Product Coffee Break webinar recap - April 2021
During our first Product Coffee Break, we invited educators to take a break from their busy schedules and grab a coffee while learning about the latest Riipen news and product updates. We also took the opportunity to let educators hear from their peers and how they've used experiential learning to bring value to their students/classrooms. Here is a recap and highlights of the session.
There were many great platform changes, improvements, and launches in the last year. Among the most notable were :
- Remote Internships Launch
- Riipen Academy Launch
- School Pass Improvements
- Team page Improvements
- Marketplace Launch
Remote internships launch
The bootstrap launch of our Remote Internship feature, in March 2020, enabled nearly 60 post-secondary institutions to find internship projects for their students through Riipen, often saving their students’ work placements as they were cancelled due to COVID. This resulted in more than 350 approved company postings, and close to 1,000 students being matched to remote internships between April and June 2020 without any modifications to the platform.
Remote internships true launch
Based on our learnings from our bootstrapped launch, we adapted the platform and launched the new Remote Internship feature this past January. Our new feature now allows educators to recruit and approve targeted types of projects that students apply directly to, and employers to screen student applications. To date, more than 100 internship programs have been published, nearly 1,240 company projects were approved to which almost 2,000 students have been accepted.
Riipen Academy launch
Riipen Academy, launched last May, has already been accessed by over 7,500 users. Riipen Academy is not a Help Centre, but rather a gold mine of resources for students, educators and employers. It can be read cover to cover or in parts to help understand what’s expected in a remote, project-based learning experience based on our best practices and experience.
School pass improvements
With the improvements made to our School Pass process last June, stemming from feedback received by our users, educators can now bulk invite up to 50 employers to join their institution on Riipen at no cost. Educators can also help employers save time by creating draft company profiles and draft projects for them.
Team page redesign
The Team Page redesign, which occurred last October, is our biggest change to the student interface yet! We now offer simplified navigation and shortened the learning curve for students. Students can now complete a project entirely within the team page, accessing both chat and project content within their team. The new feature also allows both educators and employers to comment on student milestone submissions.
Riipen marketplace launch
Our new marketplace, launched in December 2020, allows users to see the very best examples front and center, and find high quality projects in featured subject areas. The featured content rotates every 3 weeks, and the featured categories rotate every 2 months to showcase the diversity of available projects.
Employer sign up improvements
We will be introducing a simplified and quicker sign up process for employers with the goal to increase employer conversion from sign up to project publication, thus creating more opportunities for educators in the project library while ensuring that all fields needed to vet employers are present on all company profiles with published projects.
Recommended content showcase
Also this quarter, we will be launching a feature allowing users who published a course or project, to see tailored recommendations with a prompt to send a first request. This will increase the level of activity on the platform all while reducing the effort and time necessary to find a first successful match.
Subcategories & recommendation improvements
A new feature will be rolled out by the end of the third quarter allowing users to refine their project or course searches with subcategories! Our goal is to make it easier to find the exact content our users are looking for and improve our recommendation engine by identifying more precise matches.
Custom questions feature
Another feature that will be launched by the end of Q3 will allow educators to set custom questions for employers to answer in order to apply to their course or internship program. This will increase the quality of project applications, make screening employers more efficient and allow programs with specialized requirements to recruit more specific projects.
We also heard from two Riipen users who shared how experiential learning was a value add to their classrooms. First, Rizza Tongco, an international student at Red River College, shared how she gained confidence from her Riipen project, and Kris Hodgson-Bright, a media and communications instructor of at Lethbridge College, spoke about the eye-opening experiences he was able to provide his students through partnerships with Dorkaholics and the International Indigenous Speakers Bureau.
Following the presentation of the platform improvements and launches already done and those planned, we took a moment to celebrate major milestones as we have officially reached 80,000+ student experiences, 5M+ experiential learning hours, and more than 6,000 educator-employer connections! As for our current marketplace activity, at present, we have 150 courses seeking projects, 95 internship programs seeking projects and 4,000 projects seeking courses and internship programs.
Additionally, we cannot overlook the fact that we are well on track to reach our ultimate goal of one million student experiences by 2025!
As we strive to provide a successful experience for all our users, we welcome your comments and suggestions, and look forward to having you join us at the next Product Coffee Break!
If you have any ideas for improvement, or if you would like to take part in future usability testing, we invite you to connect with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.