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Introducing the New Teacher Dashboard

We are excited to announce that a new feature has been released on www.siyavula.com - the Teacher Dashboard. This will substantially improve the ease with which teachers can access all class-related functionality.

By Mark Horner
on June 22 2019
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Teacher Dashboard Code
Teacher Dashboard Code

A new feature has been released: The Teacher Dashboard


We are excited to announce that a new feature has been released on www.siyavula.com - the Teacher Dashboard. This will substantially improve the ease with which teachers can access all class-related functionality. The new Teacher Dashboard features:

  • School Summary
  • Class Activity Summary
  • Direct links for each class to:
    • Practice Dashboard
    • Assignment Report
    • Summary Report
    • Leaderboards
    • Access Codes
    • Settings

This substantially reduces unnecessary navigation to find reports and unnecessary waiting for the Practice Dashboard to load.

BUT - there is always a but - it looks different so if you’re a teacher that has been with us for a few years, while this is objectively a significant improvement in terms of flow and navigation, it will take you by surprise. At first you might not know immediately where to find some of the information you’re used to using unless you quickly read the rest of this post.

This post is primarily for teachers that have been using our system for years to reorient themselves quickly in terms of navigation and flow.

Practice Dashboard vs Teacher Dashboard

Point 1: The old “Teacher Dashboard” will henceforth be called the “Practice Dashboard”

Point 2: Settings and administrative functionality was lumped in to the Practice Dashboard.

In the past, i.e. last week, we had a button for the Teacher Dashboard on the Teacher Home that looked like this:

Teacher Home

This button, or the menu item entitled “Teacher Dashboard” used to take you to a page that looks something like this:

Old Practice Dashboard

This page is not actually a Teacher Dashboard, this page is actually a dashboard for a specific class featuring the learners’ work on Siyavula Practice. Therefore, we have renamed this page the Practice Dashboard.

It is a dashboard because it shows the current status and allows filtering and interaction with the data. In some instances we generated reports which do not give the user options to filter and adjust the contents.

We also started to load this page with settings and administration functionality. It was the way to find the access codes for a class and to get to resetting passwords or renaming a class.

Report Navigation Complexity

Point 3: We have the Assignment Report, Summary Report and Practice Dashboard for each class and teachers should be able to get directly to whichever one of those they want.

In the past, i.e. last week, you could very quickly get to the Practice Dashboard for one of your classes - your default class - by just clicking on the Teacher Dashboard card or the menu link. The page is a dashboard so it is always a bit slow to load because it is compiling a report of the latest data up until that very second.

If, however, you were interested in any other class, you would need to go to the Practice Dashboard for your default class and then select another class and wait for that to load.

Worse, if you wanted to access the assignment report or the summary practice report (both via links on the Practice Dashboard) for one of your classes (Class B) other than the default class (Class A), you would need to:

  1. load the Practice Dashboard for Class A,
  2. then select to change to Class B,
  3. wait for the full report for Class B to load, and
  4. then scroll down the page and click on the link to the report of interest.

While we want teachers to spend a lot of time on our site, it shouldn’t be because of navigation challenges but rather that they find the site useful and because we’re adding value to their lives.

Activity Summary

Point 4: There are teachers that have hacked, tweaked and wrangled their own ways to get an overall summary of activity.

In our meetings with teachers we’ve found some very clever tricks and strategies to find out just how active learners are in general - something that has taken quite a lot of effort in many instances.

Leaderboard Reports

Point 5: There is no quick way to get to get to a leaderboard for a specific class.

In the past, accessing the Leaderboard for a specific class also requires navigation first to an options page where you need to select certain criteria and classes. This will continue to exist as it gives a teacher flexibility but if you quickly want a report for a specific class it is slow and frustrating.

Leaderboard Options Page

Our Solution: Introducing a Real Teacher Dashboard

We have introduced a true Teacher Dashboard. This new navigation structure and summary information resolves all 5 of the notes I have highlighted above and will make it much simpler and faster to get directly to the information a teacher needs for a specific class.

The new Teacher Dashboard features:

  • School Summary
  • Class Activity Summary
  • Direct links for each class to:
    • Practice Dashboard
    • Assignment Report
    • Summary Report
    • Leaderboard
    • Access Codes
    • Settings

This substantially reduces unnecessary navigation to find reports and unnecessary waiting for the Practice Dashboard to load.

School Summary

For any teacher we show an anonymous summary of the overall activity of all learners on our system that are linked to school. Now any teacher at the school has an instant snapshot that answers the questions:

  • How many learners in each grade are associated with the school?
  • What percentage of the learners in each grade were active today, in the last week, and in the last month?
  • What is the average number of questions completed year-to-date by the learners in the grade?

This will show up even if the teacher isn’t linked to any specific classes at the school.

Teacher Dashboard School Summary

Class Summary and Links

If a teacher is linked to classes at the school then they will see additional summary information for each class but, even more than that, they will additionally see a summary for any class they are linked to at other schools as well. This does happen for some of the school groups we work with and other organisations.

For each class there are the direct links below the summary to these class-specific pages:

  • Practice Dashboard - the old “Teacher Dashboard” that existing teachers are most familiar with.
  • Assignment Report - the assignment report for the class in question which has also been updated recently.
  • Summary Report - the summary report for the class in question for the year to date.
  • Leaderboard - the class leaderboard.
  • Access Codes - the list of access codes for the specific class.
  • Settings - the page for adjusting the class name, resetting learner passwords and any other details a teacher can edit.

Complete Teacher Dashboard

We hope that these updates will help save teachers valuable time while helping to provide a better overview of their learners and classes and allow them to use the Siyavula services more effectively.



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