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LearnerShape Beta Test Instructions


Thank you for signing up for the LearnerShape beta test!

These instructions explain:

  • our vision and how beta testing fits into it; and
  • the basics of how to use LearnerShape (further details are in our FAQs).

LearnerShape’s Vision and Beta Testing

Our goal is to use advanced AI to revolutionize the skills training process, as part of a long-term vision to make education better by developing deep machine-based understanding of individuals. Put simply, we use computers to make online education more human.

The beta version of LearnerShape contains a core subset of the features that we will deliver in future versions, and focuses on content associated with information technology, software engineering and data science. We want your input on our current features and content and how they might improve, as well as future features that would be desirable. Among other things, we plan to introduce recommendations for learning collaboration and mentorship, the ability to search for courses, and tools to allow organizations to view their employees’ learning pathways and help employees towards optimal reskilling choices. For our enterprise customers, we will also provide the ability to customize our service to any skills framework and any learning content, delivered on any platform (i.e. our recommendations can be provided both on our own platform or integrated into other services using flexible APIs).

We deliver learning recommendations by using natural language processing (NLP) and other AI methods to automatically identify relationships among skills, learning content and jobs. We are confident you will see excellent recommendations on the platform, but some will be less good (because of limitations in both content and algorithms). We ask that you tell us which recommendations are less good -- you can do this by clicking on “Report a problem” on the course detail pane (explained below). Your feedback will greatly help to improve our AI and accelerate our journey to providing consistently world-class content recommendations.

To summarize, to help us advance our vision, we want your help mainly in the two areas highlighted above: platform functions and learning recommendations.

How To Use LearnerShape

The beta version of LearnerShape is intended for use on any computer or tablet browser. It may not work well on your smartphone (see FAQ Can I use LearnerShape on my smartphone? ).

LearnerShape delivers learning recommendations for ‘profiles’ of skills associated with selected jobs. In later versions, it will be possible to choose custom profiles of any skills you want to study, but even without custom profiles there are a lot of options for using the platform to customize what you study and focus on skills of interest (see FAQ How can I customize my learning calendar? for more details).

When you log on for the first time, you will see a set up screen with three steps:

  1. Set your skills -- This takes you to the Tag Skills page, where you identify your current skills, using either a ‘graph’ interface or a ‘folder’ interface. See FAQ How do I enter my skills? for more details. We use your current skills to determine what you need to learn and to recommend jobs.
  2. Set your target profile -- This happens on the My Profile page, where you choose a target job profile in the My Target Profile dropdown. This defines the set of skills that you can learn, which are displayed under Target Skills.
  3. View your LearnerShape and calendar -- Once you confirm here that you have finished steps 1 and 2, you’re ready to go!

After completing these steps, you will see a page with a top navigation pane that includes basic information on you, a feedback button (please use it!), the name of a suggested course (the last course you have visited, or a randomly-selected course from your calendar if you have not started studying) and four buttons that control what you see on the rest of the page:

  1. My LS displays your ‘LearnerShape’ showing current and target skills, in either of two graphical views (hierarchical or similarity). You can choose additional courses by clicking on any skill. In later releases, your LearnerShape will display learning progress.
  2. Calendar shows your recommended courses, which can be customized in many ways (see FAQ How can I customize my learning calendar? for details).
  3. My Profile allows you to update your target skills and learning preferences, and lists your current skills and recommended jobs (based on those skills). To update your current skills, just click on the Tag skills button.
  4. Collaborate will provide recommendations for learning partners, mentors and groups in later versions of LearnerShape. It also provides another place to submit feedback (like the button in the navigation pane).

To view or study a course, just click on the Start button next to it on the Calendar (for more details, see FAQ How do I take a course?). Once you make progress with or finish a course, you can record that on your calendar by clicking on the course name and adjusting the Status drop-down menu.

We wish you happy learning! Please let us know how you get on. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Tagging Skills

How do I enter my skills?

You can enter or change your current skills on the Tag Skills page, which is accessible from the main menu, see FAQ Where do I find the main menu [or the Tag skills button on the My Profile page].

LearnerShape has chosen skills for beta testing focused on machine learning and data science, plus a few other skills. Our platform has the ability to make learning recommendations based upon any skill, and we will expand the list of skills over time. In the beta version, you can add your own additional skills, but we will need to process the new skills before you can use them for course recommendation.

Skills are organized in a hierarchical ‘graph’, which you can view either in Graph mode or Folder mode.

  • In Graph mode, you can ‘open’ the next lower level of the graph by clicking on a skill name, and move back up the graph using the Home button (to go to the top) or the link under it (to go up one level). If you use the Search box, you will see all the places that your search string appears in the graph (clicking on All skills then returns to the view of the full graph).
  • In Folder mode, you also open the next lower level of the graph by clicking on a skill name, and clicking on the name again closes the level(s) below. Search works similarly to the way it does in Folder mode.

