From idea to execution, Remote-Learner’s partnership with Newborn Course
by Pieter van Hiel, Product Marketing Team
“We came to Remote-Learner with an idea,” said Seth Greenberg.
Seth is the president and co-founder of Newborn Course, a site that provides online help for expectant or new parents. It has affordable education and access to a host of helpful resources.
“When my friends started having children, I realized there was a universal experience new parents were having. They didn’t feel secure. They didn’t feel prepared and empowered,” he said.
Believing he could help new parents by empowering them with information, Seth set out to change that. Seth is also the vice-president and marketing director of the Pavillion Agency, a premier household staffing firm that wanted to expand their pool of baby nurses, so his initial idea was to create a platform to train baby nurses for families who required an extra level of infant care. However, the focus of his idea quickly shifted after he opened discussions with Dr. Page Chen, Remote-Learner’s Chief Innovation Officer.
Pictured from left to right: Keith Greenhouse (CEO and co-founder), Seth Greenberg (president and co-founder) and Clifford Greenhouse (board chair).
“After numerous discussions with Page, we realized we could create more of an impact if we’d go after the families themselves, instead of trying to increase a pool of baby nurses for a very limited market,” said Greenberg.
That revelation resulted in a major shift of their business model.
“We changed everything. We turned it upside down and changed our market and marketing plan overnight.”
Dr. Chen said The Newborn Course had a great idea and a good collection of training material, but needed help focusing on an audience and presenting the information in the best way .
“They had this wonderful model. One of the things it started out as was a course to train nannies to be nannies, but that’s not the scope of what we did,” said Chen. “We changed the audience when it was still a prototype course. We have been with them as partners from concept to launch, side by side.”
Newborncourse.com provides education and resources for new parents or infant caregivers.
Remote-Learner’s team worked closely with The Newborn Course to build out a complete training site on Remote-Learner’s hosted platform. The process involved engagement at every aspect of the site, from content and functionality to branding and user interface design. One of the first steps was to tackle the course content to ensure it was being presented in a logical and digestible format.
Kristin Isler, one of Remote-Learner’s in-house Instructional Designers, worked closely with the staff at Newborn Course to package their content in a fashion that encouraged both engagement and retention.
“From a design perspective their content was massive,” she said. “We had to work through all that content they had amassed and make it consumable without overwhelming a new parent. We needed to break it down for the users.”
Remote-Learner’s team repackaged Newborn Course’s content in a fashion that supported Remote-Learner’s philosophy of Persuasive Design, which encouraged users to engage with a course and work through it in the optimal order by using elements of user interface design and considerations for user interactivity. Persuasive Design Strategy is a hallmark of the Remote-Learner approach to instructional design and designing for the complete learner experience.
“We looked at interactivity throughout the site. We’d been provided with enough information, and drilled down into it,” said Chen. “We wanted to create engagement with a very clean design and a custom user experience.”
The custom learner experience created for Newborn Course encouraged complete course engagement and easy navigation. The team also established a unique functionality for the site with a curated selection of plugin tools. The team made extensive use of ReIN, Remote-Learner’s own advanced course developer tool. ReIN allows interactions to be developed and edited directly in the user’s site.
Remote-Learner has been a partner in the creation and design of the site since the beginning, when Seth first came to Remote-Learner with his idea. Beyond just course development, Remote-Learner’s role involved not only the creation and implementation of the site, but the packaging and branding of the platform itself.
“Course development was a really big chunk, but this site was something that goes beyond typical projects. (We) worked extensively on theme and branding,” said Isler. “The site also has a dual marketing function, and all of this has an eCommerce piece built into it as well.”
Response to the Newborn Course has been positive.
Newborn Course currently provides new parents with an invaluable yet affordable source of information and advice about child care from childbirth to the age of three months. Today Remote-Learner continues to work with Newborn Course to expand this age range. Response from new parents has been positive, with users praising both the depth of content and ease of access.
Greenberg hopes to expand the accessibility of the course, making it available to parents regardless of their household income through their Give Back program. The Give Back program allows course access to be gifted to others, and provides weekly rebates to military families.
“We’re actively looking for charities right now that we can donate the course to,” he said. “We want to give it away to people who can’t afford it. That may mean giving it away to an entire city hospital. We’re very open to all of this.”
The partnership between Newborn Course and Remote-Learner can be seen as a demonstration of the old adage: “It takes a village to raise a child.” In this case, the design staff at Remote-Learner and content experts at Newborn Course are the village standing behind parents and family as they bring a new life into the world.
“I think the Newborn Course team would agree with me when I say we wouldn’t have the project where we have it today had this not been for our journey together,” said Chen of the partnership. “We’ve truly been able to be seen in their eyes as a partner. We have a very open dialogue.”
The relationship is ongoing, as Remote-Learner continues to work closely with Newborn Course, both on new content and to ensure the current course stays fresh and targeted. Seth said a lot has changed since he came to Remote-Learner with his idea, an idea that gained new life and relevance through the partnership between the two companies.
“We’re all very different from where we started, both Remote-Learner and Newborn Course,” he said. “I feel like we’ve known each other forever.”