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Education in the new normal.

How will classes change after COVID?

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Design Research Report

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2020 - UX Design Research

The pandemic changed our lives in ways we never imagined. Many social dynamics such as education, work, and social relationships had very deep changes in a short period of time.

 

The goal of this research was to understand how education changed, what changes can be permanent, and how students and teachers adapted to the "new normal". 

What will you discover in this report?

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What is changing?

An overview of what education was like, what changed, and what trends are emerging. 

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What tools were popular in the classroom?

From the physical classroom to the virtual one, what are the new materials for study?

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What are the expectations for the future? 

The vision of students and teachers for the next years. 

The research numbers

This research consisted of:

  • Digital questionnaires: anonymous and confidential with quantitative and qualitative questions.

  • In-depth interviews: online and sharing screen to see how students and teachers use different educational tools.

  • Analysis of reviews in app stores: a collection of comments on educational apps.

  • Trend analysis: detection of signals and possible trends. 

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Responses of teachers and students from Argentina in digital questionnaires.

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In-depth interviews with university and pre-university students (between 16 to 34 years old). 

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 An in-depth interview with a high school teacher 

Education before COVID

How was it before?

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People: Studied or taught in academies or institutions mostly in person.

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Dynamics: Face-to-face education was perceived as the best way to learn.

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Tools: Mainly physical materials, in some cases there was an adoption of some tools digital. Some institutions had Learning Management Systems.

48%

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Of the respondents used a digital platform at their educational institution before the pandemic.

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52%

Of the respondents started using a digital platform at their education institution during the quarantine.

Education during quarantine 

What changed?

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People: People started teaching and taking online courses about all kinds of topics (eg, cooking).

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Dynamics: All classes went digital. There was an accelerated adaptation of digital tools.

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Tools: Institutions and academies adopted integrative platforms. There is a greater openness to explore new apps to improve class dynamics.

Education after COVID

What is emerging?

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People: More and more people are encouraged and more confident to offer courses and learn all kinds of topics digitally.

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Dynamics: Institutions, teachers, and students are more likely to try new technologies, there are less adoption barriers.

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Tools: Virtual reality, collaboration in real-time and even games are options with a lot of potentials. Institutions will enhance Learning Management System (LMS) functionalities.

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01. Learning Management Systems (LMS)

  • Most used platforms              

  • Moodle

  • Frequency of use during the pandemic

  • What are they used for?

  • What apps are used to complement the study? 

Learning Management Systems

Which one is the most popular?

LMS (Learning Management System) are virtual environments for online learning (web or mobile). Its use increased during the pandemic to organize content and classes.  

 

With these systems:  

  • Teachers can upload study materials, correct exams, communicate with students, etc.

  • Students can access notes, submit papers, take exams, etc. 

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12%

Use Google Classroom

75%

Use Moodle

11%

Use a platform customized

by their educational institution

2%

Do not use any LMS

Learning Management Systems

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Moodle

The Moodle platform is an educational system designed to create and manage online learning spaces adapted to the needs of teachers, students, and administrators.

 

Moodle is free software distributed under the GPL (General Public License). This means that any person or institution can use it and adapt it to their needs for free. 

Learning Management Systems

Frequency of use in 2020

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19%

Use the platform every two days

Use the platform every 3 to 5 days

12%

Use the platform once a week

7%

Use the platform at least once a month

13%

49%

Use the platform every day

Learning Management Systems

Main uses

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91%

Use the platform to access the notes and classes material

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88%

Use the platform to take exams

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84%

Use the platform to upload homework

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72%

Use the platform to be updated from teacher 

announcements 

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39%

Use the platform to check the calendar for upcoming exams

What other apps were used to study?

Complementary apps

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89%

Use storage apps like Google Drive

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86%

Use word processors like Google Docs

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82%

Use PDF readers like Adobe Readers

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79%

Use video platforms like YouTube

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72%

Use presentation apps like Google Slides

02. The Moodle experience

  • Insights

Insight 01: This will be normal from now on

Students and teachers value the potential of the platform.

They consider that being able to access all materials, advertisements, and class assignments in one updated place is a big plus.

“I can send my homework to my teacher without printing.” - Student

"I like to have all the information ordered in a single place". - Teacher

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Insight 02: Differences between app and web

The differences between the app interface and the web confuse students and teachers.

Users consider that the web is much more intuitive than the app. Some users talked about the app and the web as two different tools.

"The interaction with the app is not just like on the computer. " - Student 

“I thought the app and the website were two different things." - Teacher 

Insight 03: Content organization

The different levels of content organization generate confusion in users. 

User Journey Map: Student downloading class material

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4. Close platform

"Let's go study." - Student 

1. Search subject

"Sometimes I look for things and I cannot find them quickly. " - Student 

2. Check teacher announcements 

"I don't receive notifications. " - Student 

3. Search class material 

"Many clicks to find materials or tasks. " - Student 

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Insight 04: Customization

Users cannot personalize their experience because the platform doesn't support many changes in its structure and interface. 

The students can not express their personality. Each student and each teacher has different ways of organizing and creating your materials and dynamics.

"You can't change the colours, neither the photo of the subject nor add nothing". - Student 

"I would love to change the visuals." - Student

Insight 05: Notifications

Each student wishes to receive different notifications, at different times, but the platform doesn't offer options. 

In the absence of options to customize the notifications, some institutions decided to eliminate them completely, which causes many students to miss important dates and announcements. 

”We received a lot of notifications so they decided to remove all of them." - Student 

"I would like to add notifications when teachers upload materials, or new info." - Student 

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Insight 06: Teachers

Students' experience with the platform depends on teachers feeling comfortable using it.

User Journey Map: Teacher correcting homework

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3. Download homework

"Time to correct." - Teacher 

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1. Find the class

"It is difficult to find the lists of students. " - Teacher 

2. Search homework 

"It look like a website from the 90s, it is very difficult to find something. " - Teacher 

4. Give feedback 

"I like to talk to my students but on this platform I don't know how to do it. " - Student 

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Insight 07: Communication

The communication tools of the platform are complex for users. They use external tools.

Education is a social dynamic, there is a great opportunity to "Socialize" the platform. Teachers highlight the lack of tools to give feedback and show the progress to students.

"The classes will continue virtual, the app needs to be improved so that communication will be easier between student and teacher. " - Student 

"I'm used to talking a lot with my students. In this platform, interactions are hard." - Teacher 

03. Future expectations

  • Insight

Future expectations

Students and teachers believe that these platforms will be the new normal in education.

There is a perception that even after the pandemic there will be a combination of digital + face-to-face classes.

”I believe that from now on, Moodle and face-to-face classes are going to complement themselves." - Student 

"Start using these digital tools was the positive part of the pandemic." - Teacher

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UX Design Research Report_____________