When you want to ‘tag’ a skill as one of your own, just click on the tag button (under the skill in Graph mode, or next to the skill in Folder mode). This will then allow you to set your current skill level:

  • beginner -- limited knowledge; not at level for regular use at work
  • intermediate -- solid basic knowledge; appropriate for non-specialist work
  • advanced -- strong knowledge; core job qualification
  • expert -- better than most advanced practitioners; able to teach the skill.
  • Your selected skill will appear under Your skills in the right hand column.
To change the level of a skill, you can use [the drop-down menu next to it] under Your skills. To delete a skill, just click the ‘X’ next to it under Your skills.

You can also add a new skill that is not in our graph (this won’t affect your learning recommendations in the beta version of LearnerShape, but it will in the future). You can provide the name of any skill:

  • in Graph mode, with the Add new skill here button below the graph, to add the skill at the same level as the lower-level, ‘spoke’ skills in the current view; or
  • in Folder mode, with an [Add new skill below ] button.

When you are finished tagging skills, you can (during setup) click the Continue setup button at the top of the page, or use the main menu to move to another page.

Learning Targets and Calendar

How do I set my learning targets?

You set learning targets by choosing a target profile on the My Profile page. You can customize your calendar to focus on skills within a target profile (see FAQ How can I focus my learning on specific skills? for details).

How can I customize my learning calendar?

There are many ways to customize your Calendar:

  • Change course dates. We generally assign courses to be studied soon. You can change the dates of a course by dragging the yellow bar to the right or left.
  • Add a course. You can add a course from the My LearnerShape page by clicking on any skill in your LearnerShape and selecting one of course options provided.
  • Remove a course. Access the course detail pane (by clicking the course name), and then click Remove this course.
  • Replace a course. Access the course detail pane, click on one of the alternative courses in the bottom row, and then click Replace with this course.
  • View courses for fewer skills. Use the Filter by skill drop-down above the calendar to view only courses for selected skills. This does not permanently change the Calendar. To do that, just remove the courses that you don’t want to study.
  • Regenerate your Calendar by clicking the Regenerate calendar button. If you do this after changing your target profile on the My Profile page, you will see courses for the skills of the new profile. If you do this without changing your target profile, you will reset to a version of your original calendar (likely with some changes to introduce new material).

How can I focus my learning on specific skills?

You should choose a target profile on the My Profile page that includes skills in which you are interested. If you want to focus on particular skills in the target profile, you can use our tools for customizing your Calendar, including adding courses, removing courses, replacing courses and viewing courses for fewer skills. See FAQ How can I customize my learning calendar? for details.

What if I don’t like a course recommendation?

The easy way is to access the course detail pane by clicking the course name on the Calendar, click Report a problem, tick the applicable boxes, and click Submit. If you want to provide more detailed feedback use the Leave feedback button (see: How do I provide feedback to LearnerShape?).

Taking Courses

Do you offer content types other than online courses?

Yes. We use ‘course’ to refer to any kind of learning content. Currently we provide online courses, articles and blogs, videos and audio podcasts. We are constantly expanding content, and later plan to add other content types including offline courses and AR/VR.

How do I take a course?

Just click on the Start button next to the course name on your Calendar. The button changes to Resume when you confirm that you have started the course, and Visit when you confirm that you have completed it. You can also click the Visit course button on the course detail pane that appears when you click the course name on your Calendar.

Clicking any of these buttons takes you to the third-party site where the course content is located. To keep our focus on awesome content recommendations, LearnerShape does not host course content on our own site (although we plan to partner in the future with third parties who can do so).

You can progress through the course content at your own pace. Content providers have a wide variety of different approaches and tools to help you do so.

How do I pay for courses that have a fee?

Currently you can do this only directly with the content provider. We will soon introduce the option to see recommendations only of free content. Later, we plan to have content partnerships that will allow users to pay directly via the LearnerShape platform.

How do I record my learning progress?

Access the course detail pane by clicking the course name on your Calendar, then use the Status drop-down menu to adjust the course status to ‘In progress’ or ‘Complete’. In later versions of LearnerShape, we may add more detailed recording of how much of the course you have completed.

What should I do when I finish a course?

Access the course detail pane by clicking the course name on your Calendar, then use the Status drop-down menu to adjust the course status to ‘Complete’. The course will remain in your calendar, but if you wish to delete it you can access the course detail pane and click Remove this course.

General

Where do I find the main menu?

The main menu is accessible by clicking on the down arrow at the right side of the top menu bar.

Can I use LearnerShape on my smartphone?

The beta version of LearnerShape is intended for use on a large screen: a computer or tablet. It should work on mobile, but you may find it difficult to use. We intend to introduce a smartphone-ready version of LearnerShape by next year.

Beta Test Process

How do I provide feedback to LearnerShape?

You can provide feedback by clicking the Leave feedback button in the navigation pane or in the Contact LearnerShape section of the Collaborate pane.