Understanding your users

Monitoring the situation

Understanding the needs of your users is an ongoing task. As situations change, so do the needs of your users.

To make sure that your response is appropriate, there are three things you need to monitor during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • User experience
  • The changing situation
  • The side effects of school closures

User experience

You need to keep collecting information all the time to find out how well your programme is working. This will help you identify problems, and things that need to improve or change.

If you are delivering an online solution, you need to look at the data – not just how many people log-in, but what they do once they do.

To find out how well TV and radio interventions are working, you will need to have regular contact with teachers, students and parents.

The changing situation

To take a simple example, if you have created an effective programme of remote learning using radio, you need to know if an important radio transmitter stops working.

If a teaching union changes their working patterns, if parents return to work before their children return to school, or if the government policy allows some groups to return to school but not others – all these things and more could affect your programme.

The side effects of school closures

Closing schools doesn’t only affect children’s education, it affects their health and social lives too. These effects need to be considered when you plan your remote learning programme.

For example, this World Food Programme map shows how COVID-19 has disrupted school feeding programmes across the world, putting children at risk of hunger or starvation.

Students may also be at risk of domestic abuse or being forced to work. Rates of truancy and teenage pregnancy may rise, as will mental health problems. Depending upon the culture, girls, women or boys might be less encouraged to engage with education at home.

All these things need to be understood so that you can take account of the difficult and changing circumstances of your users.

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