Scholantis Parent Portal

  1. Overview

Project:

Scholantis Parent Portal

 

The Challenge:

Create a portal for parents that is separate from the staff portal, but connected to their child’s portfolio so they can monitor progress and interact with teachers from home.

 

Outcome: A parent portal that connects the parents/guardians with their child(ren) in a secure environment. 

 

Role: Product/UX Designer

 

Scholantis uses a customized SharePoint product to provide websites and portals to schools and school districts across Canada. Scholantis is constantly improving it’s product with feedback from teachers and staff across all districts, and the parent portal was a widely anticipated project, due to the BC government adding a requirement for an online portfolio in order for all students to graduate. 

 

Parents needed to be able to:

  1. View and make comments on their child’s online portfolio
  2. Follow their child’s progress through each grade
  3. Connect with their child’s teacher for homework and portfolio updates
  4. Sign in with unique credentials

 

Teachers needed to be able to:

  1. Invite all or select parents from the class contact list
  2. Check whether parents have signed in (verification)
  3. Disable all or select individuals from accessing the parent portal
  1. Research

I consulted with the product team and various district members constantly over the few weeks of working on this project, to make sure I understood exactly what the parents and teachers needed, what they would like to have, and what was asked for but ultimately deemed unnecessary.

 

We used card sorting to gather information and organize it, and then I began my work on the portal interface.

 

First, I had to get acquainted with the back-end of SharePoint, which isn’t a place I was used to working. Before joining the product team, I only designed the front-end portions of websites, not the portals.

 

After making myself more familiar with how SharePoint worked, I took screenshots of the current school class management area, and started revamping the workspace in Photoshop.

 

*Due to sensitive information and Scholantis’ proprietary product I cannot show all the back-end components, but they were generous enough to let me take some of my design screenshots using the test environment.

 

Unfortunately, I never had quite enough time to dedicate to an entire overhaul of the product design system, so the base styles had to be used. There are quite a few UI elements that I would have loved to redo, but we were more focused on having a product that works as expected, and potentially adding styling later on.

  • Teacher Portal

Following the base design of the staff portal, I added a tab for “Parent Authentication” that appears under each class. Teachers of that class can go here to upload a contact list for parents of each student in that particular class. 

 

It lists the parent’s name, relation to student, and email. It also shows the status of the email invitation: 

  • Verified (parent has logged in to the parent portal)
  • Verification Pending (email has been sent, but parent hasn’t logged in)
  • Not Invited (no email invitation has been sent)
  • Invitation Expired (first time logins use a generated code that expires after 7 days)
  • Email Invitation

The emails received by the parents needed to be simple, parents only want to quickly scan emails from their district so it needed to have large text that clearly stated what it was, a button link directly to the parent portal login page, a secondary fallback link in case the button failed for some reason, and an unsubscribe as per the anti-spam legislation.

  • Parent Portal

Once parents are safely logged in, they will be able to request notifications whenever their child makes a portfolio post, or whenever the teacher makes a comment on the portfolio. They can also view the portfolio themselves, and see the class pages their child is enrolled in.