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UX Burlington 2016 - Stories for Humans


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My talk from UX Burlington 2016 - "Stories For Humans". An inventory of tools and process used by Reading Plus to create successful education products. Technology, UX, and Culture through Shared Understanding.

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UX Burlington 2016 - Stories for Humans

  1. 1. UX in EdTech stories for humans rick.cusick futura =
  2. 2. UX in EdTech stories for humans @rickcusick art: jon muth
  3. 3. there are excellent tools & patterns. understand why some work (or don’t) for your culture. take 3 things away humans. not users. not customers. shared understanding.
  4. 4. holy grail of designing product at scale: shared understanding.
  5. 5. shared understanding as quickly as possible. culture. tools.
  6. 6. culture happens. culture informs language. language shapes culture.
  7. 7. the language of the humans you serve.
  8. 8. More than 60% of students who completed 13 years of public education (K-12) were unable to read at a grade-appropriate academic performance level by the time they graduated from public school in 2009 (The Nation’s Report Card, NCES, 2010)
  9. 9. the road to MVE Students: Create a fun and engaging experience that inspires a love of reading. Educators: tools to facilitate that journey.
  10. 10. Story Mapping User Experience Spikes / Prototyping User Personas Tools
  11. 11. Story map as backlog Descriptive Prioritized Stories sized right
  12. 12. Experience / Release UI Details Dashboard Messages Stories Questions Log In Read Messages Reply to Messages Select Story Read Story Answer Questions User Story Business Logic Business Logic User Story User Story Business Logic Sub Task Business Logic User Story UI Details User Story UI Details UI Details Business Logic UI Details UI Details MVE M2 M3
  13. 13. the small humans
  14. 14. user research personas Goal: To help her students see their potential and have new focus in their lives. Background Meredith is a Reading Specialist at Deer Valley Middle School. She has been teaching for 5 years. She recently received her Masters in Reading after taking evening and summer courses for the last 3 years. Meredith works with the school’s lowest performing students for intervention and remediation; she needs to increase their test scores before they can move on to high school. She is not currently married and has no children. Attitudes Motivations The benefits are real.“They don’t know it’s happening to them as they’re doing it, they’re just enjoying reading more and they notice their own speed.” Works for everyone, even ESL and special-ed students. Students’fear of reading disappears. Reading Plus helps with stamina. “They pay attention to the print, actually looking at the text. That doesn’t come naturally to them.” Kids say in math class they’re able to read a problem faster and under- stand it better. Points for professional development workshops to help renew teaching certificate. Frustrations Average comprehension display leads to misconception. “Teachers aren’t digging in to see where that score came from, they’re just scanning.” Just after student levels up, they’re immediately going to have a lower score.“They’ve just gotten an award and there’s a setback....Everything changes at once on them.” Relevance:“What if they didn’t study the Civil War in Haiti? They can’t relate. A story about snow? They can’t relate.” Analyzing college application, job prospect outlook, other appropriate non-fiction. Students read the stories they know they’ll like first, but then they’re stuck with the ones they don’t. Pictures would help with engagement.“Students need more than text. Reading happens in charts and infograph- ics too.” ged by her administrators for overall e no context.“I want to put a hold on a student who’s always away so he doesn’t bring down my scores.” “Exception”students’grades get factored into the class, bringing down the average. Skill sheets are helpful for other teachers, but aren’t geared to the standardized tests.“They look flimsy to me, not substantial.” Copy-and-paste between Reading Plus and grade book doesn’t work,“because it’s in Java, that’s why.” Some kids try to get around using it, ask their moms to do it for them.“How silly are the parents to take that advan- tage away from their kids?” Computers are old and freeze at least once every day. Depending upon where student is in the session, might lose their work. County schools are moving to the Core Curriculum and she worries that Reading Plus might not correlate. Use an iPhone. t with a student or former Key Behaviors Developed own curriculum and shares it with other read- ing specialists after hours.“The system was failing them.” Finds any reason to send a note to her students.“They love getting messages. It’s personalized, individualized to them. They don’t get a lot of that. Sometimes it unites the whole class....I think it’s the best part of Reading Plus.” Has previously looked for passages in Creole or Spanish and assigned to a student to read.