A New Look for the Development Zone

When you visit the Development Zone this week, you might notice some changes to the way that the platform looks.  All of the key features that were there before are still there, and all of your data is safe – including your custom content, assessment history, CPD records, and even any custom branding that we apply for your firm.

We understand that 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone so far, and that the last thing you need is to have to relearn how to use the Development Zone, so we’ve tried to avoid making any changes that involve moving features or interrupt your normal journey on the platform.  Where we have moved things, generally it has been to make features or options more prominent and make it easier to find the things that matter the most.  For example, the trail of navigation breadcrumbs at the top of every page is now much bigger, bolder and clearer to follow, and the layout has been adjusted to provide more space for content on every page.

The Development Zone team are committed to working with all of our learners to support them and make their learning and development experience as intuitive as possible.  Sometimes though, we all need a little extra support – especially if returning to the platform after a period away, for example during furlough or when there just hasn’t been time to fit training and development around the rest of your workload.

This update has allowed us to completely overhaul the support material that we provide via the platform and sees the launch of a much larger Development Zone Help Centre, available via the Support menu at the top of every screen.  Split in to six key areas, there’s something there for everyone from the first-time visitor to the platform to the seasoned Learning and Development professional who’s used it for years.

As part of this refreshed support, I’m particularly pleased to mention that our Development Zone Academy is now available to all users – containing over thirty topics written by our experienced platform development team, looking at the ways that the platform can support your learning across different roles on the platform.  The content ranges from getting started and working out how and what to record in your CPD Record, right through to learning about the range of custom content types available or the Management Information and reports, meaning that there’s something for everyone.  As the platform continues to grow and develop, so will the Academy, so watch this space!

Our new Updates page is intended to help keep you up to date with the changes to both content and platform.  This page adapts to your role and shows you only information relevant to your role on the Development Zone covering the last six months of changes.  Supervisors and Firm Admins can also schedule an emailed version of this report monthly via their Reports dashboard, which includes a full list of the new modules added to the Development Zone each month.

Finally, our team has developed a new library of downloadable support guides to support you and help you get the best from the platform. From quick reference sheets identifying key features, right through to in depth guides taking you through creating Job Specifications or an introduction to managing learners on the Development Zone.

We believe that the Development Zone offers a truly best-in-class experience for all of our learners, and hope that the increased support resources will help you unlock the full potential of the platform for yourself and your team.


About the author

After gaining a degree in Computer Science, Tim spent nine years teaching in a number of secondary schools (11-19 year olds) in Wales.  For the majority of his time teaching, Tim led a highly successful team of teachers delivering vocational ICT qualifications and reached the level of Associate Assistant Headteacher before leaving teaching.  He has also been a senior examiner and moderator for one of the UK's largest awarding bodies.  Since 2013 he has been the senior developer for the Development Zone.

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