Skilljar’s monthly Coffee Chats, hosted by Skilljar’s Learning Experience Designer, Cutler Bleecker, showcase different ways customers are using our platform, including demos with special guests. This month’s Customer Education Coffee Chat featured a conversation with Blair Mishleau, Sr. Customer Education Program Manager for Clever, Inc.

Skilljar Customer Education Coffee Chat

Clever is a digital learning platform for K12 schools that serves students, teachers, tech staff, and district admins through single sign-on, messaging, analytics, and more. Blair shared how he simplified the entry experience for Clever Academy to make it more personalized based on user need.

Simplifying the Course Catalog

Previously, Clever’s course catalog housed dozens of courses, leading many users to just select the first course rather than those that would be most beneficial to them. Many of the courses also required prerequisites, so it was a frustrating user experience to select a course if they hadn’t already taken the necessary previous courses.

Clever Academy Homepage

Clever Academy’s homepage was previously overwhelming to users who would have to scroll down to find the courses relevant to them.

Blair created three distinct paths to offer a more differentiated experience to users. Rather than see dozens of course icons when they enter, all users can choose from among the same three paths – Certifications, Quickstart Guides, and Product Spotlights. However, the content within each path varies depending on their role. This approach offers users a choice: do you want to become certified, or just want a quick run-through of a feature?

Clever Academy for Teachers

Clever Academy now has three distinct paths for Certifications, Quick-start Guides and Product Spotlights, the content of which will vary depending on the users’ role.


Each path has a more action-oriented description which helps the user understand what they will find in that path. And for the Certifications path, which has a specific course progression to follow, all four courses are listed in the order in which they should be taken in order to become Clever-certified.

“We’re seeing a much more even spread of registrations and clicks among these three options than we did with our previous version – which is a big win because we have users across the gamut.”                 – Blair Mishleau, Sr. Education Program Manager, Clever

Different Paths for Different User Types

Clever serves a variety of different customers who use the platform in different ways. So in addition to streamlining the types of courses available, they also created four distinct user groups that each get served three customized landing pages, based on their login credentials. This way, they only see the content that’s relevant to them.

Clever assigns users to different groups when they sign in, and using Single Sign-in (SSO) they are automatically sent to their specific experience, whether they are teachers, school administrators, app admins, or district admins.

For example, the teacher certification path is much shorter since teachers have access to fewer features in Clever Academy than app or district admins. And teachers don’t need access to the district admin’s courses, but district admins will want access to see what their teacher curriculum is.

“Simplifying the overall experience to give people their own landing page is a best practice for customer education – you want to simplify the experience as much as possible.”                                                        – Cutler Bleecker, Learning Experience Designer, Skilljar

Clever Academy custom landing pages

Clever Academy uses one domain, and through custom groups and default catalog page functionality, can send different users to different education experiences.

“It’s as seamless as we can make it, because a lot of times our users don’t actually know what group they’re in. It’s fully automated so I don’t have to worry about anything. If you have an account in Clever, you are directed to the appropriate learning experience through Skilljar.” – Blair Mishleau, Sr. Customer Education Manager, Clever

Putting Products in the Spotlight

Blair uses “Product Spotlights” – short, bite-sized courses that focus on a specific tool or feature – to give users a deep dive when they have a question about or need to go deeper on a particular product. Product Spotlights are created from the full courses; for example, a section about how to use analytics that appears in a course for district admins may become a product spotlight if that’s an area users tend to want to know more about.

Clever Academy Product Spotlights

Product Spotlights highlight different tools or features in bite-sized learning experiences excerpted from full courses.

Blair shared how their product spotlights include clickable tutorials. So if you’re wanting to learn about teacher pages, you can check out the product spotlight and interactively see how to build a teacher page. (Product spotlights are created using iorad, a tool that integrates with Skilljar to build tutorials.)

Keeping Track of Education Content Requests

Do you get a lot of requests from internal teams to build out some type of educational content? How are you keeping track of these?

Blair moved from a Google Sheet to an online form that his colleagues complete and submit, which automatically feeds into a Jira board. This helps him manage all the moving pieces of content requests – such as courses, webinars and videos – including assigning tasks to other team members. This makes the whole process less busy and more systematized.

Project Management for Clever Academy

Blair uses a Jira kanban board to keep track of all of his education content requests at Clever.

Attendees lit up the chat with their questions and comments, as Blair’s tips and tricks really resonated. Skilljar customers often learn a lot from seeing other people’s programs and hearing what their goals and objectives are — and then use that information to reflect on and improve their own programs. Find out how it works: join our next coffee chat or share these recaps with your teams!

If you are a Skilljar customer and would like to share what you’re working on in one of our monthly coffee chats, please email