When Ove Ritola and Timo Salonen realized how students could be thought of as information consumers, their pace towards a truly personalized, data-rich dashboard at the Finnish University of Vaasa finally took off. The pair recently presented their work at MoodleMoot UK & Ireland 2017.
Thinking about a software solution that is useful and pleasing needed to focus on both parts of the equation. Information should be up-to-date and clearly laid out, but the “consumer” side limits the volume and format it is presented in to make it digestible and actionable.
Ritola and Salonen’s solution is a revamped dashboard that looks to elicit emotions with a high-contrast colored layer on the presented information. Good behavior, as determined by persistence or performance metrics, appears as the main headline. Recent grades and upcoming dates for lessons and deadlines make up most of the main view of the dashboard. The picture is completed with a “Give us feedback” menu, strategically placed to highlight its importance and encourage a conversation with users.
Further proof of how this dashboard caters to students’ most critical demands comes in the section below the main view with the daily updated school lunch menu.
The dashboard is fully responsive and is available in English and Finnish at moodle.uwasa.fi. Over time, the plan is to add more features that streamline the workflow and keep users away from “heavy lifting.” The dashboard gives teachers a quick option to create a course using a pop-up menu. A “Teacher Tools” right-side menu gives quick access to common settings. Upcoming functionality might also include statistics about usage to show positive behavioral effects of the new layout.
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