Nils — 26 — Working Student — Walking E-Learning-Database
Hi there! As another week comes to an end it is time to introduce you to Nils Bahr, another member of our beloved team.
You would love to get some information about Nils responsibilities, would like to know about the first time he ever heard about edyoucated and get some insights about our feedback culture? All you have to do is scroll down!
Hi Nils! We hope you’re excited to join us today for our little “Meet the team” series :) Alright, you know the game! Please start by briefly introducing yourself. Who is Nils Bahr? What should we know about you?
Hey, happy to be part of this, thanks for having me!I’m Nils and work as a working student in product management and learning experience design at edyoucated for almost a year now. I study Marketing and Information Systems and am currently writing my master thesis about Algorithmic Bias and Fairness in Machine Learning.
At edyoucated, my colleagues might like to call me an “online learning database” for all kinds of topics. A couple of weeks ago I (guitar novice) randomly recommended our co-founder David a Coursera Guitar course after he announced that the wants to learn the guitar during corona isolation. In general, I am a big fan of the potential that online learning and open education can help to unfold in anyone — independent of the educational background or “starting conditions”. Also, for me, the learning opportunities of the internet have really helped to satisfy my curiosity in Product Management, User Experience Design, and Data Science with R and Python by means of various online sources.
Another thing I am probably known for in the team is my affinity to do random bike tours in Münster where I just go with the flow and end up at random and unexpected places. Not too long ago, I happened to end up in Co-founder Jannik’s front garden, surprising both him and me that I managed to get to exactly this inconspicuous side road in the southwest of Münster 🚴🏻.
Nils at Tilicho Lake, Nepal
Besides biking and online learning, I am also a big fan of hiking. With respect to the travel ban in the current corona situation, I am happy that at the end of last year I had the chance to do a long-awaited hiking trip in the Himalayas in Nepal.
Do you remember the first time you heard about edyoucated? What did you think? And how did you ultimately end up working here?
The first time I heard of edyoucated was probably in September 2018. Back then, I was creating online learning paths for TechLabs, a non-profit organization active in the digital education space. We listed relevant online materials for our young participants interested in learning Data Science, Artificial Intelligence or Web Development in simple Google Spreadsheets. That was quite cumbersome. For our participants for sure as a simple table of learning materials did most certainly not boost learning motivation substantially; but for us as TechLabs as well, as we had to create separate spreadsheets manually for every single one of our 60+ participants.
When David approached me and told me about the plan to set up a “meta-learning platform” that will let us create and manage those learning paths systematically, I was obviously pretty happy since tons of time could be saved. So how did I end up working for edyoucated? Approximately half a year after I first heard of edyoucated, David told me that he, Jannik, Jan, and Marius will turn edyoucated into in a full-time project and asked if I would be interested in joining them as a working student. It’s probably not hard to guess that I didn’t have to think about it for a long time.
So how does your role at edyoucated look like exactly? What questions do you deal with in your everyday work?
Generally speaking there are two block of responsibilities I typically take care of learning experience design as well as product management.
I design personalizable learning paths for skills such as Design Thinking, Agile Project Management, Product Management or Digital Literacy and am always on the look for new, relevant and exciting online learning materials. In addition, I focus on the conceptualization as well as specification of features of our online learning platform. I go through the iterative design thinking process in order to derive ideas for new features or revise existing features based on an understanding of the learner perspective. For that, I conduct qualitative user interviews or get user insights from our analytics capabilities. I try to cluster and structure user problems, brainstorm solutions, prototype with pen & paper, Miro or Figma, test and iterate again and again until, finally, a Jira ticket for our developers results from that. One of the areas I’ve been focusing on recently is learner motivation and engagement.
Since you are our first interview guest who is not part of our founding team: How would you describe the culture and team spirit at edyoucated? What makes us special (or not)?
What makes edyoucated stand out for me is that the individual team member is given great trust and, accordingly, one has the opportunity to solve problems and master challenges autonomously. For example, I am able to conduct complete design thinking processes to develop new goalsetting and habit tracking features for our learning platform. Therefore, the learning curve is steep. If I see specific issues with our product, I approach them by brainstorming and prototyping different solutions and talking to different team members. As a team member, you act as an entrepreneur who thinks of current problems and owns the processes end to end in order to solve them — independent of which domains or functional areas are involved.
The constructive feedback culture is another point that I like. Everyone has an open ear for ideas and suggestions. Ideas often go through several iterations in which feedback is provided by multiple team members who all have their unique perspectives. Although part of us work remotely, communication is transparent and you can always get into tech, marketing, sales, product, user research-related discussions on Slack — independent of the “official role” you might have in the team.
We’ve already asked Jan about a skill he would like to learn and Marius what secret skill he has that no one knows about. How about you tell us about a skill you possess, that you are especially proud of?
I am not particularly proud of that, but a skill that not so many people know about might be that I can quote a fair number of random punchlines from German Hip Hop tracks. 🎤
Currently, I try to learn more about transformation research—a research field in political sciences that deals with the question of how systems in societies as a whole can transform into having a more long-term oriented “operating system”.
And that’s it Nils, thank you for taking the time!
Thanks for having me! :-)
You want to become part of our team as well? Check out our open positions!