In Summer 2019, I was a part of the Microsoft Education organization and developed a community forum& "Challenges" feature for Microsoft Education's Hacking STEM website to allow teachers to collaborate on the Hacking STEM curriculum.
Timeline: June 2019 - August 2019
Skills: User Research, Website Design, Figma
During a professional development workshop at Microsoft, we noticed how many teachers interacted and enjoy sharing ideas with each other. However, on Microsoft's Hacking STEM website, there was no option for teachers to communicate and collaborate on ideas or share their feedback about the curriculum.
Teachers found the website to be inconvenient. For example, teachers were having difficulty finding specific projects.
The website also was unintuitive. When teachers used the Hacking STEM website for the first time, they found it to be hard to use and couldn’t find the projects they were looking for.
The website was also underutilized, as many teachers didn't know the website existed, as it wasn’t prominent in the Microsoft Education community.
The new Hacking STEM website is designed to streamline searching and encourage communication and collaboration. It features an updated filter system to allow easier searching for projects, comments, and a community forum. It also allows educators to work in teams on projects and develop their own project ideas.
When working on this project, our team came up with an MVP flow diagram and Figma mockup to give us a better sense of what we were expecting out of this website.
To help teachers search for projects, filters allow easy lookup of lessons. Lessons can be filtered by grade level, subject, special collaborations (such as BBC and NASA), cost per student, and state standards. Information that teachers will need (material and state standards) is also embedded in the instruction booklet for easier access in the sidebar.
On any project, when you scroll to the bottom of the project, teachers can write reviews and feedback. Teachers can like and reply to these reviews to increase communication. These reviews help Hacking STEM developers improve these projects or address any common problems. When you click on the teacher’s review, it will lead them to their profile.
We also designed a forum, the Hacking STEM Community. When teachers have questions about projects, they can now ask their peers. Every project has its own discussion, where teachers can check for frequently asked questions, ask a question, and contribute answers.
Since teachers enjoy collaborating on Hacking STEM's curriculum, our team created Hack With Teachers community page, where educators can join a team and work on a project together, similar to a hackathon. This page displays the overall project view, including project description, tags, team members, and pictures.
Educators can also suggest and post about their own projects. To encourage project creation, Hacking STEM developers can create Challenges, or project idea contests, for teachers and adopt winning ideas into actual Hacking STEM projects.