A Look at Aspen Challenge’s Website and Digital Learning Platform


May 25, 2016

The Aspen Challenge is a program of the Aspen Institute, created in partnership with the  Bezos Family Foundation, that aims to motivate high-school students to solve big challenges in their communities. Teams of students are issued challenges from leaders working in an array of industries and given the tools to craft solutions to those challenges. With just seven weeks to design and test their ideas, solutions are then showcased to a panel of judges who select top teams to attend the Aspen Ideas Festival.

With programs in four large cities, and plans to continue expanding nationwide, the Aspen Challenge needed a robust website that would be engaging for stakeholders as well as high-schoolers, and a scalable digital learning platform: that's where Veracity came in. 

When the Aspen Challenge reached out to Veracity Media to build its online presence, their goal was twofold: revamp the Aspen Challenge’s website and migrate the program’s static, text-based curriculum to an interactive online learning platform. 

 

Step 1: The Website

 

The website needed a fun-yet-professional design that would be user-friendly for program participants, while also showcasing students’ incredible work to stakeholders and first-time viewers. Using compelling images from past competitions, parallax effects, a clean design, and the Aspen Challenge’s vivid brand palette, Veracity built a modern, scalable website that students can easily navigate on their phones. We also designed custom branded interior pages that the Aspen Challenge team could update throughout the course of the competition. 

 

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Step 2: The Digital Learning Platform

 

Using Blackboard ProSites, Veracity designed a robust, multi-city e-learning program. We took the Aspen Challenge’s existing text-only curriculum and used gamification, social media integration, data analytics, and discussion board features to build an interactive digital learning program that engages students throughout the seven-week program.

Throughout the competition, the Aspen Challenge staff was able to track student progress in real time and collect feedback through surveys, student blog posts, discussion boards, and social media submissions. To encourage student participation, Veracity built a series of online incentives that the Aspen Challenge used to create awards for high-performing teams and students during the final competition.

 

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Step 3: The Competition

 

With their new digital tools, the Aspen Challenge was able to interact with students at every step of the competition and provide ongoing feedback to help teams prepare for the final competition. In under a year, Veracity provided the Aspen Challenge with the tools necessary to transform their competition into a scalable, fully-digital operation.

Want to see more? Check out the Aspen Challenge’s Website, and reach out if your organization is looking for a new custom website or an online learning platform built by a certified BlackBoard Specialist.

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