Education

Pearson & UserTesting

How Pearson K-12 Virtual Schools adapted their learning platform to better serve an influx of new teachers and learners
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Industry: Education
Company Size: Enterprise
Role: Designer, Marketer
Customer Type: B2C

About Pearson

Pearson is the world's leading learning company with 24,000 employees across 70 countries. The organization combines world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalized learning.

Illumi 2020 award logo

Pearson achieved

43%
Increase in enrollments for the 2020-21 school year
A sharp, engaging platform for instructors and students
Improved engagement between students and instructors

Challenge

Pearson has more than 20 years of experience educating students virtually, from pre-K to higher education. But the global pandemic generated a 43% increase in 2020-2021 enrollments, meaning not just a massive increase in new students, but also a corresponding requirement for new teachers in their system.

With this influx of new instructors and learners, the business leaders at Pearson K-12 Virtual Schools (Pearson) resolved to optimize their learning experience for everyone, with UserTesting as a key solution employed to achieve that goal.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Pearson launched a new calendar platform for students and instructors. UserTesting contributors flagged for Pearson that the calendar’s intricately detailed to-do lists may frustrate students and overwhelm instructors—many of whom were new to their jobs. Could the complicated schedules and lesson plans discourage students, particularly if they were new to remote learning?

Solution

As a result of the feedback collected from UserTesting, Pearson simplified the user interface when they launched the new platform, initially hiding the minute details in the lesson plans. Students could easily expand and collapse their schedules as needed. The satisfaction of parents and new teachers increased. 

Another new aspect that Pearson launched soon after the pandemic began was pre-recorded videos of students teaching lessons to their peers. Pearson engaged with some of their current teachers and students, as well as members of the UserTesting Contributor Network. Contributors helped Pearson understand how to make these videos more concise, and to explain the social and emotional impact of those lessons to students, who were still adapting to a post-classroom scenario.

Outcome

Pearson’s new platform looked sharper and more engaging. Teachers could easily customize their instructions for students, and students immediately recognized the notes from their instructors. 

Going forward, Pearson will continue working with UserTesting to improve the remote learning platform that students and teachers love. With the increased interest in their award-winning services, the best is yet to come.

Matthew Cummings
Director of UX Design, Pearson Online Education
"UserTesting is the preferred go-to solution for our Design Team, as it's a great way to look for leading indicators before investing too much in an approach."