Screenshots of the Athena homepage
Photos from the Athena design sprints
“Students are learning from teachers whose isolation results in teacher stress, insecurity, limited competence, stagnation, and/or ultimately inefficiency.”
In 2015, we’d captured the notion of stagnant growth indirectly, through one clause in the identified problem statement: “give and receive feedback on teaching content.” In 2018, we brought this to the forefront and validated a number of assumptions around community-building features, like topic- and group-based discussions among teachers.
Given available funds, we didn’t shift to executing on these ideas right away, instead tailoring subsequent interviews with teachers to continue honing in on the ideas we had identified during this sprint.
Screenshots from the Athena project
Quote from the partnership on the Athena project
During this engagement the team focused on both a re-platforming and redesign of the front-end and back-end architectures (which served teachers well for five years!), as well as expansion of the feature set to support improved engagement mechanisms.
From discussions on topics and within groups to improved searching and surfacing of relevant content based on user engagement, thoughtbot and Athena focused on these areas of largest opportunity to improve the teacher experience.
Screenshot from the Athena project
Over more than five years of working together across three discrete engagements, tens of teacher interviews, hundreds of small features and improvements, and thousands of lines of code written, we are proud to be responsible for the digital product design and development of a platform empowering teachers that’s grown year over year.