“Are they a poor reader or is this a language barrier?” “Squeeze out as much time as I can in the lab.”Students that need more time can finish up in her classroom. Walks around the room and observes while the students use the computers. Tells students to raise their hand as soon as they level up. Gives her an opportunity to praise them and gain some recognition in the class. As soon as she’s back in the classroom, prints out the cer- tificate and pastes it on the wall immediately. She also gives the student a prize – a frisbee, pencils, nail polish, footballs, armbands – whatever she’s collected. They’re happy to get the smallest thing. Gives incentives. If every student does their sessions for 9 weeks, they get a pizza party. Changes grade level and pre-reading rate when a student is struggling; always discusses the issue with the student first before making any adjustments. At the beginning of the year, gives every student in her class 5 rereads automatically.“I see no reason why these should be so limited.”Notices students saving up their rereads, afraid to use them too soon. They take guesses earlier on instead and it ends up lowering their score. Knows who to give easier worksheets to; print them out, student answers in writing, then she grades it and they discuss it together. Doesn’t touch the PAVE rates. Once changed the max scan rate because a student was complaining about it. Regularly records scores in each student’s agenda book. Encourages students to use Reading Plus at home to get extra practice or make up a missed session. If they don’t have a computer or DSL at home, sends them to the school library. Knows which of her students is an“exception”and isn’t expected to earn above 70%. When students read above an 8th grade level in the first semester, they“level out”of Reading Plus in the following semester and get to take an elective instead. Periodically explores new teacher theories online. Has explored several online teacher communities, impressed with EdModo. School uses TeacherWeb, but she would rather use her own thing.“I like playing and experimenting with stuff.” Shares with other teachers over lunch what new resources she has found. Contacts Reading Plus whenever she had a problem (“‘Need Help?’on the green screen gives you the number.”) Previously participated in Project Smart. The district gave her a blog where she would post ideas, assignments, encourage kids to comment. No longer doing it. Attends one statewide and one national reading confer- ence every year. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help my kids.” ENTHUSIASM: READING BACKGROUND: TECH SAVVY: HIGH MEDIUM HIGH MEREDITH Trained Teacher Age 30 Phoenix, AZ “Teaching someone how to read is the best thing you could ever do for somebody.” “When you close your door, do what- ever it takes to get your kids excited about reading.” “I am mesmerized by this program.” “I didn’t like the previous program we were using. It was terrible, it’s awful.” “I connect well with my kids. I give a lot of accolades.” “I tell my students,‘You’re not reading on a 1st grade level, you’re missing strategies from the 1st grade.’” “I tell my kids that things will open up for you [being a better reader] ... Sign- ing a contract on a home, filling out an application, learning the rules for a new job.” “All of a student’s teachers are work- ing together towards a goal.” “I would have loved to work for last year’s principal for the rest of my life.” There has been a lot of administrative turnover in her school the last three years. She wants to be a stable force. Goal: To be the highest performing reading department in the county.BackgroundDebra is Boynton Beach Community High School’s Department Chair of Reading. She first learned about Reading Plus in an email blast. Upon attending a workshop she thought,“I like this. This is going to work.” She convinced her principal to try the pilot program, and they purchased a license the next year.Debra is married with two teenage children and has a Masters in Reading.Attitudes Motivations“This makes our department more legitimate.” County is very data driven: state testing for reading comprehension 3x year; benchmark test 2x year; FCAT (comprehensive assessment test) 2x year (closely related to graduation rate). Diligent students are getting 18+ on the ACT The principal paid for the program and is eager to see it work. “Silent reading is so hard to evaluate because you can’t see it.”“Without Reading Plus, I don’t know if a student is actually reading or com- prehending.” “These kids who were never success- ful, never got a pat on the back, they get their first reward and their face lights up.” Sees tremendous progress among ESL and special-ed students. FrustrationsNeed to get teachers and students bought into the program.Constantly findings herself encourag- ing teachers to take greater advan- tage of all the options.“If teachers would use all that Reading Plus has, they would benefit.”One teacher sent an email to a student’s parents saying,“I know it insults the students’intelligence to use this program,”and the parents forwarded it to the principal.“There’s too much!”It scares teachers away. Teachers who don’t log in often enough aren’t seeing their students’ notifications; she’s then forced t clear them.“If they aren’t checking then they can’t respond to the prob- lem.” Wishes she could send a message to multiple classes; needs spellcheck. Wishes skill sheets were integrated into Reading Plus.“Students expect immediate feedback.”Notices students gaming the system. “Just continuous clicking. They’re bored. They’re always gonna try to get away with it.”