The process of creating a data-driven solution for Brazilian teachers
Data excites, engages and gives direction for change when they tell a story, which is only possible through design, otherwise they are invisible and end up underused and forgotten in the “drawer”. Since 2013, Nesta has developed projects for the main education players in Brazil, Grupo Saraiva, FTD, SM Brasil, Somos Educação and also carried out through Tuneduc works for public and private Education network — subject of this article.
When we started the research with the user we noticed that much of what happened in the classroom was “tracked”, but these data had an end in themselves because they did not reach the managers and teachers in a way that could support pedagogical actions. Our homework was to improve the teachers’ experience during the exploratory analysis of the data in order to correct learning routes.
In a meeting at the State Department of Education of São Paulo, a pedagogical coordinator showed us a notebook with several Excel charts and tables that a colleague generated with the collected data, she was pasting it in a sequential way during the school years and used on a day-by-day basis, providing insights for pedagogical staff. Therefore, in an often handmade way, teachers were already working with some of the data generated in the classroom.
Our challenge was to improve user experience through design and to consolidate the culture of data analysis into the process of taking pedagogical actions.
We are experts in creating interfaces that tell stories, we believe that applying the fundamentals of design in Dataviz projects presenting data in a beautiful and descriptive way are the solution to end the waste of information to each interaction in our day-by-day and in the case of schools, show teachers critical states, allow deepening, detection of points of attention and through the analysis of cases suggest continuous improvement actions.
Once the requirements and use cases were raised, we start the creation of wireframes. In this case we decided by high fidelity as a shortcut to run user tests and make changes quickly. When we need navigable wireframes with the microinteractions running, we always opt for Axure.
Directors, coordinators and teachers using the same service to analyze different things. Our goal was to organize and deliver the data that each of them needs to analyze for strategic action. We chose to navigate in depth as a resource to highlight critical scenarios and points of attention and from there, to allow the user to go deeper into the case study. And we’ve built a combination of filters that allow users with different goals to start browsing from the same screens and build their own dashboard.
Unless you’re a data scientist, data is useless without good visualization. In addition to the fundamentals of design and data visualization, we have built interfaces that reduce the time teachers spent exploring the data, allow the identification of groups to create specific pedagogical actions, and bring up issues that can not be contextualized if not through organization and data visualization, and provide evidence to improve communication within school, with partners, and even in fundraising.
Teachers are on the move all the time, changing room, school, attending meetings or doing some work at home. Access to the mobile platform in this case was indispensable.
There was no need to use specific functionalities of mobile operating systems so we discarded the development of a native application. The adaptive design was also discarded at first for several reasons, but mainly because we had no control over the screen size of the devices used by the platform users. Because it is a content-oriented application we have chosen to design a web application, roughly, a responsive website with some native application features and thus we guarantee that the user experience would not suffer from the change from desktop to mobile.
To devise experience of teachers and students beyond system interfaces, which has the only function of making data visible to teachers and optimizing the data mining work, giving them more time to devote themselves to strategic work.
Dataviz is an essential resource for contextualizing objectives, tracing, executing, measuring and calibrating strategic actions. We thank Tuneduc for the opportunity to explore the universe of educational data and contribute to education in Brazil.