Learner cast is a dual-sided Edtech platform where parents can be confidently involved in their children’s academics in their own way.
Parents can: 
1. Visualize their children's standardized grades
2. Can select specific skills that they want to work on with their child
3. Support their child academically across various settings
Project Overview
Summary
"A 10% increase in parental participation would increase academic achievement far more than a 10% increase in school spending."
Even though parental engagement increases academic achievement, not all parents are utilizing that as much as they want to. I decided to use an approach in design thinking, called the "Double Diamond" design process. 
Roles and Responsibilities
User Research and Discovery- Surveys, Interviews, Secondary Research, Competitive Analysis, User Personas
Information Architecture: High Priority User Stories, User Flow, Site Map, Wireframes
Branding: Sketches, Color Pallete, Typography
Prototyping: Lo-Fidelity Clickable Prototype,  High Fidelity, Usability, and Split Testing
Other info: Co-creators - Kindergarten Teacher and a room parent coordinator
Constraints: Short on time
The Problem Statement
Busy parents of school-age children need to have more visibility of their child's day-to-day performance in a user-friendly, flexible, and efficient way so they can be more confidently engaged in their child's learning.
Audience
Primary users: Parents/ caregivers of elementary school students 
Secondary users: Teachers and Admins in elementary schools
Solution
The Double Diamond Approach
I used the double diamond approach to find new opportunities to engage parents with their child’s learning and help facilitate the home and school connection by finding out who the users were to create a dual-sided platform that’s viable, desirable, and business feasible.​​​​​​​
It included the following phases: Discover | Define | Develop | Deliver  ​​​​​​​
Tools
Figma, Adobe XD, Miro, Zoom, Notion
Objectives
1. Identify target users
2. Propose design solutions
3. Synthesize opportunities to create a user-friendly, business feasible, and technologically sound MVP
Phase 1: Discovery
Brainstorming
My co-creators and I began to list out our assumptions on post-it notes about parental engagement in schools what is it and any barriers that exist. This activity helped us explore the problem space and be more generative.
•Key Finding: Brainstorming: People, in general, think that parents' engagement means you must be active in school, there are many reasons barriers, and people tend to have a negative perception about parents who aren’t actively seen.​​​​​​​
Competitive Analysis
I did a competitive analysis on businesses that provide parents with updates on how their child is doing in school.
Overall, I see an opportunity in creating what activities can parent engage their child in to support standardized skill levels. Classdojo doesn’t do that. MyTeachingStrategies doesn’t offer that upfront. Illuminate can offer that but only the admin and teachers may use it. It would have to be additional work for teachers and admin to do that but it neglects.
Fig 2. Competitive Analysis
Fig 2. Competitive Analysis
Demographics
Participants were recruited on Thinkful’s slack channel, Facebook network, and word of mouth and received a $5 gift card upon completing both the survey and interview. A total of 2 participants did an interview. All participants were required to have a child who goes to school in order to participate. Signed informed consent forms were obtained prior to beginning the interview portion.  
Demographics data were collected and these were the two main survey questions related to report cards which was adapted from another survey (https://www.g2.com/products/isi-illuminate-student-information/reviews#survey-response-551747):
1. I feel that Standards-Based Reporting has helped me be more aware of where my child is excelling and where they have challenges. 
2. I am familiar with the state content standards for my child's grade level.
Survey Results
Participants consisted of 17 parents with children in elementary school 
Parent Interviews
In addition to doing a survey, the following questions were asked during a parent interview. I interviewed 2 parents: 
1. How useful is the report card in helping you understand how your child is doing academically?
2. How do you help your child academically? Why do you choose those?
3. How do you define parental involvement?
4. What are some ways your school helps you stay involved in your child’s school?
5. What are some ways school makes it hard for you to stay involved in your child’s school?​​​​​​​
Key Findings
 Parents: Works in a low-wage job, inconsistent job hours, time with children is minimum and across different settings. Time spent with children is usually during shopping, transit, or eating at home Parents don’t understand how to use the report card to help their child at home
Teachers: It’s hard to support parents who are difficult to reach, already doing a lot of things at work, thinks children would benefit if parents could help.
What’s out there: ClassDojo offers a daily class feed and cartoon characters but lacks academic scores. MyTeachingStrategies offers parent engagement tools like parent observation however using a creative curriculum is necessary in order to fully use the parent engagement tools. Lastly, Illuminate is a student information system that could use all sorts of student assessment but most schools don’t offer a parent-facing side. 
Phase 2: Define
User Persona
Results from the earlier phase informed me that the target user from the group of people I surveyed and interviewed are immigrants who are low-wage workers. They work odd hours and their time with their kids is spent during commutes or grocery shopping. When they do have the time, they spend it at the playground. Below is Vangie, who best represents my target user.

Fig 3. Persona

High Priority User Stories
Vangie, the persona I developed has tasks she does as a mother. Those are the goals that she needs to do in order to make the best of her parent engagement time. Below is the list. The ones listed high are the ones that will help her accomplish her goals of being academically involved.

Fig 4. High priority user story

User Flow
The high-priority user stories have led me to chose the user flow below. 

Fig 5. User flow

Phase 3: Develop
Sketches
I began sketching things that would help me test out assumptions that were made. 
Wireframes
I wireframed the learning content screens because one of the high-priority user stories indicates that the parent would like to know what their child is learning. I also wireframed such as activities and onboarding because those are things that will be further developed.
Branding 
Typography and Color Sheet
Phase 4: Deliver
Usability Test
I did a usability test to see if the insights I gained from the discovery phase on the target user meet that user's needs. Since one of my co-creator is a parent that I am in a group with, I was able to start with her and also another parent within my contact list. I initially used the marvel app as a lo-fi clickable prototype. I tested for 3 scenarios:
Scenario 1:
Let’s pretend your child’s school just began and you want to know what they’re learning in math. I want you to think out loud while you are looking for what your child in learning in math.
Scenario 2:
Let’s pretend that you’re a parent that wants to see your child’s grades for the current semester. Please think out loud while you are looking for your child’s grades for the current semester.
Scenario 3:
After reading your child’s report card, you noticed that your child needs help in measuring things in 3D. You want to help your child at home for about 5 minutes and need ideas on what to do at home. Please think out loud as you look for learning content-related ideas in the app.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Split Testing
Conclusion
Going back on the objectives 
Identify target users- Target users were identified- when I included the demographic data and compared how specific demographics groups did on the main questions given. 
Propose design solutions- The design solutions proposed were related to what would work for a parent that has to work a swing shift and spent time with their children either doing an errand or having fun. I proposed a parental engagement dual platform that allows parents to participate in understanding where their child's at during their own time and with quick access to targeted activities.
Synthesize opportunities to create a user-friendly, business feasible, and technologically sound MVP- I created prototypes that allowed me to see how parents used it and what they would use it for, and would it help them stay engaged. The main thing that parents would use is for the targeted activities that they can do with their child in a variety of settings.
HMW(Question The Assumption): The assumption is that busy parents of school-age children lack the time for school-related issues and spends more time running errands. 
How might we entirely make academic parental engagement happen anywhere and anytime for parents?  Using Learner Cast, parents can meaningfully engage in their children's learning even during a commute, just at home, and the playground by with Learner Cast's core features like activities based on standards-based skills level recommendations. 
Final Thoughts/Future Development
Develop multiple language support functions within the platform since we are serving a multicultural environment.
Do additional research on families' needs. What would keep them using the platform daily and still be about parental engagement?
Appendix
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