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Meet the experts: Lisa Nelson - Student Systems Consultant

experts_lisa_nelson
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do at Kaplan and what sort of responsibilities you have?

My role with Kaplan involves managing the online learning environment that Kaplan students use to access their online learning content. Right now I am in the middle of a project to replace the existing MyKaplan learning environment with a completely new look MyKaplan. The new site is more modern, easier to use and will help us to deliver new tools and features to students and tutors in the future. I am working with our external vendor, internal IT and product teams as well as tutors and students to set up the learning environment. I am also responsible for coordinating the training and communications plans so that all the key stakeholders know what to expect when we "go live".

What was your background before joining Kaplan?

I have worked with Kaplan for a long time now so it is hard to remember! I actually trained as a student with Kaplan (then The Financial Training Company) and spent a number of years in a big firm audit practice. However, I realised that I had a greater passion for training than auditing so decided to become a full-time tutor at Kaplan. During my time at Kaplan I have managed client accounts, run a training centre and managed aspects of product as well as teaching. For the past eight years my focus has been how Kaplan uses online learning technology.

About the experts:

We wanted to give you an insight into some of the work that goes on behind the scenes, so you can see how everything comes together to make sure that our courses give you the exam confidence you need.

How does the work you do impact our students and improve their overall experience of studying with Kaplan?

How we use technology in learning has changed dramatically in recent years. It used to be an “extra” on top of a classroom learning experience but changes to examinations, such as the move towards on-demand, and the increasing need to fit studies around hectic work and social lives means our students need much more control over how and when they study. So the work I do with the online learning environment is key to giving students the flexibility to study when and where they want with everything at their fingertips.

How and why has the new look MyKaplan been developed, and what benefits will there be for students?

The changes in the way students need to study and the increasingly blended nature of Kaplan’s courses has been a significant catalyst for change, as well as wanting to ensure we provide the most robust platform for our students. Kaplan has taken the step to work with an external vendor for our new look MyKaplan. The vendor is a leading learning environment provider specialising in the education market and it has over 1100 clients and 15 million users. In 2015 the platform was voted number one for innovation in the online teaching and learning sector by external analysts. It was also number six on Fast Company’s 2016 list of most innovative companies in the data science category (keeping good company with the likes of Spotify, Google and IBM). This all brings huge benefits to Kaplan students in terms of always having access to a market leading learning environment.

The initial benefits students will see is a smarter, easier to use interface with better performance than the current MyKaplan system. However, 2017 onwards will be about working with our vendor to leverage a vast range of additional tools to support our students and tutors, so expect to see new features roll out fairly frequently.