How might we improve teaching and learning strategies to ensure secondary students feel well prepared when planning their future education-to-career pathways?
Overview & Background
Research has been conducted on the high school student's journey to college, university, workforce; creating a better understanding of student feedback on what confuses, excites and/or stresses students about the future.
The transition from high school to post secondary can be quite daunting. Based on student satisfaction research and observation, students often react confused, overwhelmed and stressed when considering post secondary education. The design goal of this project was to present data in a way that best reflects a student's journey and the many influential factors that impact a student thinking about their future.
The mega map visualization allows the opportunity to inform the public of areas of concern and opportunities towards improving the communication of education pathways within Ontario.
The concern area of students transitioning from high school graduation into the real world is translated into an online interactive student website experience and narrative. The design intervention was presented to the Government of Canada's Innovation Hub and Policy Horizons and allowed for the opportunity to reveal student perspectives on common fears and goals about future education-to-career decisions.
Creating an online interactive experience to provide high school students with guidance on making well informed decisions about planning their future education-to-career pathways
— Showcasing student journey experiences, thoughts and questions about the future
— Understanding the differences among university, college and skilled trades education
— Allowing the opportunity for students to share their thoughts publicly or anonymously
— Providing external resources; articles, advice and mentorship offerings
Survey and Analysis
Every student is different and I wanted to learn more about additional student journeys apart from my own experience. I created two Google form surveys; one directed to high school students and an additional survey directed to students that have graduated from high school, currently in post-secondary or in the workforce.
I wanted to speak to high school students to get an understanding of what some of their pain points and goals were about the future. As well, it was important to talk to current university, college and working professionals about their transition and what advice they had for future students. I received a total of 21 responses; 14 high school students, 7 from those that have graduated from high school and gained some valuable insights from this research.
Iteration Process Book
Breaking down the design plan — content outline (research methods, written copy, content strategy), site map, wireframes and visual design execution process.
wireframes (web development)
Site Map + user flow
Empathizing with Student Users
Focusing on content design strategy — Providing relatable and relevant imagery, digestible amounts of information
Transparency of Information
Interviewing reccent university, college, skilled trades students — Clear articulation of education and workforce pathways
Ensuring students are not alone in how they feel — Forum platform for students to connect and express their thoughts
Launch — April 24th, 2017
#IXDGoesToOttawa / Journey to Ottawa presenting to members of the Innovation Hub & Policy Horizons
It was a great experience engaging in the growing field of information visualization and gaining an understanding of how it fits into the public sector. Special thanks to our incredible data visualization professor, Eman El-Fayomi, for the organization of the Ottawa trip and mentorship throughout the entire term.
Reflection + Future steps
This project has been a personal favourite of mine because it resonates deeply in my passion for providing students with mentorship opportunities and making well informed decisions about the future. Collaborating with local schools, high school students, graduates and education staff has really opened my eyes to the importance and value of human-centred design.
I loved the process of reaching out to students and getting feedback to further improve my designs, creating an impact in students lives for the better through the power of design was the most rewarding part of my semester. Going forward I would like to focus more on visual design adjustments and improvement of the information architecture of the website.
As of Oct 2017 — I was reached out by a senior policy advisor from the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development about this particular project to further continue my design exploration for the Student Pathways Challenge.
Jan 2017 — The concept was pitched at the MaRS Discovery District on January 12. A new concept has been developed, taking a different experience direction and will be further researched and prototyped for my undergraduate academic thesis.
Adobe Experience Design, Illustrator