AQA is “the largest of the three English exam boards, awarding 49% of full course GCSEs and 42% of A-levels nationally”. The long established AQA subject portfolio is a result of carefully honed qualification products against a national specification. Moving to a learning services role requires a reorientation around the best possible service and outcomes for learning centres and their students.
Quadrant was invited to transfer our new product development (NPD) skills, used regularly in other sectors, for AQA teams to adopt and to self-assess the market readiness of a pipeline of great new learning products.
What did we do?
Quadrant’s NPD process was used in the programme with AQA. It provides client teams with all or any chosen part of a proven NPD development and planning process, ready off the shelf, combined with a self-assessment tool that can be easily adapted across very diverse sectors.
For AQA our main challenge was to review the portfolio of near 100 subjects to appreciate what subjects, in the new era of education, would be delivering great outcomes and where new learning offerings would be of value to the schools and colleges who use AQA products. Alongside this was the task of enabling a team of subject owners to undertake product management of their product lifecycles so that these could adapt to the needs of the learning centres and students, not just in response to qualification specifications and frameworks.
What was the breakthrough for AQA?
Quadrant ensured that the self-assessment tool worked well in an environment of expert subject owners with high standards in ‘testability’. We also encouraged AQA colleagues to focus most on areas ready for change, while respecting those parts of the portfolio already offering excellent outcomes.