THE CASE

CHOICE is a digital solution for the course selection and distribution at the design faculty of Munich University for Applied Sciences. It is an uncomlicated, time-saving and stressfree solution for both, students and teachers.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

The current course selection process causes a lot of problems. Online information about the offered courses is often incomplete or missing entirely. The distribution of this information is very short-term, which causes difficulties with planning a balanced schedule of university and work in advance. Main source of information is a presentation event at the faculty, that needs physical attendance. In the following 24 hours the students vote via ballot paper. Those papers have to be evaluated by only one person.

DEFINING THE PROBLEM

Our first step was to get a better understanding of our topic. For that we startet extensive desk-research about the current situation at our faculty as well as at other universities, had a look at already existing solutions and searched for possible solutions in analog fields.

After defining our stakeholder-map we went out in the field to get a better understanding for our users. We gathered a lot of data through interviewing experts for digital solutions, the developer of the current course selection process and of course students and professors.

KEY INSIGHTS

Students don’t feel informed enough, because there is no information constantly available.

Students feel treated unfairly, because there is no transparency in the decision making process.

Students have problems planning their schedule, because information is not announced early enough.

Professors are so busy with work, that they don’t have time to communicate during evaluation.

How might we create a transparent and fair course selection tool with constantly available information and an uncomplicated evaluation which is easy and quick to work and plan with?

IDEATION

During an ideation session at Google in Munich we started generating, developing and communicating ideas for possible solutions. Our guest lecturer Anneke Rietzel guided us through the process.

EVALUATING IDEAS

After gathering a large number of ideas we evaluated them to find the ones that have the highest potential for problem solving:

To give the students a generalized overview over the projects we decided to work on a unified list view and a detail page for each project.

We decided to include a provisional scheduler to our tool. Students can insert customize it and check which projects  fit their everyday life.
more info

Classes you have to take are automatically included in your provisional schedule, but you can still decide to postpone them to another semester. Then you will be reminded as soon as the course is available again.

With our credit point system you collect credit points if you don‘t get your first choice – so next semester your change is higher.
more info

For a computer it‘s way more easy to compare the priorities of all students, their credit points and their schedules. So we decided that an algorithm should take over the decision making process. Also because it doesn‘t have personal preferences.

In our solution we show the course capacity and how many times a project was prioritized already next to each other. 
So students can see how high their chances are to get a place in this course.

PROTOTYPING

To test basic features of our tool we created a simple and rough paper prototype. To test more detailed features we created a digital prototype using Sketch and Principle.

CONTEXT

The project was developed under the guidance of Bettina Köbler (Designit). I worked in collaboration with Melanie Pfnür, Riva Pinto and Sabrina Reischl.

TIME SPAN

October 2017 - January 2018

© Verena Pues 2018
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