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TIEP

Abstract

Abstract
Overview

The Tracking Individualized Education Program (TIEP) aims to support general teachers on their IEP students to provide an *equity-focused education for students with disabilities from underserved backgrounds.
* Equity means providing different levels of opportunity and support for each person in order to achieve fair outcomes.

My Contribution
Abstract

I worked remotely with three graduate students on this school project. I contributed to defining problems, developing ideas, executing our solutions by prototyping and evaluating usability testing.

Duration
Oct ~ Dec 2020
(3 months)
Role
User Researcher
UX Designer
Visual Designer
Team
Jessica He
Morgan Weir
Mark Tas

What is IEP?

An individualized education program (IEP) is a legal document of special education services. It is designed to modify a student's academic goals and accommodations based on their needs and development to help them achieve academic growth within the IEP teams that include a student's parents, teachers, and other service providers.

Design Methodology

The double diamond process helped our team to understand the project context deeply by designing the right thing (discover + define) and to build meaningful solutions by designing things right (develop + deliver).

Discover

Literature Review
2 related works reviewed
Online Screener Survey
12 questions, 15 respondents
Semi-Structured Interview
1 hr interview, 8 participants

Key Findings

  • Empirical evidence is lacking regarding the relationship between the quality of IEPs and students’ educational progress and outcomes.
  • Lack of documentation records or report status on IEP students for general teachers caused a struggle with tracking the progress of the IEP.
  • Insufficient time or resources provided for educators brought disparity between low resource districts and high resource districts.
“Students in low resource schools are more vulnerable to the quality of the IEP team.”
- School district child psychologist (interview participant)

Define

Persona

We created a persona based on the interpretation of our findings through card sorting. This not only narrowed down our scope of who we will focus on but also the direction we would like to develop on our solution.

For example, Chandler is our primary user because she reported a general sense of ill-preparedness as a general educator within low-resource environments which affects her ability to implement an IEP to the best and can create an inequitable educational experience for her students.

The Solution Design Requirements

We devised a set of design requirements to ensure that we addressed the needs and frustrations of our persona, Chandler.

Also, we began to develop a tool to track IEP progress because we've found that tracking IEP progress is a key element tying together all the pain points and parts of the process across different stages of the IEP process.

"How might we empower educators to support equitable education for neurodiverse students in low resource environments?"

Wireframes

  • Highlight progress tracking tasks on the home screen.
  • Prompt and guide teachers through the tracking process.
  • Automate analytics and recommendations.
  • Facilitate collaboration between teachers and IEP team.
  • Students’ IEPs and goals should already exist in the system.
  • Design for mobile first.

Test & Iterations

We had two rounds of iterations on our design. For example, we decided to highlight urgent & tasks of upcoming progress tracking for the teacher to complete on the Home Screen, we included illustrations in the recommendation screen to make less text-heavy and easy to understand the contents, and we categorized four different key information in the student profile: an overview of the IEP, progress tracking tasks, progress analytics, and recommendations for adjustments to the IEP to provide progress report and resources for the general education teachers like Chandler.

Deliver

Prototypes

FEATURE 1
Tracking student progress and classroom service implementation

This feature cut down the time teachers spent tracking down student information from many sources by consolidating it into one app. It also enables the teachers to address the needs of more students since stacking IEP information was less time-consuming and more accessible.

FEATURE 2
Selecting recommendations and sharing with IEP team

This feature helps teachers connect students with the resources they need, even while faced with a low-resource environment through AI-generated recommendations and can share it with the IEP team.

FEATURE 3
Sharing student progress with IEP team

This feature helps teachers to communicate with other IEP team members such as special education teachers, parents, and school counselors whenever and wherever and can share the IEP student progress with them.

Visual Guidelines

Reflection

There are many different stages to be considered in the IEP process and our team focused on the stages of implementation, evaluation & reviews, and putting additional resources. However, we know there are other pain points that exist in other states such as pre-referral and referral stages. I would like to use a diary study to collect qualitative data about user behaviors, activities, and experiences overtime on the different stages of IEP and gather insights to further develop better solutions. In addition, I would like to gather more feedback from the general educators through usability testing on the current prototypes to develop the design better for them to use for their IEP progress tracking.
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