The Reidsville Middle School media center needs a website to help patrons locate the information they are needing. Many of our patrons do not know of all the options available to them. Over the last few years RMS has purchased technology resources for teachers but due to teacher turnover many are not aware of the options.
The purpose of the site is to provide patrons away of seeing the various resources and offerings as well as providing tutorials on the use of the items and guidelines/criteria for the clubs/activities associated with the media center.
The site will be divided into categories that are specific to a user group. The areas are teachers, parents, students,resources and an about us. Some information will overlap (TSA, mBoB, Raider News), but most of the information will be specific to the who, what, when,where, and why of each targeted group.
Through the process the suggestion was made to move away from user based heading to heading that match the type of resource. The move away from users makes very good sense as some items would have been duplicated in order to meet the needs of the users.
Once the Alpha site had been launched and tested, more content was added and additional users were asked to test the site.
Once the beta site was built, users were asked to complete the following scenarios:
1. A middle school student looking for information about TSA. When does the club meet?
2. A teacher is searching for technology to use in their classroom. What technology options are available to use?
3. A parent is looking for information on Battle of the Books. What are the titles for 2018/19?
4. A teacher is looking needs help planning a lesson. Where would they go to research and what options are available from the media center?
5. A middle school boy is looking for a book about Triangle Trade. Where would they go to find a book on Triangle Trade?
6. A parent needs help logging into Canvas, where would they go for help?
7. 7thgrade student is working on a Cold War Project for Mr. Freeman’s SS class. Where would they find research materials?
Once the users completed the scenarios they were asked to provide feedback utilizing three forms. Each form targets an area of User Experience while completing the tasks along with the overall function of the website.
Additional users tested the site and offered suggestions. Each suggestion has been added to the site. One user made the recommendation that a tutorial image be moved above or make it clickable. The link to a scalable image is now above the image embedded on the website. Other feedback included merging the planning, training, small group, co-teaching and model lesson into two categories. The new categories are just planning and training and those are embedded under “teacher supports”. This make it easier for teachers to locate the specific information they may need as those items overlapped.
Graphic design rated very high with the group of users completing the tests:
The average score on all user experience surveys points to a usable website. The lowest score was with error rate and that averaged 5.5 out of 7. The overall scores were high, and the remarks were positive.
The site is ready for launch and will be ready when students return from holiday break. I will continue to evaluate and update the site after launch. Students will have varying perspectives than those of my classmates. Since the students are one of my important users the site needs to useful to them as well. I will ask my patrons to evaluate the site and provide feedback.
In the future the User Experience process will be used to evaluate the overall happiness in the programs offered in the media center. The process allows us to evaluate any program or resource and use the data to make the program or resource a better fit for the users. Our school website needs to be rebuilt and following the User Experience will ensure a school website that is better organized to meet the needs of our staff, students, parents and community members.