itslearning’s chief designer Ben Clausen recently got a helping hand in his efforts to create a mobile-friendly version of itslearning. A group of lower secondary students visited our main office in Bergen, Norway for career day. They created a mind map of the most important information that should appear when logging in to itslearning on a mobile phone.
Benjamin Clausen jots down student suggestions for itslearning’s mobile interface.
The suggestions are valuable input into Clausen’s work to design a mobile-friendly interface, as itslearning proceeds with its investment in responsive web design. “Deciding what functionality to prioritise is not always an easy task. itslearning is a big product with a great deal of functionality. Think out of the box, there are no wrong answers here,” Clausen encouraged the students.
Suggestions included displaying grades immediately after logging in, displaying a news feed with the latest homework and calendar events, and using face recognition software to log in to the learning platform. The students also gave suggestions for the design of the itslearning mobile interface. “For us it's a great opportunity to talk to our users,” Clausen said. “You get to ask them questions. The mind map session we had was very helpful in terms of aligning the work we do with their ideas and their expectations of how itslearning should work. Hopefully it was also a fun exercise for the students!”
Designed by students: itslearning’s mobile interface.
Students are centre point
The students, who are aspiring computer engineers, designers and communication workers, chose a placement at itslearning in order to experience an IT company up close. itslearning Education Research Manager Morten Fahlvik, a former teacher, spoke to them about the company’s history, strategy and mission before leading them on a tour of the office. Fahlvik says career day gives students valuable insight into life outside of school. “Having students in the office also reminds us who we are working for,” Fahlvik said. “Our vision is to improve education and students are the centre point in education. We get feedback that tells us that we are on the right track. We also gain some interesting thoughts and quotes that we bring into our discussions in the product management team.”
Students Martin (left) and Simon listen to itslearning’s Education Research Manager Morten Fahlvik.
Student Augustus considered the visit a valuable step towards his goal of working as a concept artist. “I learned that employees at itslearning work in large groups. It’s a benefit to be able to understand English at itslearning. And it takes a lot of time and effort to complete a job task,” Augustus said. Student Bård says his visit to itslearning was a valuable step towards his goal of working in the IT industry. “Visiting itslearning was very interesting. I am very interested in companies like this,” he said, adding he was surprised to learn how much work is laid down when updating the product. “You never know what can happen here. Suddenly, a new challenge can pop up that needs to be dealt with,” Bård said.
Lower secondary school students Augustus (far left) and Bård (far right).
Harald Kvåle Bakke, a teacher at Lynghaug lower secondary, says the career day helps students decide what to study in secondary school. “It is very useful because it gives them insight into what it is like to work for a company. It allows them to understand different professions so they can make the right education choices. It’s also useful to hear from people other than their parents regarding career decisions; people from outside their immediate circle who still have the power to influence,” he said.
Helping students set goals
"The visit helped the students realise higher education is necessary to pursue their career goals," Clausen added. “If you are unsure about what kind of job you want, a visit like this can make you reflect more about your future and help you set some goals. If we can give a positive impression and maybe inspire students to work in our industry, I think that's a good thing.”
The students mind mapping itslearning's ideal mobile interface.
Harald Kvåle Bakke, teacher at Lynghaug lower secondary school
Posted on May 13, 2014
by Leslie Ahern