Always Learning

Developer: Pearson Education
Level of Effort: Moderate
Developer Resources: 1 Developer
Delivery Medium: Web Application
API Platforms Used: LearningStudio APIs, Google APIs

The Challenge

One of the challenges that students taking fully online courses face is the simple notion of knowing the answers to the questions - “What do I need to do now?”, “How do I go about doing what I need to do?” and “What do I need to do next?”. While these questions may seem basic on the surface, not being able to answer them as a student or finding the ways to complete the steps necessary can result in to unnecessary frustration to the student as well as an increase in support needs for both faculty and student support services. What if there was way to display the answers to these questions right within the context of the course content as students are progressing through the course? Wouldn’t it be ideal from a student experience standpoint to not have to track down this disparate information points within their course?


The Solution

To address the desperate nature in which assignment data is spread out within LearningStudio courses, this solution strove to bubble up all of the relevant information to a student when accessing the course content which in turn reduces the total number of clicks to find this information. For illustration purposes - the first user flow diagram below presents the typical flow a student would travel to accumulate the pertinent information for a given course assignment. The second user flow diagram shows the flow a student would take within the aggregated view provided through the solution.

Existing Workflow For Students










Consolidated Workflow When Using Course Toolbox Application










How’d They Do It? 

This solution uses a wide sampling of the LearningStudio API set to generate this aggregated view for use in streamlining the workflow of students. A summary of the “how” including the APIs used is described below:

  1. Content Extensions - In order to generate the customized view presentation within the application - the user, course and content item context needs to first be retrieved. The content extension APIs leverage the session context within LearningStudio in order to retrieve the necessary user ID and course ID values. Content item ID is then retrieved from the LearningStudio content frame using a client side JavaScript widget to parse the value.

  2. Content Item Schedule - As course schedule dates are added/modified by instructors, this API can be leveraged to pull in the associated due date for a given content item. No more need for a student to discover this either under the Course Home area (if available) or buried within a course syllabus.

  3. Manage Grades - The grades API is leveraged to pull back the current numerical grade data that has been assigned by the course instructor for a given student’s assignment. This data point honors any restrictions placed on it by the instructor (i.e. grades not shared to the student will not be viewable here as well).

  4. Course Dropbox - (i) Get Messages in a Dropbox Basket: Leveraging this API set allows for viewing the existing messages within a given student basket as well as provide the mechanism for creating a new message tied to a student dropbox submission and (ii) Message Attachments: This API set allows for pulling back an attachment tied to a given dropbox message as well as supporting the workflow of attaching a new document for submission to a given student basket. 

Screenshots and Details

Single consolidated view within the context of the course content to view the assignment due date, grade data if assigned by the instructor as well as the ability to submit to the course dropbox from within the context of the content item.

Dropbox submission history including comments and access to the source documents all from within the context of the course content. 

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