Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
Moreno Valley will conduct a series of low-fidelity tests and interviews to identify working student and non-student barriers to attaining education and achieving educational success -- culminating in a live experiment which tracks how stipends impact student performance.
What we're discovering through testing
In order to understand the barriers that students are facing, the Moreno Valley team conducted a visual prototype at a local college, inviting participants to add post-its to a board. The team was surprised by some of ‘gut wrenching stories’ the exercise uncovered. For instance, some students come to school primarily because they’re lonely, or struggle to study due to mental health or family responsibilities. The stories that surfaced have helped the team realize the complexity of the issue.
Moreno Valley was eager to understand how the monetary stipend would be beneficial for students and more importantly, what would encourage them to join up to the educational program. Using a high fidelity version of the program flyer and web pages as a talking point, they found that building trust between the city and the students was the most important factor in increasing sign-ups.
@MoValCityHall is a @BloombergDotOrg champion city incentivizing and supporting working adults to pursue education and technical training, allowing them to overcome the #EarnVsLearn dilemma! #MayorsChallenge #movalearns #iLoveMoval These photos are from today’s Mayor’s Workshop!7:34 PM - 28 Jun 2018 LaryshaGreen
What we've learned
Through tests, the team found that they underestimated the non-financial barriers students face - from food insecurity to housing needs. As a result, they expanded the program to to help them access existing resources. They also discovered that employers were willing to commit both financial and non-financial support for the program. By helping employers build stronger relationships with students before they enter the workforce, they hope to create a learning culture within work environments.
Asking people to participate has been a game changer. When we use prototyping people know that the city cares.Jackie Melendez, Senior Project Manager