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Understanding how school pupils learn and revise at home

Since their launch, the BBC Bitesize websites have led the way in the provision of online homework and revision support for school pupils. 12 years on, in an increasingly crowded market, the BBC wanted to find out more about how primary and secondary pupils learn at home and the web spaces they inhabit. The findings would inform a major redesign of the Bitesize offering.

Up close, UK-wide

In order to fully understand the social, technical and pedagogical factors at play here, we employed a combination of research methods. We interviewed primary school pupils, along with their parents, in their own homes and spent time observing their natural use of websites and shadowing them while they did their schoolwork. With secondary school pupils we combined home visits and shadowing with depth phone interviews and diary studies. A total of 44 children were interviewed across 8 UK locations.


The research provided many rich insights into children’s online habits and learning preferences, including the growing ‘internet-saviness’ of young children, the huge influence of games and the changing role of the internet and social media in supporting secondary pupils’ learning at home. We created 8 visually-led personas for the design team, reflecting the different learning needs, habits and styles of the children we met, including those from the ‘underserved’ audience which the BBC was particularly interested in finding new ways of reaching.


Living Personas
Natural Usability

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