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DreamBox Learning A Dashboard for Success in Education

Just as technology has rapidly advanced the healthcare and communications industries, it also is being used to transform education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the majority of classrooms across the U.S. now have computers and Internet access, and investment in educational technology (edtech) is reaching record highs.

One of the most promising applications of edtech is the ability to generate and analyze data, which empowers a deeper understanding of how students learn. By obtaining individual insights and developing a more personalized learning experience for students, teachers can be empowered with the data needed to differentiate instruction for all students, transforming the way students learn math.

This is the mission of DreamBox Learning® Math – its Intelligent Adaptive Learning platform uses formative data embedded within and between lessons to “learn the learner,” offering the just-right lesson for each individual student and motivating him or her to persist using game-based strategies and engaging virtual manipulatives that get students to lean into math.

The platform analyzes 48,000 data points per hour, per student, and the data generated provides teachers, principals, and district administrators, with insights about learning pace, proficiency gaps, and surfaces opportunities to adjust a student’s learning path that never existed before.

Districts and schools in all 50 U.S. states and 11 Canadian provinces have embraced what DreamBox Learning has to offer. DreamBox currently serves nearly 1.5 million active students and more than 75,000 K–8 teachers, and delivers more than 1 million math lessons daily. Yet, to fully utilize the rich and deep data, the company wanted to move beyond spreadsheet reports and deliver easy to interpret, actionable insights that are relevant for each type of user. Recognizing the complexity of the challenge, DreamBox Learning sought a partner whose design and development expertise could help bring their vision of personalized learning to life.

The result is DreamBox Learning Math’s new Insights Dashboard, an intuitive, actionable application that features nearly real-time data visualizations, which allow educators to turn data into insights. With easy-to-read progress reports, a simple and clear information architecture that supports the different needs of different users, and a rich set of instant monitoring and notification tools, the dashboard has been redesigned to help educators better understand and implement insights about student learning. The Insights Dashboard—based on the strategy and conceptual designs below—was unveiled in late September to help teachers and administrators make confident, personalized decisions about how, and when, they connect with students.

“With a human-centered approach to technology at their core and a passion for education technology to match, Artefact was the natural partner for DreamBox Learning.”

Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO, DreamBox Learning

Highlights

Scalable, role-based, context-relevant information that matters

The Insights Dashboard navigation and information displays are scalable and designed to meet the needs of different user personas. Teachers can hone in on individual student performance, while school administrators can compare progress across grades, classrooms, and schools.

Balance between common standards, flexibility, and control

As schools focus on curricula that align to common standards, the Insights Dashboard helps educators view real-time insights to learn when to stay the course or when to modify and differentiate instruction. At a time when funding is often tied to performance, administrators can now quickly identify which schools, or educators, may need additional resources or support and how their student population are tracking to grade level proficiency.

Finding new patterns and timely opportunities to intervene through learning trends

The Insights Dashboard not only highlights individual achievements, but provides an historic overview of learning trends within a classroom, school, or district—giving educators new ways to analyze progress or discover new patterns and dependencies.

Focus on the right student at the right time

Student spotlights elegantly show student proficiency in the context of his or her peers, alerting instructors to opportunities and needs for remediation or additional challenge. The Insights Dashboard is also designed to support activity feeds that could prompt teachers when a student is falling behind or when they’ve mastered a new skill, making one-on-one communication not only simple, but timely and effective.

Process

Understanding

Interviews with subject matter experts and collaboration with the DreamBox design and development team helped us define key user scenarios and identify pain points.

Envisioning

We first envisioned the best-in-class scenario of what the Educator Experience could be three years from now. Glanceability, transparency, and empowered decision-making were the design principles that informed our decisions.

System Design

To make that vision a reality, we created a flexible logic and data platform that not only supports DreamBox’s diverse set of users, but can extend and scale to support the product as it continues to evolve.

Engineering Collaboration

While the DreamBox engineering team focused on building and enhancing the essential APIs of their platform, we brought our in-house design and software development teams together to focus on engineering the user experience, allowing us to implement the design intent and vision that DreamBox Learning embraced.