In March of 2020, teachers across the United States made the transition to online learning. Prior to this switch, a majority of learning had been done face to face. Many classroom interactions, such as relationship building and knowing when a student needed help with an assignment were conducted face to face. It is estimated that classroom engagement plummeted to 60% according to surveys given to teachers at the beginning of remote learning, with two thirds of teachers reporting that engagement decreased as the semester continued. (Barnum, Bryan 2020) As a new school year begins digitally in a majority of states, many teachers are faced with the task of getting to know new students and create a classroom community online.
Creating a New Account
When creating an account in MyClass, teachers have the option to sync with an existing online classroom platform that they are already using. When interviewing potential users, many expressed the lack of details in student profiles and the ability to communicate easily with their classes.
The initial design for MyClass was inspired by a comment made by one of the people I interviewed. They said they "wished there was a facebook, but for getting to know our students." That initial comment, compounded with the rest of the statements collected during the early research phase, helped me to develop a persona that cared about getting to know the whole student and accommodate their online learning needs with the same attention to detail they would have provided in an in person setting.
Usability Testing and Prototyping
After conducting the first round of usability testing, there was an 84% success rate for completion of the given task scenarios. Some comments made to improve the original design included:
-Making the home screen resemble other login screens by having one larger log in button and a smaller new user link
-Create drop down menus to minimize the amount of buttons present on a screen
-Ensure a "go back" option is visible in all screens of use
Another round of testing will need to be done using a student target audience to learn how they would interact with the features tested in this round of research, as well as the reward system that was designed with students in mind.
A finalized version of this product would provide a better interface to host interactions between teachers and students on a daily basis, while also mimicking the types of interactions that may have occurred in a regular in person classroom setting.