“CLOZE is incomplete.”Students aren’t held accountable for their scores. Had to rig th puters to use Reading Plus at one time. Any time she has to edit enrollment info, the screen takes a really long time to appear because their whole school is loading.There’s no Back button and when running reports she has to gothrough the same flow over and over again. Printing is a pain; runs over onto multiple sheets and wastes paper. When she goes through a demo wit a student on d Tech Use Has a Dell laptop she brings back and forth between school and home. Has a Facebook account, and is connected with some former students, but only who have graduated.Has never used Twitter or other social network sites. Key BehaviorsRuns the high school reading pro- gram, oversees all reading teachers, has three of her own reading classes. Started using Reading Plus in 2005/06 with the lowest 25% achievers in the school and saw a major improvement. Following year tried it with the whole school in both the Reading and Lan- guage Arts classes.“At first the teachers weren’t sure they could do it because they’re not com- puter savvy.” She sat with each teacher and walked them through it. Demos the program to students using a fake student account that she set up Logs in to the Management Interface every day, multiple times a day. Sometimes at home at night.Manages the system for all teachers using it – Reading and Language Arts – but only really monitors the Reading teachers who she oversees.Looks to see when the teachers have last logged in. When sees that stu- dents have logged in much more recently than teacher: “Well that’s a red flag!” Hardly has to say anything to the stu- dents anymore when they enter the classroom.“They just sit down and get to work.” “Other teachers are always wondering why it’s so quiet in my classroom.” Tells students that they’re expected to achieve scores of 80% or higher. “At our school we don’t aim for Cs, we aim for Bs.” Bumps up students in 9th grade so they can see what it will be like in 10th grade. Frequently making tweaks by stu- dent: harder vocab; longer stories; slower speed.“Teachers don’t want to do it so I do it for them.”Flips back and forth between compre- hension score and CLOZE score to compare. Gives students more rereads when they ask for them. Uses the Notes & Messages feature to write an entire class and let them know if they’re on track as a class. Also writes personal notes to students who are doing well to say“good job.” Keeps printed copies of all of the Reading Plus skill sheets in binders for the Reading teachers to use.Walks around to observe other classes using Reading Plus; brings students candy,“You did a great job.”Sets up competitions between the classes; whoever gets the highest average comprehension for the quar- ter gets an ice cream party; top three classes get donuts.Set up Reading Plus enrollment for all classes, all teachers; moves students between classes as necessary. “If the student is in the database, it’s easy. If they’re already enrolled in a class, I need to unenroll them in the admin area.” Unenrolls all students from all classes at the end of each year “I’m a real Internet junkie.” Looks for worksheets online (Googles main idea work- sheets). Attends education technology con- ferences and unofficially advocates for Reading Plus while there. “You can’t do anythingif you can’t read.” ENTHUSIASM: READING BACKGROUND: TECH SAVVY: HIGH HIGH MEDIUM DEBRASite AdministratorAge 46 West Palm Beach, FL Quote on her wall: “Reading is to the mind as exercise is to the body.” “I was frustrated by not knowing how they were doing.”“Teachers have to know their stu- dents.” Believes it works. “Of my students who had failed the FCAT between 1 and 4 times, 43% passed – and I attri- bute that to Reading Plus.”Concerned about adoption. “Some teachers don’t want to use it.”“You have to change the teachers’ minds about how the students learn.” Proud to be an advocate. “I am the Reading Plus queen.”Believes the site admin’s role is to “monitor and motivate.” “A lot of Reading Plus is enthusiasm and get- ting them turned on.”“I love that you can maneuver it.” “Student’s anecdotes aren’t enough; data tells the story.”“What you put into it, you get out of it.”
  15. 15.
  16. 16. The Story Map is the User Experience is the Product Backlog is the Release Plan Personas reflect what is most Valuable… decide up front what is of highest Value Learning from your customers as they use your product. Innovate your way to better user experience by rapidly prototyping
  17. 17. walls to screens
  18. 18. is that really ready?
  19. 19. outcome to impact “The kids know it’s just a beta, but they were wondering if they were allowed to do their Reading Plus at home tonight.” - beta class Teacher
  20. 20. efficacy
  21. 21. Bad panda
  22. 22. parting shots Communicating UX Goals in a Distributed Team Everyone loves a Specification / Requirements Changing Tools or Process is Hard, but Inevitable Team -> Values / Language -> Culture / Product
  23. 23. shared understanding as quickly as possible culture tools
  24. 24. how are you being experienced?
  25. 25. every interaction is an opportunity to join their story
  26. 26. All This Experience UI Details Dashboard Messages Stories Questions Log In Read Messages Reply to Messages Select Story Read Story Answer Questions User Story Business Logic Business Logic User Story User Story Business Logic Sub Task Business Logic User Story UI Details User Story UI Details UI Details Business Logic UI Details UI Details
  27. 27. Bit Parts UI DetailsDashboardMessagesQuestionsLog In Read Messages Reply to Messages Select StoryRead Story Answer Questions User StoryBusiness LogicBusiness LogicUser StoryUser StoryBusiness LogicSub TaskBusiness LogicUser StoryUI DetailsUser StoryUI DetailsUI DetailsBusiness LogicUI DetailsUI DetailsStoriesLife Life LifeLife Life Life Life LifeLife Life Life Life Life LifeLife Life Life Life Life LifeLife Life Life Life Life LifeLife Life Life Life Life LifeLife Life Life Life Life LifeLife Life Life
  28. 28. Rick Cusick