Senior Manager, Research Products
Department: PBS KIDS Digital
Corporate Area: Children's Media and Education
Status: Full Time, Fixed Term, Grant (This position is fully funded through September 30, 2022, and will be renewed on receipt of additional federal appropriations approval annually through September 30, 2025)
Supervisor: Senior Technical Product Manager
The PBS KIDS research program depends upon products that enable and support various forms of research. This includes products that allow PBS KIDS to provide video and game content to third-party researchers for study, as well as products that collect data such as the PBS KIDS Learning Analytics Platform.
The Learning Analytics program includes the product infrastructure and surrounding operational activities that collect, store and analyze children's educational gameplay data to better understand and improve learning and engagement experiences for children. This is achieved through delivery of meaningful inferences about media usage, and children's skill development, progression, proficiency, strengths and weaknesses to content creators and researchers. The current Learning Analytics ecosystem tracks almost 100 games across several distribution channels, managing 100+ million game sessions annually, as of 2020.
The Senior Product Manager will report to the Director, Game Tooling: Developer, Distribution and Analytics Products, and will work with internal and external content creators, research partners, and other product functions (Collectively the ''Learning Intelligence Audiences'') to align existing Research and Learning Analytics technology with audience-facing digital experiences, optimize integration and provide maintenance support. This role will also identify strategic opportunities to extend current capabilities to improve research and data quality, as well as enhance methods on data collection and analysis.
A key immediate need is to define and implement a new product that enables AB testing of PBS KIDS game products. The system will allow PBS KIDS and game designers / developers to define and run experiments on production PBS KIDS distribution platforms that test and compete varying design approaches to engagement and instructional strategies in games. Another key immediate need is to define and implement a new solution for delivering games and videos to third-party researchers that will be conducting independent summative research of PBS KIDS content.
The position is funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the US Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS. The CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative focuses on the development, dissemination, and evaluation of content across media and platforms for children ages 2-8 designed to improve learning outcomes and increase school readiness.
Key responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
• Product Roadmap/Strategy: Develop, maintain, and effectively communicate roadmaps for technical products; ensure that roadmaps align with related schedules and requirements for deliverables from multiple funding sources such as content launches, research studies and reports.
• Product Backlog Management: Create and prioritize applicable product backlogs based on the overall strategy and business objectives.
• Product Development: Manage development of applicable research and learning analytics software and reporting tool set; coordinate with team members to support Learning Intelligence Audiences in using products and evolving roadmaps to meet individualized project needs.
• Game Development Support: Manage workflows for learning analytics specification development and data quality assurance (Data QA) of learning analytics event implementation within PBS KIDS games.
• Distribution Channel Development Support: Manage workflows for learning analytics integration development and acceptance testing.
• Project Management: Provide project management to cross-functional teams required to fulfill objectives of Learning Analytics program and related product development.
• Communication: Deliver high quality communication via several tools such as Slack, Pivotal Tracker, Email, Confluence, JIRA and Basecamp to keep project teams on track.
• Data Analysis Request (DAR) Workflows: Manage workflows for DARs. DARs are requests for ad hoc data analysis submitted by members of the Learning Intelligence Audiences to get specific content and product-related questions answered. DARs typically include consultation with the requestor and the Director of Data Science and Analytics to align the request with available data and potential for interpretation, as well as coordination of the data analysis phase and results reporting.
• Learning Intelligence Reporting: Manage workflows related to the development and maintenance of reporting tools used to serve the Learning Intelligence Audiences. Coordinate with Learning Intelligence Audiences and Director of Data Science and Analytics on reporting requirements, and manage the procurement and / or development of reporting capabilities.
• Information Management: Manage workflows related to the development, maintenance and communication of documentation and a knowledge base of findings from analytics research studies, DARs, and other relevant sources of information.
• Thought Leadership: Provide thought leadership around analytics research studies. This will include review and feedback of study designs, as well as draft and final study reports created by external project research partners. This will also include leadership and coordination around journal and book publication opportunities, conference presentations, etc.
Requirements for success:
• Five years' experience in digital product management or software development.
• Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Educational Technology or related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered. Master's degree is a plus.
• Experience managing complex projects on aggressive timelines.
• Strong management skills, including ability to work with internal and external content managers, technologists, designers and scientists.
• Knowledge of software development methodologies such as Agile.
• Good understanding of databases, API development and web analytics tools.
• Knowledge of mobile and web game technologies.
• Knowledge of continuous integration and continuous development.
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
• General knowledge of and strong interest in early childhood education.
• Superior organizational skills, attention to detail and follow through.
• Ability to serve as a resourceful, self-directed, and a creative problem-solver who can meet aggressive, overlapping deadlines.
• Experience with early elementary education and/or childhood development, particularly as related to educational online resources, a plus.
• Experience interfacing with researchers and contributing to research studies, a plus.
• Experience developing interactive learning products for kids, a plus.
• An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
• Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination required.
PBS is an Equal Opportunity Employer in accordance with the EEOC and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Jobcode: Reference SBJ-r1poxx-3-237-16-210-42 in your application.