Designed by Martin Jahr, Theo Geiller, Rogerio Almeida, Ümmühan Yolcuoğlu, Annie Byatt
Martin Jahr brought his concept to the #EUvsVirus Hackathon for the design of a safe space for pupils, their peers, mentors and parents to interact, set objectives and organize their studies. He envisions a platform that centers around people and their relations, does not stand in the way but helps getting things done. Thus, Selfscrum can facilitate a dynamic partnership between the mentor, the student, peers, and the parents.
We are convinced that the learner must be the owner of his/her learning path, and as such must have the possibility to learn how to manage it.
We dedicate that software to open, democratic and free schools, but are convinced that in this time of crisis, a school with a classic curriculum or to a student-based initiative can profit from Selfscrum as well.
WHAT IT DOES
Selfscrum allows students together with their mentors to flexibly define their learning paths, i.e. plan their next steps, assess their success, and connect with other people/teams if needed. We want to have maximum freedom of usage while providing the school or learning hub with the chance to manage the overall process. We chose an innovative approach for the user interface. It is the student's learn path after all, so why should we prescribe how the software he uses looks like?
So, the foundation for our application is a whiteboard app like many others, but with an excellent opportunity to integrate individual code with the frontend.
The application is intended to assist pupils of all ages to provide a dynamic area to interact with colleagues. Our mission for Selfscrum is to provide a basis for student led learning.
HOW WE BUILT IT
At the beginning of the weekend Martin introduced us to his design and vision for the whiteboard scenario. We needed to understand the requirements to evolve an application, which was conceived to help soften some of the more authoritarian parameters often prescribed in modern educational curriculums, to fit a situation in which schools find themselves now; teaching an existing curriculum to students where there is no longer a geographic classroom.
We wanted to retain the flexibility of the original idea while still being appropriate to diverse curriculums, in different EU countries. We were aware that pupils in the present lockdown environment range from having parents who work within the educational sector on one hand, to parents who are unwell, pressurised frontline workers, and to parents who have little connection with their children’s studies, for differing reasons. We identified the importance of peer communication within the application. Pupils who are physically isolated from their colleagues and experiencing difficulties working in solo, who are accustomed to working collaboratively.
It took us some time to narrow the conception of the visualized package to a specific section that would be deliverable within the weekend.
We started by creating four personas for our application, Paul (13) and Mary (10), their mentor Eric and a parent, Pablo. We assessed their primary requirements and discussed the environment in which they are studying.
We identified the necessity for flexibility, adaptability, and communication between the different groups providing inputs, for instance teachers, parents, peers, siblings etc.
We also discussed the Selfscrum timeline which aims to provide a history of the pupil’s journey, by recreating a ‘time shot’ for different periods in the past, providing a historical trail of the students’ progress. We focused on a story around a meeting between Mary and Eric, her mentor, to plan criteria and tasks for the semester ahead. Theo Geiller and Rogerio Almeida translated the ideas into a design for a prototype, running on a smartphone.
Since we used the whiteboard approach ourselves, we created a big wall of conceptual diagram In the end. We had feedback within our group. Ummuhan Yolcuoglu was saying that her present experience, having fewer lessons and exams during the lockdown, has motivated her to spend more time on her studies, partly because she feels the need to make up for having less monitored studies but also because she is more relaxed working from home.
In an epic final round, we created the documentation and pitch presentation :)
CHALLENGES WE RAN INTO
It took a while to come into the "flow" of the solution creation. And since we didn't have any full-fledged developer in the team, we were restricted in implementation questions. (But in the end, it came out that this was good for the focus on the solution).
ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT WE ARE PROUD OF
Although we are very different people, we connected quickly and were able to form a working team. Communication via Zoom and Slack was good, and we were able to split the work, so that everyone could contribute.
And, we like the result :)
One of the exciting characteristics of Selfscrum is that it will be a valuable tool during the crisis and helpful as society and education evolve throughout this turbulent period.
WHAT WE LEARNED
We learned to work in remote workshop mode! It went surprisingly well, and we were able to integrate different tools, working modes, and result artifacts.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR SELFSCRUM
We are keen to continue the development of Selfscrum. We would like to approach schools and students working from home for their feedback. We plan to do market research to ascertain the level of interest and develop the planning stage further.
We already have a pilot school which is happy to introduce Selfscrum in the summer.
MVP built with
- Google Drive
Cloud solution to be built with
- AWS Cloud services
- miro.com frontend (to be evaluated)
- Frontend extensions: JS
- some backend glue code (serverless)
Thanks to #EUvsVirus for giving us the chance to meet in the hackathon.