0. Summary of user observations and interviews
- Class of 2018, English Major
- Has about 400 pages a week of reading. At times forgets or is unmotivated to do the reading and tries to cram an entire book in one evening.
- Tackles readings one at a time, makes a list, has a whiteboard of readings she has to do.
- Doesn’t manage to do readings when not planning ahead, has too much reading, or gets tired of readings something for 200 pages
- Writes directly into book while reading. No need for summary at end of reading. May make it difficult for her to review readings right before class, as she has to go through the entire reading again looking for her notes.
- If she could, she would like to spread out her readings more so that there is no time crunch to read at the end
- Usually reads in her room, minimal distractions, quiet environment, but gets distracted by technology such as Netflix or her phone
- Class of 2018, Classical Civilization and Geosciences double-major
- Was reading Art History class paper (on her laptop) in her room when interviewed; on average has a total of about 120 p/w
- Long papers tend to put her to sleep/she doesn’t retain any information from them Pictures/graphics are nice
- Has ADHD and tries not to take medication because it’s mood altering, so it’s hard to stay focused
- Doesn’t take notes unless instructed to by professor
- Doesn’t usually finish readings if they’re more than 20 pages Would like to spread out readings, but in the past has forgotten to finish them when doing that
- Usually reads in the science center (geoscience wing) or her room
- Less distractions in her room, but she likes being around people
- Finds science papers easier to read because they include figures
- Doesn’t like when papers are overly pedantic, “as many humanities papers are”
- Conclusion: I think she would have an easier time with them if she took breaks from reading to write notes/questions/make connections, as it would provide more engagement than looking at a screen and act as a small break from reading, and would help her remember what the reading is about
- Class of 2018, Computer Science Major
- Assignment: Reading (~50 pages) for Japanese Theater
- Occurred at evening/night
- Doesn’t do the entire reading at once, but breaks it up over a few days, it doesn’t take more than 2 days (for Japanese Theater)
- She writes notes in the book about her reactions to certain parts of the reading or summaries in order to keep track of the characters and events. She also writes these notes for her friend that also reads from the same book (for amusement purposes but also for informative purposes)
- Even though the reading is a lot, the reading is enjoyable because it is broken up into sub-stories that are interesting. If these readings were thick and difficult to understand, she would not read all of it Checks her phones at certain times during her reading, but only when she comes to a good breaking point (end of a story)
- Messages back whoever messaged her during the time she was reading, before she returns to reading
Our users are Wellesley College students. This means that they are generally ages 18-22, are stressed, have a lot of work, and are not motivated to do their reading due to time constraints. They have mobile phones and laptops, on which they spend an average of 12 hours according to marketingcharts.com.
Persona 1: Wendy – For the overachieving student; this student really immerses themselves in their coursework and is always on top of readings. Wendy has insightful comments to make in class and can continue a discussion with the professor for the entire class if she so desires. She is incredibly organized and keeps a color-coded list of all of her assignments for the entire semester in a binder she carries with her everywhere she goes. It would be filled out for her entire four years at Wellesley too, if she could only get all of the syllabi for her classes (which she also has planned out).
Persona 2: Taylor - For the underachieving student. This student often procrastinates and suffers from a lack of motivation to finish homework and complete readings. She often forgets there was even assigned reading or homework assignments and frequently finishes these assignments right up to the due date. She is also disorganized and although she sometimes has flashes of inspiration, she usually forgets tasks easily.
Persona 3: Alex – For the medium-achieving student who has a balance of life and academics; Kaylie studies a decent amount, and always tries to do the readings on time, but sometimes they forget to do one or forgets the content of what they read. Having notes from the reading helps them bring up points of discussion in class, but they tend to be quiet in class and probably won’t speak unless forced. Kaylie also really enjoys things outside of class, like video games and watching Netflix, which keep them from always getting everything done.
Task 1 - Critically Analzye Reading
Task 2 - Review Assigned Reading before Class
Task 3 - Getting Motivated to do the Reading