Now that we think about it, we have changed a lot of the programs on both the BWT and SABT. The user testing sessions and interviews with the teachers at Mathru have really helped with this. We have now implemented many changes that were suggested by the teachers and students in previous user testing sessions. While those sessions were incredibly helpful, they were in a controlled environment. We sat our participants down in a room, turned on our video camera which was already setup in the corner of the room, positioned ourselves such that we would block the recording, and went through the tasks that we had planned out for them. Okay, perhaps it was not as mechanical as this, but for the most part, nothing unexpected happened. This week, we started to put the updated SABTs to the test in Mathru’s primary classrooms, to see how they would fare with the setting that they were designed to work in.
In some ways, we did get even better results since the students did not have to navigate the menu by themselves. The teachers would get them started on one of the teaching modes (Letter Practice most of the time) and they (the students) then managed to work on it autonomously. When they did ask for help, it was usually due to some small flaws in the UI, which were easy fixes for us (they must have wondered how the SABT programs were changing in the breaks between their classes).
The main problem that we faced, though, was the fact that we just didn’t have enough devices for all the students. This meant that the kids would either sit idle, waiting for their turn on the device , or, as Poornima pointed out in her blog post (a Tech team perspective on the in-context SABT testing), they would walk over and “help” a student who was using the device at that time.
In spite of this, it felt great to see our devices being used in the classroom, with the students and teachers warming up to them. Keep reading for our final blog posts next week.