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NSW Dept of Education: Developing a custom learning environment

In order to facilitate professional learning (PL) for teachers, which now needs to be run remotely due to COVID, the NSW Department of Education has created a suite of apps called PLBuilder based on Microsoft technologies. PLBuilder allows teachers to access a remote learning environment where they can access full days of professional learning with sessions, collaboration, resources and more, principally within Microsoft Teams.

The PLBuilder suite provides administrators and facilitators with everything they need to set up and manage PL with a wide range of features including form designers, a mass emailer and even an algorithm to select collaboration groups based on different criteria that are set up in Teams rooms.

Since launch, PLBuilder has expanded to cover seven PL streams. and has positively impacted learning.

Why this won a Silver award

  • This is an imaginative and highly ambitious combination of Teams, SharePoint and Power Apps to deliver a customised learning environment based around highly specific needs.
  • The range of features is very wide and comprehensive, despite the environment still being relatively young.
  • We love the collaboration algorithm used to select groups of four based on different criteria to support diverse collaboration.
  • The impact of the tool is impressive, and the training delivered has had a quantifiable and significant positive impact on learning.
  • The block form and email builders are well-designed and make life easy for administrators.
  • Including a mass EDM tool is a nice touch that is very useful.
  • We love the incorporation of live support for events that is also embedded within the platform.
  • The fact that such a feature-rich environment was built remotely is impressive.

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