MyClass

When classrooms were forced to move online, it is estimated that classroom engagement plummeted to 60%. (Barnum, Bryan 2020) Digital learning poses barriers that are not faced in a traditional classroom setting. The creation of MyClass helps mitigate some issues teachers and students were facing primarily through the use of tailored student and teacher profiles and easy real time communication. 

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Timeline 

  • August - October 2020

My Role

  • Solo student project for General Assembly UX/UI Bootcamp

PROBLEM
The connection between teachers and students in being lost in the digital space

As a teacher who had shifted their entire classroom onto Google Classroom, I had found that I was only connecting with a quarter of my students. Speaking with colleagues showed that I was not the only one impacted. Was there a way I could leverage our existing technology to bridge this gap?

SOLUTION
Real time engagement and relationship building

Current platforms lack a way to receive feedback as quickly as student would in a classroom, resulting in a decrease of engagement. Real time communication allows for:

  • students to ask questions and receive assistance quickly

  • increased engagement 

  • easier participation in a class

The in person classroom environment fosters relationship building as teachers and students interact on a daily basis. In a digital space, personal touches can get lost. Creating a space to house information allows for:

  • easier way to remember important student information

  • improved digital connection

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USER INTERVIEWS
75% of my interviewees stated that providing feedback quickly increased engagement in their classrooms and overall student success.

For this project, I interviewed four people from my personal network via 35 minute Zoom sessions. Of these interviewees three are teachers and one is a graduate student. The objective of these interviews was to better understand potential barriers that are faced during online learning/teaching and understand what successful in person techniques they were missing online.

Questions:

  1. What is the first thing you do when you log onto your classes for the day?

  2. How do you organize your lesson plans/classwork for each day?

  3. Do you use any apps to help you stay on top or your lesson plans/school work?

  4. Do you have any challenges when it comes to organizing your classwork/classroom?

  5. Tell me what a typical  day in the distanced classroom looks like for you.

  6. What times do you learn/work from?

  7. How do you currently provide/receive feedback on your work?

  8. How do you utilize video chatting/messaging?

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COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

After completing my interviews, I conducted a plus/delta, task analysis, and feature inventory of the two frequently mentioned applications, Google Classroom and Canvas.​ Through this analysis I was able to determine, that each platform had created an effective digital space to share lecture notes and daily tasks, but neither had yet factored in the need for easy interaction between peers or students and teachers. Each site featured some comment capability, but both were lacking real time updates and easy one to one interfacing.

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Google Classroom
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Canvas

After completing my initial researchI had three memorable points to focus on:

  1. Technology in the form of apps and Zoom meetings are being heavily utilized across classrooms regardless of the grade being taught or the subject.

  2. There was an emphasis on the lack of  “connected” feeling.

  3. Getting to know new students or shyer students is difficult.

TEACHER PERSONA
Young Teacher

Sarah Day | Dedicated Teacher

“If I had a way to get to know my students better, that would make my experience as an online teacher so much better.”

Challenges/Pain Points:

  • low interaction/engagement from students due to external barriers (no tech, limited knowledge of tech, lack of wifi)

  • camera is intimidating to students, limiting the face to face interaction

  • difficulty determining when a student needs help in an online setting or has a question

Needs:

  • a way to learn about new student’s (their preferred learning styles, favorite items, etc.)

  • an easy way to communicate with students about assignments

  • a way to provide assistance to students via real time messaging or commenting

 

Goals:

  •  to better connect with students in an online classroom setting

  • communicate effectively with students about upcoming assignments/past due assignments

  •  provide individualized assistance to students

PROBLEM STATEMENTS

Problem Statement 1: 

Sarah needs a way to get to know her students because she wants to be able to build relationships within her online classroom.

Problem Statement 2:

Sarah needs a way to effectively answer individual questions because she needs to be able to assist all of the student's in her online class with assignments.

INITIAL DESIGNS

After completing my user research phase and persona creation I began to start mapping out my ideas. This began with a storyboard highlighting the goals of the application. I then moved on to creating a user flow diagram to get a better visual on how users would navigate the app. I also conducted a 30 card open sort to ensure the organization of the app was aligned with user feedback.

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Task Goal: A new user creates an account as a teacher.

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HIERARCHY

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PROTOTYPES

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TESTING 1,2,3...

I conducted usability by guerilla testing my prototype with five people in my household. I had them complete three tasks and observed their actions and commentary as they used the prototype.

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

FINAL DESIGNS

My Class Screens.png

REFLECTIONS

Completing my first UX project end to end taught me a lot about the design process and highlighted the transferable skills I am bringing over from teaching such as, following scope and sequence and adapting in response to data.

Some key takeaways from this project are:

1. Don't be afraid to pivot based on the data.

When I first began this project, I had a totally different idea. As I began to speak with potential users, I was able to get a better idea of what they actually wanted and needed. As I went through bootcamp and continued to learn more about UX something that I heard a lot was, "we are not the users, we cannot assume we know best." This helped me to hone in and listen to what the data was telling me and what my users were telling me. Pivoting is so important to ensure a product is meeting user needs.

2. Create multiple iterations.

During this process I was constantly sketching and wire framing. For future projects, I want to create as many iterations as needed in order to pinpoint exactly what the users want. 

3. Test!

Some of the most helpful insights on this project came from testing it. Parts of the flow that made sense to me, only made sense because I knew why I had made it that way, I was not taking into account the user's experience. Being able to get feedback and learn what was not working allowed me to improve the design. In the future, I want to test as I go, instead of waiting for specific milestones in the process.

Other Work

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