In early 2017 we’re going to be testing all our activities in the real world with a regional pilot trial. We’ll be trialling the marketing on social media, face-to-face activities with schools and the evaluation frameworks which will measure the impact of our interventions. We’ll also be generally seeking feedback on the site and performance through these face-to-face meetings and through our site analytics. The information we gather will help to inform our planning for the future, and allow us to make some tweaks to the user experience before the national launch later in 2017.
In the past week we’ve been doing some fact finding about our chosen pilot region, the North East of England, with the college access officers already working in the area. Each Oxford and Cambridge college has a link region (find yours!), and Zoë Triston from Trinity and Shona Quinn from St Annes have a wealth of experience (as well as up-to-date contacts lists).
We invited them along to a workshop and sought their input on the types of schools we could approach. It has been helpful to take a longer view on the school’s history of engagement with Oxford – both high and low. We also asked for their help in planning an engaging face-to-face activity and on the practicalities of working with such a geographically distant area from Oxford.
With technical development delivering slices of content each fortnight, the site is looking more and more real. The end to end user journey is almost done.I’m looking forward to realising some of our ideas in classrooms in the North East soon after Christmas. It’ll be the first time that our users will be able to use the portal in the real world.