Helping Educators better organize and communicate essential priorities and expectations to their learners in an asynchronous format.
Lead Product Designer
A concept for a context-aware operating system that helps you focus on what matters.
The move to online asynchronous learning strained classroom communication tools, and our learners were almost instantly overwhelmed. To be a successful asynchronous classroom tool, we needed to help empower educators by giving them resources they rely on in the real world and give learners clear guidelines of classroom expectations.
Instructors were unaccustomed to conveying educational expectations outside of traditional learning environments, leading them to fall back on standard notification methods. This frequently resulted in a wide variety of messaging styles. Learners needed to undertake considerable organizational efforts to stay abreast of classroom requirements and to locate/access instructional communication and study materials. Due to the multi-platform nature of the educational process, students were required to manage notifications on apps, streams, emails, and text messages to locate assignments, tests, and reading materials.
What we knew
Educators weren't use to communicating classroom expectations outside of a non classroom setting. So they had resorted to defaults for notifying students which often resulted in a myriad of different types of messaging.
Learners required a high level of organizational effort level to stay on top of classroom expectations and find/access classroom communication and learning material. This was due to the multi-platform nature of teaching students had to manage app notifications, streams, emails and text messages to track down assignments, tests and reading.
There was a 5x increase in classroom communications, but most of the communications weren’t being viewed.
The single class feed made it easy to miss important conversations, questions, announcements and assessments.
How our current classroom functioned made it incredibly difficult for teachers to plan out & share content in advance.
By Helping Educators better organize and communicate essential priorities and expectations to their learners in an asynchronous format, Learners & Parents would be able to keep track and execute on the expectations educators have for them and their class.
To be a successful asynchronous classroom tool, we needed to help empower educators by providing them the tools & resources they rely on in the real world and giving learners clear guidelines of class expectations.
Provide a communication tool and space similar to what Educators have in the real world.
Create a single point of place to go to find what needs to be done
Provide data & insights for educators to act on
Originally there was a dedicated page for Agenda's and other types of classwork to live.
With positive feedback and great initial results during testing sessions this project wasn't without it's own set of challenges.
Timing we had a limited period of time to launch before back to school before educators make preparations for their upcoming year.
Technical constraints: Moving away from markdown text editing and building a WYSIWYG editor for all creation spaces took more time than anticipated meaning we had to cut scope to launch by back to school.
The dedicated page for the class agenda's was descoped pushed for the tool to live on the class page despite positive feedback from early testing.
We rigorously tested different types of builder, how to build for each platform and the end result of the creation of the agenda. As we tested I worked with the other PM's and designers on teacher tools to find ways to integrate their products into the agenda and to identify places where the agenda could show up increasing it's reach for students.
As I explored product leadership decided to move away from the concept of an agenda/classwork page that would house classroom instruction due to potential scope of the product and wanting to decide on a better holistic classroom structure in the future.
We were able to launch the agenda's weeks before back to school, adoption rates were surprisingly high and I contribute that to the support staff and marketing dept. who created campaigns to educate teachers about the tool.
In the end I was able to help design a tool that accomplished the majority of the objectives that I set out to achieve and that was well received by our users. There were a few important features that didn't make it into what was shipped, but were removed because of project scope, sales objectives and executive decisions.
Post launch we began to build analytics into the agenda giving the teachers better visibility on how each agenda was performing and also allowing educators to identify students it was not reaching giving them a better idea of who needed additional help.