UX / UI, Concept, Research
Creating a relevant make up work experience
Teachers are responsible for getting students to certain test levels by strict timelines. As a result, when kids get sick or miss school– especially for multiple days at a time– they are not the only ones getting behind.
Especially for teachers in inner cities with large classes it’s rare they will have the time to sit down and re-teach lessons for one student. This results in the current make up work process consisting of loosely monitored packets or workbook assignments that are often forgotten about until the end of the semester. After completion, teachers are left unaware of how the work was done, if the student truly understands the material, and who really did the work. Since 62% students grades 3-5 nationwide have access to laptops and 35% have access to tablets, the possibility of using technology as a progress management and monitoring aid is completely feasible.
By incorporating elements of online classes, such as recordings, touch screen tracking, and small manageable modules, CatchUp becomes an accessible program where students and teachers will be able to seamlessly communicate, monitor, and exchange formative feedback as make up work progresses.
Designing for dual-purpose platforms
A big challenge in designing this program was keeping the two separate audiences and their needs in mind. Users on the teacher end require more management material as they are assigning and monitoring work from a variety of students and possibly classes. Darker colors and smaller text were used to make information available at a glance.
The student view features were a lot more direct as they only need to see their own assignments and progress. The target audience is young grade school children ranging from 1st-5th graders so larger text and buttons, a more playful color pallet, positive feedback and character integration accommodate this shift.
The landing page appears the first time teachers log onto the site. Here they can add students that were absent, adjust the time periods they were absent for, pick what lessons students will need to make up, and write a personal message to those who missed class.
The home screen features a schedule where teachers can click throughout the days adding and editing lessons, a section on student work that needs attention, and an overview of progress. There is also access to messages, alerts, their profile and menu where classes can be managed further.
Teachers can create custom lessons adding content they want the student to view, activities the program will monitor as they complete, and set guidelines for when the lesson is due and how long it should take. Although the program adds it automatically based on attendance, teachers can manage who the lesson is assigned to.
While reviewing work CatchUp aids teachers by monitoring the students habits and leaving an evaluation for the teachers. It tracks how many times a student uses the help feature and offers teachers the option to approve work or give formative feedback and send back to the student to re-do.
The student view is a lot lighter and friendlier. A character guides them through navigating the site and offers assistance when they get stuck. The home page features the tasks they need to complete, messages, progress, and a profile where they can customise their character to the reason why they missed school.
Within the lesson communication is key. Lessons feature a note from the teacher, character guidance, and a list of resources and activities tracking their progress. While doing activites audio and screen recordings are taken so teachers can review flagged work and understand their thought processes.
The first problem in each activity is guided by the student's character. The students are guided through the steps on how to solve the problem, giving them a chance to review and make mistakes with immediate feedback.
After the walk-through, students work through problems on their own. If they are stuck they can ask for a hint and the character will offer advice. Each problem is screen and audio recorded and allows for three hints. Once that is exceeded the teacher is notified. To help the students effectively teachers can go back and watch the recording, allowing them to understand the students thought process.