MA Project GDE750 20/21

MA Project Week 7: Idea generation, preliminary and developmental work, iterative design solutions

Designing of the questionnaire using pictograms

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I would like to ask the following questions to my target audience:

I have tried to use pictograms and fun emojis so that the newcomers can just tick the emotion or activity that they like. I have used 4 simple questions and have written the questions in the main languages spoken by the refugees and migrants here in Bordeaux. It is a very basic concept but it is one that I hope is more likely to bring me responses as appose to questions with written multiple choice questions.

I tried to make the questionnaire as basic as possible just so that I can collect some basic information about whether or not my platform will be helpful for the newcomers entering the school and what kind of abilities they have with computers as well as getting an idea of their emotional state of mind. I have now sent these questions off to Cécile Prévost, who is the contact that Isabelle Rigoni sent me. Cécile Prévost works with newcomer children to help them prepare for school by learning French and getting up to the correct academic level so that they do not get left behind. I have asked her to hand out these questionnaires in paper form so that I can have some responses from my target audience. I may have to wait a while for the results but I have plenty to be getting on with, in the meantime. 

Asking the French children the questionnaire 

I am afraid that I had some difficulty finding a group of French children between 11 to 16 years old, who were willing to answer my questionnaire. So I have managed to interview a boy of 11 that I know is directly involved with helping integrate the non French speaking newcomers in his school. For identity protection, I decided with his mother (my friend Jéhanne) that we would use a different name for him, so for the interview, I will call him James. Here are a few questions that I asked James, and his responses: 

How confident are you using a computer? 

I am very confident using a computer, I use my mothers telephone all the time, I have lessons on a computer at school and my dad has a computer at home that he lets me play games on sometimes at the weekends. I like to play games and I like to take photos on my mothers phone. 

How would you welcome a new person into the school?

I would say hello and make sure the person knew where they were going at lunchtime. I would help them to make friends and get to know people. Sometimes it is difficult because some newcomers do not speak French so we have to use our hands to communicate but we can play sport together and sometimes my mother invites they to have dinner with us after school. 

What does your school currently do to help welcome newcomers?

There are a group of parents including my mother, who meet once a week to try and arrange how they will support the children and families in our school that do not have a house, food or clothing. My mother arranges events with her friends where people in the school give their old clothes to them or food that they don’t need. My school does not have any way of supporting the children in this situation. 

Jéhanne representing the administrators

Although my friend Jéhanne does not officially work for James’s school, she is an active member of running events and activities to try and help support the refugees and migrant children and their families who go to James school. She is the perfect example of someone who could be a program leader, managing the administrative section of the platform. For this reason, I decided to ask her a few questions about what she would require from the platform:

Do you feel comfortable and confident using computers?

I am confident with using computers and I have no problem learning new softwares. Before I opened my clothing boutique in Bordeaux I was an engineer and I am good at understanding how things work. You should bear in mind that this will not be the case for everyone. Many of my friends and other parents in the parents association at school are not so good with learning new things and might find it difficult. I know many of James teachers, especially the older generation, would find it difficult to get to grips with a new software. If you can make it in the same format as something like Facebook, where you simply log in and plug in the data that you need to to make a profile. Just make the steps really clear and smooth.

Do you have any other concerns with managing a platform like my Réuni concept?

I would be concerned that the children personal data would not be protected. I think you need to make sure that you have a good security system in place to make sure that it is 400% safe for children to put their names and personal information.

What do you think about using fun cartoon avatars so that the children profiles do not have any actual photos for their profile pictures?

If you are going to have pictures, using avatars is the only option, you cannot put any kind of photo of the children online.

What are the main qualities you would expect the administrative side of the platform should have?

Simple, clear, easy to use for all ages. Do not put any extra information that we do not need to see and do not lay things out in a fancy way. We just want things to be clear, like an Excel spreadsheet.

Do you have any other comments or advice?

I would make it so the program can only be used on school grounds and on school computers, this way you will be able to control the usage a bit more. It should be something used just in school hours. For example, the computer must be connected to the school VPN in order to sign in to the platform. Another thing that you should think about is the fact that the school internet is not always high speed. You need to make sure that you do not overload the platform with graphics that will not be able to be supported at school. Keep it crisp and simple.