Teacher Licensure Tracker
The idea for this application grew out of an exasperating problem facing public school teachers: the lack of a simple way to keep track of professional development. After teaching for nine years, my desk was overflowing with manila folders stuffed with important documents I needed for relicensure, all jumbled in a disorderly mess.
No public school teacher in Massachusetts is immune. Teachers must earn 150 professional development points (PDPs) to get relicensed to teach every five years. The onus is on teachers to keep track of their own progress.
The current system is antiquated to say the least. Teachers most often receive hard copy certificates showing their participation and the number of PDPs earned. These pieces of paper typically get shoved into a drawer or folder until it’s time to reapply for their licenses, resulting in an eleventh-hour frenzy to make sense of it all.
I wanted a way to keep my PD records organized so I could safely save them, see at a glance how many points I had earned, and what PD requirements I still needed to fulfill before my license expired. This led me to dream up and design the Teacher Licensure Tracker.
RESEARCH + VALIDATION
How will this app achieve my targeted outcomes?
In thinking through the user flows for each use case that the app would tackle, I started by listing the goals for the app:
- Keep track of my teaching license and let me know when it’s going to expire
- Keep track of my PD requirements in each category and visualize my progress so I can easily see what areas I need to earn more PD
- Organize my PD records by scanning in my hard copy documents and safely storing them
- Help me generate the paperwork I need when making my Individual Professional Development Plan and automatically create the records I would need to produce if I got audited by the state
I thought through the smoothest way the users could accomplish their goals within the app:
I diagramed the main user stories that the app would accommodate:
I wireframed the main screens and mocked up low-fi designs:
USER INTERFACE + BRANDING
As a design exercise, I imagined a direction for our user interface styling and branding.
Using the concept of a progress indicator as a starting point, I sketched a variety of options for logos and iconography then focused on a few ideas for further development:
I sought initial feedback from prospective users and decided upon one logo option to pursue. From there, I built a branding guide and for the interface:
Incorporating the branding and styling, I designed a high fidelity prototype of the application’s integral screens:
This idea has traction.
In an exciting turn of events, I pitched this app at Techstars Startup Weekend EDU on November 10, 2017, and my idea was one of 9 out of 30 chosen to form a team, and won the Boston competition! Our team plans to continue developing the application and proceed with usability testing at several schools in the Boston area in the coming months.