A Word from the OpenSesame Development Team: September 2014

Quarter 3 is flying by for us! We had a beautiful summer in Portland and are enjoying our last few sunny weeks. Last month we said farewell to our summer interns and we welcomed our next class of fall development interns to the team (keep an eye out for a blog from them coming soon!). When we weren’t busy soaking up Vitamin D, we also added some useful new tools to OpenSesame to improve the customer experience.

Unpublished Course Recommendations

Though it doesn’t happen often, on occasion certain courses have to be removed from our catalog; sometimes the content becomes outdated, the seller no longer offers specific titles, or another unspecified reason. Whatever the cause, we want to ensure that you are able to find great alternative course offerings. As as result, we have added a new feature that will present customers on the site alternative courses if the course they linked to is no longer available.

If you come across such a course, we’ll serve you some alternative courses, such as in this example:

If the available alternative courses aren’t what you’re looking for, feel free to contact us and we’ll help hunt down some additional titles for you.

More Powerful Course Wrapper – Your Status & Improving Course Quality

One of our major initiatives for 2014 has been to improve the quality of the courses available in the OpenSesame Marketplace. While our sellers are doing their part on the content side of things, we are trying to make information about course quality more readily available to the course creators and to future buyers of the courses. To facilitate this information gathering, we have built out a more powerful course wrapper.

We have always collected course ratings (5 star course ratings system) and course reviews (written by learners in the courses), however they historically have only been collected from the course page. And since the majority of learners never see the course page on the website because they are either taking training via an LMS or clicking on a link in an email, we have been missing out on opportunities for useful feedback.

As a result, we decided to made some tweaks to our course wrapper… Learners can now rate the course (1-5 stars) while in the context of the course. We are hoping that by making the stars ratings more easily accessible, that we will receive many more course ratings across the system. In time, this will allow us to provide more information to course buyers about the highest rated courses in the system and to course sellers about what learners think of their courses. Next time you are taking a course, please rate it in the upper right corner. You will also notice that your course progress is listed directly below the course title, so that you always know where you’re at in the course. We hope this makes taking courses and providing feedback on it more intuitive.

If you have any questions on these new features or any part of the system, we’re here and happy to help! Get in touch via live chat on the website, via email at support@opensesame.com, or over the phone at (503) 808-1268. Happy training!