Launching an eLearning community for coaches in Amsterdam

Oscar Jonker - 18 September 2020

As a part of the “Amsterdams Sportakkoord”, the City of Amsterdam is launching ‘De Assistent’: a free community platform offering workshops and trainings for sports coaches and trainers within the city. This platform will offer the 15.000 (often voluntary) coaches of Amsterdam all they need to impact young athletes.

But how can the City of Amsterdam make De Assistent a success? How do you launch a new platform to a new target audience? We focused on helping them set up an intuitive eLearning environment. 

Introducing 'De Assistent'

Sports promote a sense of belonging and identity by tying people together in a segmented society. They have the power to unite people of all ages, gender, and socioeconomic status. For many ‘at-risk’ youth, sports are the last line of defense that keeps them from drifting into criminal behavior. This is why the City of Amsterdam believes that sports should be safe and accessible for everyone. In line with this, the focus of “De Assistent” is on the pedagogical side: coaches will learn things such as how to handle difficult behavior in youths, how to work with parents, and how to deal with racism and discrimination. 

Get to know your end user

How can we best assist the volunteers? We started by interviewing our end users - the coaches. User interviews are a fast and easy way to get user feedback. They help to gain insights into underlying assumptions of a problem, but they also reveal unexplored opportunities. For our eLearning community, we asked coaches which aspects of their coaching activities they’re struggling with and how we could best support them.

"Are they aware of the pedagogical impact a sports coach can have? How can we help them become a role model and a true educator? And how might the municipality be of service?"

Building a community from scratch

With a clear understanding of our users, it was time to start thinking about how to shape the home of our community. Important aspects of the platform were consistent branding, well-thought-out UX designs and gamification-powered learning. Instead of developing a brand new system, we helped in the process of identifying and selecting the eLearning management system that fitted our needs best. In line with the target audiences defined earlier, we then set out to structure packages of content relevant to each group. 

Photography: Roos Trommelen

A solid brand experience with minimal resources

We often work with predefined styleguides and component libraries to make sure we invest our time where it is most needed. In this case we worked together with Revolte Studio and translated the visual identity to effective and attractive landing pages that were meticulously targeted to our audience. We also used the visual style for personalizing the learning managament system, for example by using typography and icons that were designed previously.

Gaining traction means looking ahead

Building a solid, well-designed platform is one thing. Setting it up for success and keeping momentum is another. Together with the City of Amsterdam we analyzed which factors would contribute to long-term success. These included continuously adding new content, identifying and involving the key stakeholders and influencers, designing email drip campaigns, and setting up and tracking KPIs. The newly created role of Community manager is now responsible for most of these aspects.

"The specialists from Hike One understood our needs well and matched this with their expertise in a creative and flexible manner. It really led to a powerful and attractive platform."Danny Wouters, Project Lead, De Assistent

Also launching a new platform? 

Hold off on the building and start with thoroughly getting to know your end user. Talk to them, interview them, get to know their problem well. And then work towards the right solution. If you are looking for a partner on your next project, don't hesitate to give us a call.

Oscar Jonker

Digital Strategist

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