This poster will demonstrate how Hairdressing Training, an innovative Open online service provided by Mimas, part of the Digital resources division at Jisc has provided further positive impact on the user community through the provision of a new free and open mobile app.
The development of the app by a mixed team at Mimas came about when it became apparent that the service could expand further by providing users with even easier routes to access content on the move – reaching and appealing to target audiences.
Through Jisc funding, the team set out to create an app that would pull together the service’s 60+ educational hairdressing training and barbering video tutorials, which are mapped to the NVQ and SVQ curriculum.
Those who teach within further education in UK colleges have professionally created the videos available through the app, which is predominantly aimed for use alongside a college setting to aid students with their learning. However, it can also be beneficial to all teachers, students, trainers, or anyone interested in developing skills – allowing users to learn at their convenience.
The FE user community, including teachers and students were involved in the development of the app at each stage – achieved via face-to-face and online user testing to ensure that the app met the needs of the desired audience and would provide a high quality user experience.
Initial results and feedback on the app, launched in September 2014 have been extremely positive. Feedback via two user surveys and initial statistics have provided encouraging results.
“Excellent App – been promoting it in addition to linking Hairdressing Training website to Hair Moodle courses”
FE Subject Librarian, Gower College, Swansea (Survey, Nov 14)
Recent app statistics have also shown that 323 people installed the app via Google Play, and over 1000 people downloaded from iTunes in the first quarter after release.
At Mimas, we understand the importance of mobile learning and that it can often lead to higher engagement with the topic; personalisation of learning; flexibility of learning and learner retention and achievement.
A full review of the project was undertaken post release to evaluate how the release of the app had been received and possible ways in which the planning and development processes could have been implemented differently. This will help to inform the team for any future app release.
There have been other questions raised about the availability of the app, which is currently only available on Apple and Android mobile devices, if further releases could be made for Window’s devices, making the app truly open and accessible to all audiences. This will be discussed further through the poster.
Access the app by searching for ‘Hairdressing Training’ in either your Google Play store or App store.
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