A hero's journey
With the feedback and outcome from the Grow up project one team collaborated with a story writer to create a story that guides the student through their journey of growth, “the student, as a hero, goes on his/her learning journey full of challenges and growth”. At the same time this storyline in turn was a good tool to guide Noordhof when creating new content, helping us to keep the mission statements in mind.
Within this story frame different design sprints were initiated in which the teams focused on specific problems or core principles while keeping the main mission “Discovering the twinkle in a teachers’ eyes” in mind. The task given to the (cross-functional) team that I joined was to find the definition for ‘growth’ and to create various concepts on how to visualise this growth that should give teachers instant insight on the performance of a student.
Ideation and prototyping
To define the problem or challenge we first wanted to understand what growth meant by creating an affinity map. Based on previous projects’ insights, affinity mapping, and brainstorming we created a collection of 'How might we' questions. Through thumb-voting we narrowed it down to one main question:
"How might we visualise growth to make it easy to read?"
We started ideating through a session of crazy 8's. Then, we discussed each idea shortly and used thumb-voting to shortlist the best ones. Iterating more on these ideas prompted us to create student profiles, each one with different characteristics. On the basis of these profiles we created matching growth graphs.
We invited teachers to test our prototypes asking them to share their thoughts out loud. The goal was to see if they could match a profile with its corresponding growth graph.
- Most of the teachers were not familiar with graphs like this.
- They said they had trouble viewing the data points.
- They, after a short time of examination, understood what the graph was displaying –a result of a student’s learning chapter displayed in a different way than they are used to see.
Afterwards we let them try to match the profiles with a second growth graph and most of the teachers were able do this in one try. Some still had trouble reading the graph as they could not see the relation with the characteristics of the profiles.
It was necessary to fine tune these prototypes and more research had to be done on other core principles. The results from the design sprints were collected for further exploration.