When an institute of education surveyed Australian teachers about how they go about professional development, 32% of respondents said they find it difficult to seek and record professional learning that suits their needs.
As a UX designer, I structured an Understand workshop and wireframed app concepts that would help teachers continuously improve their art of teaching.
Understanding the current
In order to gain a shared understanding of what goes on in a teacher’s life around professional development, we collaboratively sketched out the current journeys for teachers and leaders alike. This enabled us to see the bigger picture, as well as the components that make up typical teacher development process and how they integrate with school leaders.
By understanding the drivers, motives, and industrial requirements that govern the process it helped us to empathise with teachers and to prioritise the focus of the solution.
On these journey maps, we highlighted points where teachers were facing challenges, as well as points where the institute considered there were gaps between the ideal approach of improving teaching expertise and reality.
With the current journeys and pain points laid out visually in front of us, stakeholders were excited to sketch out the ideal journeys.
Designing the future
Future statement and core functionalities
From the ideal journey map and by tuning in on conversations at the workshop, the future direction of professional learning became clear: Make seeking and learning so easy that it becomes a part of a teacher’s daily life.
The core functionalities required were identified to be: Finding professional learning, recording the learnings, evaluating their impact when applied in the classroom, and sharing their experience with other teachers.
Two overarching concepts were explored in order to help prioritise the goals of the app, and to ultimately shape its true value.
The first concept defined HQPL as a tool to help teachers easily search for, record and keep track of their professional learning.
The second concept defined HQPL as a social platform where teachers can inspire each other to grow by sharing their professional learning, feedback and impact.
Piecing it altogether
Feeding the concepts back into the ideal principal, the social platform concept was selected as the base for prototyping. This concept added ‘fun’, ‘active’, and ‘connectivity’ aspects to professional learning, with the potential of becoming an app that teachers interact with often as part of their daily lives.
The social platform concept resonated with the institute’s core value, which is for teachers to inspire each other to become better teachers; teachers at heart.