M-Write is a peer review platform for large classrooms that helps students learn new material by responding to writing prompts.

screenshot of m-write tools on desktop and mobile

The Problem

Instructors know that students learn more when they can engage with content and write about it. They learn even more when they read what their peers have written and give each other feedback. But instructors in large courses don’t have the capacity to assign and review writing prompts from hundreds of students throughout the term. M-Write is an automated peer review platform for creating, assigning, distributing, and tracking writing prompts in large courses like Statistics, Chemistry, and Economics.

My Role

As the UX lead on this project, I was responsible for gathering requirements for the tool from the customer, designing the interface, and testing it with student and faculty users across campus. I only had two weeks to design the UI so the platform could roll out in time for the Fall ’16 semester. Over 600 students used M-Write in the first term and we’re proud to continue receiving great feedback from campus.

picture of a whiteboard mockup

My Process

I started by meeting with the customers: a group of researchers who are interested in using natural language processing to analyze the way students critique each other’s work. I needed to figure out the scope of functionality and which pieces were absolutely crucial for a minimally viable product to ship a few weeks later. Then I started sketching out solutions and working closely with the lead developer to make sure everything I had in mind was feasible. I decided on an initial design and tested it with my department’s student interns.

Once the product had been in the wild for a few weeks, I brought in new users and asked them about their experience. We ran some small usability tests, prioritized the feedback, and presented it to the project stakeholders. Soon we’ll start the second round of interface improvements and new feature development.

pencil sketches of the m-write interface a whiteboard sketch of the m-write interface a high fidelity mockup of the mwrite interface a screenshot of the student dashboard interface in mwrite