In sporting terms the MVP is the team’s most valuable player. In eLearning, an MVP is a valuable approach to deploying a new product offer.
A minimum viable product (MPV) is a version of a product that has just enough functionality to be useful.
eLearning, like many technology enhanced solutions, can provide a multitude of features. Often, if we ask learners what they want and give them a blank page, they will list pages and pages of requirements. After all, technology can do so much, shouldn’t we take advantage of it?
But, we all know too many options can increase confusion and reduce utilisation. An endless barrage of choices can result in learners being overwhelmed and disengaged.
If we take the MVP approach, we grow the product with the learner, step by step. We prioritise the features they find most useful and we get feedback about how they actually use the product before making a further development. Being able to play with a real, though basic, product also helps the learners to clarify their own needs and what they really want from the product.
This also has the advantage of getting a product to the market faster, so we’re solving today’s problems, not yesterday’s problems.
MVP in eLearning
What would an MVP in eLearning look like? At its simplest, an eLearning product could be a turnkey solution consisting of an LMS which is pre-populated with a selection of off-the-shelf courses that are made available to learners for free or at an affordable price, such as the Associated Learning Academy. The service is available for learners to use immediately and tailored courses, videos, articles, discussion groups etc can be added easily. Target users have a product to look at before they are asked for feedback about what additional features they want from the service.
This means that we know that our users understand what modern eLearning can offer and we know they have experienced a high-quality eLearning experience - rather than having preconceptions based on a poor experience of a Health and Safety compliance course 10 years ago! So, when we do our user research and gather requirements, we know that we are getting well-informed opinions on which we can rely before making investments in an LMS or content.