SCETV Learning Why Website Design
There are countless places to find curriculum resources online. These span from professionally managed (and expensive) proprietary resources to a plethora of free resources and the wide variety of quality inherent to most free stuff found on the internet. Teachers, however, don’t have time to filter through all these options to figure out what is good and useful. South Carolina ETV came to Taoti with an initiative to build and launch an online curriculum resource center with content that won’t disappear if access to proprietary content is somehow eliminated, yet provides the stability and quality that isn’t found for free online.
The project presented some key questions we had to answer: first, how were we to set this tool apart from other available resources? While maintaining a focus on South Carolina content for South Carolina teachers, how could ETV monetize this effort in other states? We focused our efforts on creating a user experience that works for diverse and busy teachers, and on creating a tool that can grow and evolve its unique focus on Project-Based Learning.
The beta version of the site was only set to focus on 7th grade Social Studies. We built the site that best featured those plans and encouraged continued growth. We included a form for teachers to contribute lesson plans based on an ETV-drafted template so administrators can vet and approve lessons based on district and SDE curricula, and through careful UX we encouraged broad searches to avoid the dreaded “no results found” even in early beta. Finally, using Drupal’s taxonomies and dynamic-content capabilities, we gave teachers bragging rights through featured lessons of the week and submission credit on each lesson plan page.