Understanding how school pupils learn and revise at home
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.