Content Systems Academy

Part 2: Our Process Needed to Evolve

 In General, Series

Outside of Stairway to STEM, Pellet Media has its own projects and clients, and we often work with educational partners such as PBS. For more than a decade, we had a method we followed because it brought us a lot of success.

In a nutshell, our old model was “Study – Produce – Distribute – Evaluate.”

  • We identified an audience with an under-served or unmet need
  • We researched, developed, and proposed a content-based solution
  • We recruited two teams of people:
    • an advisory board of subject matter experts who guide us from development to deliverable
    • educational partners who contribute content and assist with dissemination and evaluation
  • We hired an external evaluator to help refine our project’s goals and objectives and measure our progress through formative and summative evaluation

This process took months, sometime years, and much of it took place on spec.

In fact, for the STS project, we envisioned a three-year timeline for producing the needed content.

That may sound like a very long time.

However, by intensely exploring our audiences’ needs, we ensured we were producing high-quality content that provides value and solves problems. Once we had all these components in place, we drafted the proposal and sought financial support for its execution.

So, naturally, we applied the same process to the Stairway to STEM project. But, as you’ll see, some kinks in our process led to some unexpected challenges. And those challenges led us to abandon our old  “Study – Produce – Distribute – Evaluate” model—a static model that could not support the complexity of the project—for the more dynamic and flexible “Create – Engage – Manage – Optimize” model.

Comments
  • Steve Budd
    Reply

    This is interesting and dovetails with findings and comments you will see in the year two formative report of the STS project. The formative conclusions will support much of what you say about “What was learned along the way” – The summative review next year will support how well you are able to “optimize”

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