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Work / IBM Teacher Advisor

Created A Market Validated Watson-Championed Application In The Education World.

Watson creator IBM worked with contracting teams in 2015 and 2016 to create and test early concepts in the Watson Education Division here in Austin, TX. SeaLab was approached to help with a project called "Teacher Advisor" along with a small team. This concept existed solely on paper at the time, it was our job to create a platform centered around Watson's capabilities and gain traction with our end users over the course of 12 months.
  • User Research
  • Content Strategy
  • Information Architecture
  • User Experience Design
  • User Interface Design
three overlapping screenshots of the final IBM Teacher Advisor interface with a primarily purple interface andc call to action

Problem #1

How to create an application for teachers that provides market validation for the idea itself while also being flexible enough to grow and expand as both content and Watson capabilities grow in parallel?

Problem #2

How to create a helpful application for teachers while also weaving IBM's Watson and his artificial intelligence capabilities into a core part of the experience?

Crafted an application that continuously evolved and grew over time, based on teacher and stakeholder feedback as well as technological limitations and requirements.

A project with a "technology-first" approach, we had a unique challenge of not only identifying our target audience's pain points and how best to solve them with Teacher Advisor, but also how we could use Watson to champion the experience.
two overlapping screenshots of the first teacher advisor interface with lesson planning and lesson parts visible

Successfully generated enough interest in Teacher Advisor during our MVP project - enough to be announced on a global stage.

Watson Education division had several projects they were building out in parallel, and Teacher Advisor was the only one that generated enough interest and accomplished its goal of continuously gaining traction and momentum as it grew from MVP onward (the remaining projects were shelved until a later date). It was successful enough to be introduced by Ginni Romettey (IBM CEO) at the IBM Think 2017, where the world was first gicen a sneak peak into our not-so-little-anymore project
three drawings of different characters defining the coach personality of watson for teacher advisor
early wireframes for Teacher Advisor with Watson depicting the lesson selection part of TA
early wireframe for IBM Teacher Advisor on the domain 3.oA domain for lesson planning
colorful depiction of Teacher Advisor's content model lesson planning including definitions of standard, cluster, domain and the types of activities and worksheets for each

Created an intuitive and neutral interface that successfully empowered teachers.

As ongoing testing showed, teachers' understanding and ability to use Teacher Advisor continued to grow and expand over time as we added more and more content and continued to iterate on the experience based on feedback and testing. We were able to continuously improve by giving ourselves concrete milestones and touchpoints with our end users (teachers) to keep us on track and moving towards our goal.
three screenshots of third mockup round for teacher advisor depicting common core lesson planning with watson front and center

Teacher Advisor continues to grow today! Watson has a new job!

Teacher Advisor has been considered a success and has been taken fully in-house by IBM as of fall 2016. While originally focused on 3rd Grade Mathematics, Teacher Advisor has now grown to include Kindergarten - 5th Grade Mathematics as well as Language Arts for the Core Curriculum.
final home page of teacher advisor with watson - watson is a main search element with recent searches, recently viewed standards and lessons

"Teacher Advisor is a fast, easy way for teachers to find high-quality, standards-based plans, activities, and tasks that will create authentic, engaging learning opportunities adaptable for all learners in their classroom."

Caleigh, 3rd Grade Teacher, Gloucester County, New Jersey

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