I bring vision into focus

The MIT Office of Digital Learning wanted to blend MITx and OpenCourseWare content. I took their ideas and created a few solutions to meet their goals.

My Contributions

  • Information Architecture
  • UX Design
  • UI Design

Background

MIT and Harvard University launched edX, an educational platform that takes a different approach to distance learning. In an effort to collaborate within MIT's Office of Digital Learning, MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) launched a pilot project to offer MITx (MIT's offerings on the edX platform) courses on OCW.

The Problem

OCW is designed around types of content: syllabi, readings, lecture videos, assignments, etc. edX is designed around separated into sequential units. When an MITx course ended, it would be taken down, unavailable to people who took the course and anyone else, unlike OCW which keeps courses available for all time.

The Solution

If we could capture the instructional materials from an MITx course and map it to OCW’s architecture, we could fill this gap in edX’s platform.

We began by adapting the course to fit our open copyright license and site standards. I designed a solution to fit the course into our site architecture, which had limits to how many hierarchical sections we could create.

OCW page heirarchy as demonstrated by navigation sidebar

I worked on user experience issues while our team worked on the backend development that was necessary. edX uses a horizontal navigation interface to move between subsections of a course, while OCW uses a vertical navigation to move between types of content. Mapping each subsection to the vertical menu would break the page layout and hit the limitations of hierarchy of the CMS. I designed a UI based on the horizontal navigation used on edX, but in line with OCW’s design.

I developed a UI that was usable on small screen devices while still being able to accommodate a large number of course sections.

The Outcome

The pilot project was a success, and opened the door to OCW offering MITx courses on OCW’s free and open platform.

The Outcome

The pilot project was a success, and opened the door to OCW offering MITx courses on OCW’s free and open platform.