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Using student-centered design to create more engaging edtech: A SXSWedu Educator Workshop
March 11, 2019
The very best software you use daily - on your mobile, the navigation system in your car, browsing movies on your TV - was developed using human-centered design.
At Macmillan Learning, we have been experimenting with and refining these techniques over the last two years to develop a next-generation or more effective and engaging digital experiences for students. We have learned that involving students from the very first steps and throughout the design process is fundamental to creating learning products that are empathetic, drive higher student engagement, and enable instructors to achieve better outcomes.
To share these techniques and findings with the education community, the User Experience (UX) team at Macmillan Learning hosted a workshop at SXSW EDU 2019. We were thrilled to have more than 140 participants from a wide variety of backgrounds in education attend the workshop.
During this hands-on workshop, we led participants through exercises designed to help them adopt a mindset of empathy for their students. Using the methods our UX team has developed, participants learned basic research skills while watching a variety of video recordings of interviews with students. The workshop participants then compared and contrasted insights from their observations in teams and began to craft statements to better define the problems these students faced. Using these, the participants then created testable storyboards of potential solutions - all in two hours!
The UX team then led the participants through the Student Archetypes that Macmillan Learning has developed from our research into student behaviors. The Archetypes were developed using the kind of extensive ethnographic research the participants had just learned, and was validated through surveying, at-scale analytics, and impact research. These profiles help the UX team to design products for and test against specific student characteristics. Here's a sneak preview of some of those findings.
Given the level of participation and engagement at the workshop, it's clear that many educators are hungry for techniques for engaging their students. We look forward to that ongoing partnership and discussion. Keep up with the latest developments of our work by checking out our website: macmillanlearning.com/learning-science.
Daniel Cole (Director, User Experience) and Aaron Houssian (Research Manager, User Experience)
Entrepreneurship in educational technology, also known simply as edupreneurship, is a hot topic-so hot that there are conferences devoted to it (including next week's ASUGSV), philanthropic efforts focused on it (such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), and even graduate degrees concentrating on it (including the University of Pennsylvania's M.S. in Education Entrepreneurship).
April 9, 2019
“Active learning enhances motivation, deepens retention, promotes transfer, and builds collaborative skills useful in work and life.” Dr. Chris Dede, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
March 11, 2019
Learning Science News
Browse Our Archive
Learning Science: Taking It Step-By-Step | April 19, 2019
The Power of Active Learning: Does It Work? | March 11, 2019
Learning for Life: A Reality for Everyone | January 25, 2019
The Science Behind a Better Education | November 29, 2018
Beyond the hype of big data in education | September 7, 2018
Learning Models: Enabling Research-Based Approaches to Active Learning | August 27, 2018
A new standard for measuring the efficacy of ed tech? | August 17, 2018
‘My Class Is Different!’ | August 13, 2018
Macmillan Shares Learning Science Foundations | July 17, 2018
Macmillan Learning Announces Learning Research Advisory Council | June 26, 2018
Unveiling Macmillan Learning’s Student Co-designers | April 12, 2018
Learning Science’s Impact on Digital Products You Use | April 6, 2018
Good, better, best: helping to realize student potential | January 11, 2018
Unpacking the Black Box of Efficacy | November 29, 2017
Macmillan Launches Austin Learning Lab | November 13, 2017
Two mindsets every designer and researcher should embrace | September 18, 2017
Learning science, insights, and the journey to better outcomes | June 28, 2017
Macmillan Learning Redefines a Learner-Centered Strategy | May 10, 2017
Making efficacy research more actionable | May 8, 2017
Science + Empathy + Data Insights
The result of this empathetic and scientific approach are learning solutions that are practical, deeply intuitive, highly impactful, and help students, instructors, and institutions to achieve their very best outcomes.