Teachers voiced the need to be able to selectively release lessons to students by achievement or time-based parameters in Haiku Learning, an elearning platform.
- The current structure of classes (consisting of a list of blog-like pages that all students could visit in any order they wished) seemed to not provide sufficient support for the project we initially named Selective Release
- We were unsure of just how granular Selective Release needed to be in order to provide value to teachers
- Due to laws protecting students’ privacy we had to rely on teachers to relay feedback on whether students would be able to navigate any proposed changes being made to the app
- Reviewed similar features in competitor’s apps
- Reviewed conversations in teachers’ forums about how they structure their personalized learning and what tools they use to do so
- Interviewed existing users (teachers) to show how they currently use or don’t use Haiku Learning to plan and carry out their individualized lesson plans
As a result I proposed that before we would be able to build Selective Release we’d need to add a new tier to the structure of classes and pages: lessons. In its essence, lessons a way to group pages and activities, thus more easily allowing teachers to control by whom, how and when content can be accessed by students.
When we began Lessons, knowing the full extent of the rewrite it would require and impact it could have on the use of Haiku Learning by both teachers and students, I initiated regular user testing throughout both the design and development process, and worked with developers to ensure the new platform used a responsive, WCAG 2.0-accessible framework. Here is an interactive prototype that reflected the cumulative results of user testing and design iterations, pre-development:
http://marvelapp.com/1h8ie3a (password: haiku; you can click within or use the left/right arrow keys to navigate the prototype)
In creating Lessons we had the opportunity to more tightly integrate quizzes, exams and and blocks of content into pages and allow access to them based on whether or not a student had completed previous activities. Our goal was to give teachers more freedom and a greater level of control when planning and delivering lessons so that they’d ideally end up with more time to assist students one-on-one and students would in turn be able to complete assigned lessons with greater autonomy.
Teachers responded in an overwhelmingly positive manner to the new functionality being introduced. Initial testing showed they struggled a bit with the new interface, but once we reestablished what one teacher nicknamed “signposts” in the existing app (the icons we typically used to indicate creation of a new content module, that there were settings to be adjusted, that there was drag-and-droppable content, etc.) they were able to move easily through the new interface.