We know that the summer time ushers in new adventures and a much needed break for both educators and students alike, but here at Edmentum, it signals much more. It’s also a time of year that we spend launching enhancements just in time for the next school year—and this year is no exception! We are very excited to announce a variety of new enhancements coming to our K-12 practice and classroom assessment solution, Study Island. This July, Study Island will experience upgrades across the platform, including a revised scoring approach, teacher feature updates, and even a brand new student dashboard. In the coming weeks, we’ll dig into these program updates one at a time, taking you behind the scenes to get a closer look at what you can expect—starting today, with the learner dashboard.
My name is Candice Bedwell and I am a Sr. User Experience Designer for the new Study Island student interface. I am part of a larger user experience (UX) team here at Edmentum which works on all of our online programs. You may be asking yourself, “What on earth does a user experience designer do?”. To put it simply, we design software to help simplify your life. The goal of all the enhancements we make (including the upcoming changes to Study Island) is always to support you, and to achieve that we go through various processes before we make the final product. We interview teachers to assess both their needs as well as those of their students and we talk to subject matter experts internally. We go though many design iterations and engage in lots of back and forth communication, including user testing, to make any tweaks necessary until we find the ideal vision. And, the result? Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the new Study Island!
See what’s new in Study Island! Join us for a live webinar for a firsthand look at updated features and program enhancements!
The most dramatic change you will see is on the student side. From a UX perspective, we understand that student engagement is very important for successful learning and we put the majority of our energy into creating something that we felt students would truly enjoy. This commitment to empowering learners led us down the path to reimaging the Study Island student homepage so as to put greater ownership of learning in the student’s hands, creating a more personalized experience.
When your students launch the updated Study Island come July 17th, they will immediately notice that the home page has received a complete makeover using vivid colors and an animated background that features our mascot, Taco the Crab! Here, instead of students being directed to the Classes page, they have a whole new dashboard feature that will allow students to have quick access to key program areas including Blue Ribbon tracking, Scheduled Tests, Active Assignments, In-progress Topics, and Suggested Topics to revisit without having to search any further. Acting as command central for your learners, the revised student dashboard provides at-a-glance insights into how students are progressing toward standards mastery and what their next steps should be.
In this updated interface, students will still have access to dedicated pages for their classes, reports, writing portfolio, and state and US programs via intuitive left navigation. But just as the dashboard has been upgraded, these areas have similarly gone through a powerful transformation. In each area, we have taken great care to simplify and organize central information to offer a more streamlined student experience. The more subtle features (that still pack a big punch) include requiring less clicks to get where you’re going and responsive HTML which means that you will receive the same user experience across all browsers, as well as mobile and desktop devices!
You might also notice some similarities in design when exploring the teacher environment so you can see what the student sees directly from the teacher page. This particularly shines through in the Topic Tree, an area that houses each discrete practice module and is visible to both teachers and students
In the student Topic Tree, lessons, flash cards, and virtual labs have been moved into a popup that can be accessed by selecting a specific topic. Previously, these additional practice resources were not included alongside other session types such as test mode, game mode, or printable worksheets making it more difficult to find a centralized catalogue of all practice elements that were available. The educator side will also now include a popup window with similar sections with the addition of Teacher Resources to create a stronger connection to what students see.
We didn’t stop there however. Many teachers raised questions about how to determine content was in fact standards aligned, leading us to make some meaningful adjustments. From the onset, our curriculum team has been dedicated to building content from the ground up to meet each state’s specific standards. In the Topic Tree, we have now surfaced the standards even more, so that what was previously housed under a small icon is now replaced with the specific standard numerical name. Simply click on the name to read all standard details for each topic, or select the newly created Standards Map to review all standards for that grade-level subject at once.