depth coverage of UX, UI, and web design software, with a focus on web design and industry-standard Adobe software. Adding booster content like interactive online checklists and downloadable PDF cheat sheets would aim to improve retention, confidence, and competence.
For scaffolding, I proposed teaching software in the order it might be used during a “real world” design workflow: Concept > Structure > Prototype > Actual Design
Previously, the course taught User Experience (UX) design using software called UXPin. Based upon student feedback and current industry trends, I strongly suggested teaching Adobe XD for this “visual web design” course, spending more time on UX/UI, user-centered (or human-centered) design, and human psychology. Through teaching Adobe XD, we could either omit UXPin or mention it as an alternative software for those who didn’t have Adobe software.
The previous course also taught InDesign. When the company made the decision to break this course into two separate, smaller courses (Visual Design and Web Design, respectively), I recommended keeping InDesign in the Visual Design course and removing it from the Web Design course. My thought process was that InDesign might be used in Visual Design workflows because InDesign is primarily a tool for print, and Web Design courses should completely focus on web design.
Development and Implementation:
Upon acceptance of my proposal, I collaborated with a large group of SMEs and stakeholders to revamp the outdated technical curriculum. Using combinations of Agile and ADDIE methodologies along with Design Thinking, we worked together to create a more clear, intuitive content flow to better meet student needs.
We worked in a fast-paced agile environment, rapidly iterating content in one-week sprints. We connected with Adobe about a potential partnership for helping promote their XD product, which was new at the time.
Post-launch, the course was highly rated by students (4.8 out of 5 on Course Report; 4.74 out of 5 on Switchup). The company I developed the course for was ranked as one of the Top 10 Best Online Bootcamps of 2021 by Switchup.