Principles of EdTech Design

October 19, 2018 | Read Time : 3 mins

Terrific UX design in education isn’t about creating modern interfaces that make our reality appear like something out of a sci-fi movie. Immersive experiences may send youngsters back through time to discover historical accounts or under the sea to experience the ocean ecology, for example.

Students may connect with uncharted territory without ever leaving their seats, so forget about passively digesting lectures. These are fascinating prospects, but educational technology has an even greater need for UX designers.

Designing the finest educational software necessitates a strong emphasis on user experience concepts. Since navigating isn’t always straightforward on smartphones, UX designers face their own issues when building these applications, all of which will be used in classrooms.

Given that, the five principles of EdTech design are listed below:

Aligning technology with pedagogy

Both pedagogy and technology face challenges in terms of accessibility and reliability of technology-enabled learning experiences.

The word pedagogy comes from the Greek word ‘paidagogos,’ which means ‘to guide the children,’ with ‘paida‘ meaning ‘child’ and ‘agog’ meaning ‘lead.’ The science and practice of teaching, especially instructional theory, is known as pedagogy. It’s an ultimate plan that contains a complete overview of the teacher’s responsibilities.

Pedagogy’s principles dictate the division of the material of the selected unit as suitable sub-units. These are then organized in a couple of needed periods and a brief summary of the content of the chosen sub-unit is written along with any prerequisite information that the sub-unit requires. Also, any instructional objectives that should be chosen for the sub-unit are noted.

When these principles of PICRAT are executed through technology, EdTech becomes much more efficient.

Since there is no specific, universal strategy that works in all contexts, effective instructors employ a variety of teaching strategies. Learning results will be improved by using various tactics in diverse combinations with different student groups.

Evaluation, strategic coordination of intended results, and instructional approaches with deliberate use of technology are critical whether you’re developing a single learning opportunity or a comprehensive program.

Students’ learning and the many design components that correspond with the fundamental pedagogy should be the focus of UX designers. UX designers should focus on the most important knowledge, concepts, and skills that children should acquire, instead of the materials, content, or tools determining what they should learn.

Students focus on Technology utilization

PICRAT is a very efficient and creative approach for children to accomplish academic peaks. It was recently coined by Royce Kimmons through detailed studies and research.

It is a concept that considers the learner’s engagement, whereas other models concentrate on how teachers may involve technology in education. PICRAT is the acronym for the terms Passive, Interactive, Creative, Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation.

It is also a framework that extends the RAT framework. RAT stands for Replace, Amplify, and Transform, and it states that when technology is used in the classroom, it is either utilized to substitute the traditional way of teaching without any noticeable change in student outcomes, to amplify existing learning, or to reshape learning in ways that would not have been possible without the technology.

PICRAT implies that an educator must ask two fundamental questions regarding any technological use in their classes. These issues include what the student’s connection to technology is (PIC: Passive, Interactive, Creative) and how the teacher’s use of technology impacts conventional practice (RAT: Replace, Amplify, Transform).

Designers utilize this approach to think about how technology can be used to enhance, replace, and modify learning. They also think about students and how they’ll use the app. Adding such concepts and ideas to an EdTech platform can make it better than any other traditional or conventional method of teaching.

Given that, designers can create EdTech apps that spark thought and interact with students more effectively and actively by adopting the PICRAT approach.

Keep teachers in Mind

Along with building an app that will include kids and pique their interests, designers must also consider teachers. Putting a youngster in front of a computer or providing them with a smartphone containing an EdTech app will not result in significant educational progress.

The basic explanation for this is that students require some type of direction as they navigate through various educational subjects. They cannot just be given a solo computer-based education.

Furthermore, generic software may not be able to adjust to each student’s learning habits, resulting in them skipping over concepts they don’t understand and repeating through those they are already familiar or thorough with.

This is why designers should concentrate on EdTech design that endorses and enhances the job of the teacher. Despite the excitement around AI, the best achievements are typically the product of human collaboration.

You might be able to build an app that analyzes millions of data points, but it won’t be prepared to describe or diagnose the why’s that lie underlying it. Computers still can’t tell which students understand a material based on their posture and facial expressions.

They can’t engage with kids on a personal level, identifying their hobbies and turning them into a lifetime love of study. That is something only a compassionate human being is capable of.

As a result, designers must discover a method to actively engage instructors so that children may benefit from the best of both worlds — technology and hands-on experience.

Emphasis on personalization

Instructors or teachers are always focused on providing children with lessons that are tailored to their specific needs. However, in a huge classroom, teachers are unable to provide each child with particular attention.

This is where the use of a technology platform can be beneficial. Teachers will be able to track student’s performance across many teaching materials at the very same time.

For instance, instructional coaches engage with underperforming students to make them keep pace with their peers by focusing on the precise subjects they missed. In a large classroom, though, this isn’t easy — or even practical. Here’s where a technological platform can assist teachers to keep track of multiple lesson plans at the same time.

When it comes to matching students’ skill levels to their classes, technology can have a significant impact. Each student’s level of understanding can be pinpointed using computer-adaptive exams. Teachers can tailor specific sessions with the support of a selected database of lesson plans.

Apps for mobile platforms should not be chosen solely on the basis of their attractiveness. The majority of apps are only used once or twice. Consider if students will actually utilize the app to achieve the stated educational goal. When done effectively, educating children on how to utilize an app should take up very little class time.

Also when creating an educational technology app, designers must include customization choices so that teachers and students may use technology to their advantage and in such a way that they want it to be.

Keep Your Goals Entitled

Technology is a way of promoting successful and enjoyable learning in education. While you may be enticed to use the most cutting-edge technologies to create your app look futuristic, keep in mind that the goal of such an app is to impart knowledge. With these considerations in mind, it is possible to develop well-rounded user interfaces that deliver on the possibilities of technology in education – no sci-fi vision needed!


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OriginUX Studio is a CoE for User Experience providing UI & UX across Product, Service and Customer Experience Design. We are a cross-disciplinary design team that loves to create great experiences and make meaningful connections for businesses and their users through UI & UX.

Founded in 2016, our larger purpose is to help brands understand what they want to do and where they want to go. To do that we have to make understanding customer experience simple, effortless, and affordable for everyone.

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