Findability Project Update: Oct-Dec 2020

This quarterly status report is to share progress for the the Findability Project and to outline plans for the coming month.


With the launch of the online open course collection pilot site in September, a round of user testing on the site was conducted and recorded. The testing yielded some interesting and useful results for the team and they have been making updates in response to some if this feedback. The main finding was that instructors’ first impression was the the site was a LMS where students could then go to access course material.

Currently there are two courses in the collection with six more expected to be added early in the new year.

As previously reported, the team continues to maintain the production site while developing the new site. Roughly half of time is spent on operational work and half on new development.

The project continues to be within budget. Reallocation of some funds that were planned for travel and meetings will be used for salaries to continue work on the project past March.

Activity Last Quarter

Goals that were met, decisions made, sprint outcomes, milestones met, etc.

The development team hosted information sessions on Octeber 19th and December 8th sharing the work that has been completed and what is to come for the OOC and Findability projects. In the December session the team shared video of user testing and discuss the findings and improvements being made to the OOC site as a result. Testing was conducted with 8 volunteers and then follow up testing was conducted with 2 more people after some updates were made.

The following goals have been met by the Findability team:

  • Purchased new testing and editing software
  • 1st round of testing on OOC site complete
  • New search plugin added
  • Continued work on metadata recommendations

Planned Activity

Goals for next month – what we’re looking forward to/excited about. Includes development, meetings, communication, etc.

The following activities are planned for next quarter:

  • Report to be drafted with recommendations and then test them
  • Report on metadata work
  • Changes to backend

Risks and Issues

Table of risks/issues, mitigation

Open online courses project introduces new requirements that will take time to consider, design for, and test.MediumMonitor resource allocation and increase capacity if required.
Technology chosen will not support undiscovered user activities or new requirements.MediumTesting and stakeholder engagement at all decision points

Lessons Learned

List of things that went well and what improvements could be made.

The feedback from the first round of user testing supports how important it is to conduct user testing. The fact that most users assumed the site was a LMS and even after being told otherwise some still believed it to be a LMS was both surprising but helpful in improving the site usability and findability of OER.

Links and Resources

Include links to useful/related info such as slides from an update meeting, related projects or other resources of interest.

Online open course pilot site