Building the infrastructure

VPS Academy is based on a leading edge framework which Peer Academy has developed for launching and growing communities of practice, adapted to the particular context of the Victorian Government.

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The Framework

Developing a peer learning academy is a complex social venture, not a technical challenge which has a step by step methodology.

We think of it like a process of activating new public spaces; whilst we can create the core infrastructure for people to inhabit and use, we need to be active in those spaces to ensure we get the kinds of outcomes we’re aiming for.
We have defined several stages of activating a new academy:
  1. Setting The Conditions
  2. Invitation & Onboarding
  3. Building Social Capital
  4. Building Collaborative Capability
  5. Creating New Knowledge
  6. Collaborative Working Culture
Enabling each of these phases is a balance of proven activities and careful experimentation to make them work in the local context.

Onboarding & Building Social Capital

By building the platform on Webflow we could develop a highly visual, CMS based, platform that could incorporate various plugins in order to fully test the Hypotheses developed in Section 4: Leading Experimental Culture.

An on-boarding workflow was created using both Typeform (Producer recruitment) and Google Forms (Consumer recruitment), as a way to capture the relevant information needed to input into the Platform. The multi-stage process was designed as part of Experiment 1: Onboarding found here

The producer recruitment Typeform can be found here

The consumer recruitment form can be found here

Using the Isotope plugin from Metafizzy we have developed a platform where users can search through both profiles and capabilities using a mix of categories, dynamic filters and on-page searches.

A Slack channel was created as a open communications channel for users to connect away from the traditional channel of workplace email.

Building the Platform

We have developed a platform where users can search through both profiles and capabilities using a mix of tags, categories and dynamic filters. In-depth search functionality has been added to the whole site, and on the Capabilities and Profiles overview pages. This allows for in-depth searching and filtering of profiles and capabilities, giving users relevant results to what they want.

This is a key part of the hypothesis of Experiment 2: Building Social Capital found here.

The images below highlight some of the key functionalities of the Platform.