Minerva Active Learning Forum

UX Design, Visual Design, Interaction Design

At the Minerva Project I worked with an incredibly talented engineering team as the UX design lead on a project to develop Minerva's Active Learning Forum, an online, seminar-based, interactive classroom.

The goal was to create a classroom of the future, allowing students to move flexibly from group discussion into other instruction modes, including collaborative breakout clusters, debates, quizzes and polls, dynamic document creation, and real-time simulations.

Work began by first researching student and professor requirements, documenting common use-cases and then sketching out possible layouts.

Active Learning Forum Sketch Active Learning Forum Storyboard

From here the sketches were refined into wireframes to ensure that all flows and interactions were accounted for and made sense holistically.

Active Learning Forum Wireframe

Low fidelity interactive wireframes were then created which were used in usability studies I designed and conducted with actual college students. Problematic features and interactions were either cut or refined, and ideas for improved solutions were uncovered.

Active Learning Forum Prototype

Before visual design work was started, I generated a series of style tiles to explore possible color palette, typography, button, texture and imagery combinations.

Style Tiles

All along the design process, I led members of the organization in a series of "design sprints" — intense, five-day group exercises designed to generate a wealth of creative solutions to tricky problems. Ideas were synthesized down to three panel storyboards like the one pictured below, and then voted upon before being prototyped and tested with actual users.

Design Sprint Storyboard

All of the design exercises and research led to an internal prototype that was internally tested on a series of weekly classes taught by our deans.

Over the course of many months, the platform was further refined and enhanced and eventually became what students and faculty are using on an almost daily basis: a state-of-the-art learning platform based on the science of learning.