July 11, 2013

Sneak Peek: The New, Improved Visionlearning Site Launches Tomorrow!

by Christine Hoekenga

It’s been a busy year behind the scenes at Visionlearning, where we’ve been working away at redesigning and upgrading the website. Now, the countdown is on, and new site will be live tomorrow!

Sneak peak of the newly redsigned Visionlearning homepage

This mock-up shows a sneak peek of the new Visionlearning homepage. The redesigned site launches tomorrow!

So, what will change?

For starters, the site will look different. As you can see in these sneak-peek mock-ups, Visionlearning has a new logo and a bright new color scheme. We also have a fresh, clean look that will allow us to showcase more images and other media–something we’ll be working on going forward.

And, be sure to check out the new site on your tablet or smartphone!  It’s designed to be responsive and adjust its format to be clear, readable, and user-friendly on any screen size. You’ll be able to easily access Visionlearning from anywhere, anytime you have an internet connection.

 

We’ve also upgraded some features and added new ones.

Mock-up of RedesignedNew Visionlearning Module

The new Visionlearning module pages include collapsible menus to help users view only the information they want. They also include elements to help readers more easily understand and recall the material.

One of the most significant upgrades is a suite of new elements to help readers better understand and remember the material as they read. Some of these elements are quite subtle (like new headers throughout the module text). Other are more noticeable, including a table of contents for each module, and “Comprehension Checkpoints,” which allow readers to periodically check their understanding as they read.

Our quizzes and glossary terms are also getting make-overs.  Now, when you take a quiz after reading a module, you’ll get immediate feedback to help you understand why each answer was correct or incorrect.  Our glossary terms will also have more robust information, including:

  • tags that indicate which scientific disciplines commonly use the term
  • whether a term is noun, verb, adjective, etc., and
  • more resources to understand the term’s context on the Visionlearning site and beyond.
Mock-up of the Redesigned Biology Discipline Page

This mock-up shows the newly redesigned Biology discipline page. Each scientific discipline will have a page showing a summary and key concepts for each module.

If you are a student or teacher who has been using the MyClassroom feature, you’ll find your saved courses under the “Classroom” tab in the section called “Courses.”  We’ve also added a feature that allows registered readers to simply bookmark modules or create a list of glossary terms to review later.  If you haven’t tried it out yet, now is a great time to sign-up and get started!  (Just like the rest of Visionlearning, it’s free!)

We’ll still have the peer-reviewed, award-winning, free science resources you’ve come to expect, but now they’ll be easier to navigate and use. These are just some of the highlights.  For more complete information about the Visionlearning transformation, please read our Letter to Visionlearning Readers.

We hope you’ll try out the new features tomorrow and let us know what you think by posting a comment below.  We’ll be rolling out more features and updates throughout the summer and fall, so please stay tuned!  If you want to be the first know about new additions, subscribe to our blog or like our Facebook page.

Christine Hoekenga

Written by

Christine is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist, specializing in science and nature. She holds an Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Media Studies and a Master's of Science Writing. She has been working in science communication and education for nearly a decade as a journalist, an organizer for conservation groups, and a museum educator. Before joining the Visionlearning team, she served as the New Media and Online Community Manager for the Webby award-winning Smithsonian Ocean Portal. Christine is assisting Visionlearning with developing new modules and glossary terms, managing the blog, and outreach through social media.