UX Designer・June 2021
A 2012 study by the Harvard School of Education found that increasing communication between parents and teachers "increased the odds of students completing their homework by 40%... and increased class participation rates by 15%."
How might we facilitate transparency between parent and teacher communication to improve student success?
The prompt for this hack was giving peace of mind to caregivers. Our solution was EduSpark, a web application that bridges a critical communication gap between parents and teachers.
4 UX Designers
6 Software Engineers
3 days, June 14-16 2021
In this website redesign and product development sprint, I designed the teacher gradebook that populates the student records that notifies parents of late assignments.
At the start of the project, we assumed parents and teachers need honest conversations about student workload and academic progress. To solve for this, we wondered "How might we facilitate transparency between parent and teacher to improve communication and student success?"
Because of the short timespan, our research consisted of surveys sent out to parents and teachers.
When asked about how honest parents felt communication was with their kids, 60% felt communication about schoolwork was honest, while 40% indicated they weren't sure.
Our survey found three main issues teachers experienced when trying to communicate with parents:
lack of response (42%), out-of-date contact info (29%) and difference of values (29%)
I contributed a prototyped gradebook to the platform. The gradebook would populate the student file and allow parents to see whether an assignment was turned in and what the grade was.
Possible iteration would include adding a deadline function for missing items. When the teacher inputs a missing assignment, the system would allow the teacher to communicate when the assignment needs to be turned in by for a late grade. This would help coordinate with parents.
Try adding a grade for John Hamilton on the Figma prototype here ☞
This hackathon was my first time working with software engineers, and it was eye-opening to see how scope can change quickly under a deadline. The first day we anticipated being able to build the database so this function would be possible. Unfortunately, the gradebook wasn't able to be rendered in time for the presentation because the JSON back-end logic was more complicated than the engineers originally anticipated; we were able to indicate "On Time" or "Late" in a student profile, but not updating average and individual numeric entries. I appreciated the opportunity to experience dialogue and negotiation with engineers to get a MVP done.