Overview

When Covid hit, students and schools were blindsided with the challenges faced with online learning. One of the biggest challenges students faced throughout this was a lack of structure in how and where their lectures and assignments were being delivered to them.

Our team worked on a solution to make it easier for students to manage their schedules during online/hybrid learning and schools to manage how they deliver their materials to the students. We aimed to unify the experience, placing all the lectures and assignments a student needs to see on a single page. This improves a student’s ability to manage their time and decreases the chance of them missing something and falling behind.

Due to the popularity of Canvas as an LMS, we developed a plan to use our product both as a standalone website connected to Canvas through their API and as an external module within their site. Putting our app onto a student’s Canvas page would further improve our ability to unify their user experience.

Team Members

Michael Nutt (Project Manager, Senior Computer Science @ Rose-Hulman) Michael was responsible for scheduling and managing the meetings. He led the ProSquad in making both the Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi prototypes.

Chloe Koutsoumpas (Consumer Research, Sophomore in Biomedical Engineering @ Rose-Hulman) Chloe was responsible for creating empathy maps and customer personas, as well as the creation of surveys to get feedback from potential consumers.

Drew Retherford (Business Development, Senior in Business Management and Management Consulting @ Purdue University) Drew has a professional background in marketing, sales, business development, and financial consultation. Drew was responsible for market research and the formulation of the price, cost, and revenue structure. Along with these financial projections, he made the personnel and contract management decisions in correlation to the companies three year growth model. Drew also was responsible for the presentation of the GoSquads portion of the project.

Evan Nichols (Product Development, Junior Computer Science @ Wabash) Evan was responsible for showing examples that led to the ideas for the Lo-Fi prototype and co-creating the Lo-Fi prototype. Learned how to use React and Node to create a website for the Hi-Fi prototype.

How did you decide on this customer segment, problem, and solution?

When discussing the past semester, we realized that high schools do not have the proper resources to efficiently learn online. As a result of this, we researched into how high schools have handled the transition to online learning and we put together two separate surveys, one for teachers and one for students. This was to collect feedback on the past semester of online learning. These surveys gave us substantial insight into the struggles that high school teachers and students faced while learning online.

Within these surveys, both students and teachers detailed the stress of learning online and the various challenges that they faced. We learned that students need a set schedule to stay motivated to do school work. We also learned that the teachers were worried about keeping their students accountable for completing work in a timely manner. These insights led us to decide on building a simple solution to address the difficulties that students and teachers faced this past school year.

How did your team build and iterate on the solution?

One of our members had previous experience developing prototypes in Balsamiq, so we used that platform for our Lo-Fi prototype. This allowed us to plan out where everything would be on the website/widget and gave us a visual product we could iterate on. This prototype was updated as we received feedback from user testing, leading to us adding a day of the week toggle and using non-color based methods of indicating progress as well as our red highlighting to indicate urgency.

We also built out a Hi-Fi prototype to test out server communications. This prototype was done in React/Node due to previous experience and simplicity, and visual elements were done using React Bootstrap for responsive tables and other visual elements. This gave us confidence that we would be able to store schedule data in a back end server and serve it to the front end over an API as we had initially planned.

Key Metrics

  • 21 students surveyed
  • 16 teachers surveyed
  • 1 student user tested

Technical Architecture

Key Tools, Libraries, and Frameworks

Lo-Fi Prototype

  • Balsamiq - Used as a simple and easy way to create our website mockups.

Hi-Fi Prototype

  • React - We chose react since some members of our team had experience with it, and it makes it easy to create simple, reactive website components.
  • Node - Used for our back end to deliver schedule and lecture data to React as information in the server is updated.

See our GitHub for a full list of libraries we used.

If you had another 5 weeks to work on this, what would you do next?

  • Given a larger time frame on the business side of the project, we would have done a much more extensive market analysis and comparison. In doing so we could have been much more granular in our financial projections. It would have been more feasible to broaden our scope of market reach from Indiana allowing us to extend our growth model to 5 years.
  • We also weren’t able to collect enough data to accurately project customer retention in our revenue model, and this could have been possible in a longer time frame that allowed more market research.
  • We only got feedback from 1 user test, but that data alone was extremely helpful for us, so collecting user testing data from more users and developing a more complete prototype for testing would improve our product immensely.
  • We identified that the teacher’s experience would be integral in the product’s adoption, so we would want to prototype and build out the teacher’s view next.

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