Many kids find math disconnected from their everyday life. Math word problems intensify this belief because, very often, they are about topics kids do not relate to. In an era of video games and social media in which creativity is a cherised learning outcome, almost all problems a student encounters have been formulated by another person.
In this ongoing project i am trying to explore ways of giving agency to students providing the affordances to create, share, solve and correct their own math homework.
This project is based on different research grounds:
The research phase was completed with teachers and students interviews about their pros and cons concerning homework.
To generate ideas that were relevant to kids I run two participatory design workshops with 10-11 year old kids and after analysing and categoising their creations I came to the following idea:
PoLPs (Possibility Of Learning Places) is a digital space (a community of practice) for kids to learn from each other about math but based on the world around them.
There are two possibilities for people to participate:
POLPS can be graded and ranked.
After some preliminary user tests, I developed a paper prototype on Adobe XD for better understanding of the different possibilities.
Unfortunately, since it is not possible to take a real picture to create a problem, the experience of this prototype was very limited for the users.
In order to provide a better experience of the concept a working prototype was developed on the Ionic framework. This first video fragment shows how a student can create (and automatically share) a visual word problem. There are three tasks involved: (1) login in, (2) taking a picture for the visual problem and (3) adding the word problem and additional graphics to make it clearer to understand.
This second fragment shows the interface for (1) exploring in a map existing problems created by other classmates, (2) selecting and opening a problems solving other classmates’ created problems
This prototype still needs to be tested with real students and teachers. From their feedback new refinements will come. For example, one improvement already suggested by a teacher would be that the app recognizes the picture and offers the possibility to select an existing word problem related to that picture.
Hi, I am an intreaction designer with a background in Computer Science and Visual Communication. Research through design, ethnography design and participatory design are my main methods of working.
I have a passion for designing learning experiences <nd making visible the invisible.