Chris Kaminski


Beatrice Tate Recording & Reporting System

Main screen of the ARR system
ARR home screen during QA

Beatrice Tate, a school for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities, required a system to help track students’ progress and assemble teacher observations into end-of-term reports. After struggling to use off-the-shelf systems, the school asked us to design a system that would suit the school’s specialised curriculum and the students’ non-linear progress while meeting both a limited budget and the aggressive schedule required by the school calendar.

The Teacher persona

I scoped and planned the project, the lead a team consisting of one senior designer and two interns. Contextual inquiry interviews at the school revealed that each faculty member had two roles: as a teacher they recorded observations on students’ progress, and as a tutor they tracked the observations and assembled them into end-of-term reports for parents. I used personas to map user motivations to goals and tasks, and task flows to map key user activities in detail. We used design sprints to rapidly iterate and test designs with the school’s faculty. At the end of the project, I wrote the technical requirements and provided development support and design QA for the Bangalore-baed development team.

A design mockup of the timeline navigation element
Navigation timeline
A design mockup of the student card
Student card

We designed fully responsive web-based system to minimise the cost of development and updates. Timeline-based navigation presents teachers with the correct students for whichever class they were teaching throughout the day. Student ‘card’ with large photo allow the teachers to used tablets to quickly record observations, either using text or via the device’s built-in camera. A drag-and-drop interface allows teachers to assemble these observations into bespoke reports for parents, caregivers, and social workers, while a multi-axis progress tracker and notifications helps teachers and tutors stay up-to-date and in sync on student progress.

The wireframe diagram for the progress tracker UI element
Progress tracker

The teachers were delighted with the system when it rolled out on schedule in the fall. The observation recording features helped them record better feedback on the students, and the scheduling and reporting features provided substantial time savings over their previous system.

‘This has been a productive, enjoyable process. It has helped us to reflect on what we really needed and you have questioned and challenged in a positive way. You have also enhanced our early ambitions through your design process.’

— Mick Whaley, Deputy Head Teacher, Beatrice Tate School

‘Just back after ½ term break. We are really pleased with the system…. At some point we may scope out a shopping list and get a quote for ARR version 2!’

— Mick Whaley, Deputy Head Teacher, Beatrice Tate School

Wireframe diagram of dragging and dropping media elements in a student report
Drag & drop reporting