OUR INNOVATION PROCESS
Driving the pace of innovation with teachers and instructional designers
THE DOTANK METHOD
In the EdTech DoTank, innovation and full partners co-create new technical solutions to support active learning activities. The focus on a seamlessly integrated solution improves the implementation process of new pedagogical designs. Higher education is rich in excellent ideas, but lack clear and effective methods for transforming these ideas into validated technological solutions. Even when such solutions are developed, a lack of technological support hampers solutions from spreading beyond a small group of innovators. FeedbackFruits established the DoTank in 2016 to bridge this gap between ideas and reality.
By supporting these innovators with finding solutions and translating them into technology, the DoTank facilitates the spread of validated ideas to other consortium partners. Every year, each of our innovation partners pinpoint an educational use case that cannot be met with current available technologies. In collaboration with experts and teachers from other partner institutions, the DoTank builds new technically supported learning activities to the proposed challenges and opportunities. We believe that in our co-creative partnership, we can drive innovation at a pace that would be impossible for each partner to achieve individually.
The development is an agile process based on design thinking and consists of five phases.
The project is based on a validated idea by a teacher or instructional designer. In the definition phase this idea is formulated and shared with other partners and relevant experts within the consortium. Along with the partners it is judged whether the idea is a feasible learning activity to work with.
Once the objective and scope of the project are determined, the design team starts to create the first wire frames of the new learning activity, module or adjustment. This step is carried out by FeedbackFruits with meetings to discuss the designs in order to ensure that the project complies with the expectations set in the definition phase. Teachers and other experts within the consortium, and also those outside of the specific institution review the designs before it enters into the development phase.
The development phase is the main and sole responsibility of FeedbackFruits. Based on the created designs, the use case is put into a working feature by our developers and product team. Within this process we reap the benefits of the modular code to develop rather fast.
Once the first version of the project is available for beta testing, validation starts. In this phase the main goal is to ensure the quality, capacity and functionality of the developed project. This is realized by implementing the DoTank development output in live courses within the LMS. Through this process we gather feedback for further iteration.
After the Dotank project has been developed, iterated and validated by the institution and FeedbackFruits, the new activity or tool is deployed. This usually happens after testing the new feature for approximately 3 months, as a feature flagged functionality in live courses. Feature flagging is a method used to hide beta-functionality from the main gross of users, while being able to enable it for those who want to test the functionality and help with validating and stabilising the feature. Since beta-functionality is rolled out in the actual production environment for a specific set of users, it can be tested effectively and bugs are fixed more rapidly versus awaiting a large rollout and having testing done in a different, beta environment. Finally, it enters the pool of activities and tools that already exist and is available to all partners in the consortium.