Tutor Management System for Admins

Keeping track of tutor status and work all in one place


DURATION About 3.5 weeks

CONTRIBUTION Individual Contributor

๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ”ง Context and Background

Meraki relies on volunteer tutors who take classes for the Python and Spoken English learning tracks on Meraki. There had been a rudimentary system to monitor the tutors who joined Meraki but the process has been largely manual. From getting the tutors, onboarding them and monitoring the data, it has been a tremendous manual exercise.

๐Ÿฅ… Goals

To remove all the manual processes involved in tutor management that could free up admins time.
Goal 1

Get all the relevant information in a central location eliminating the need to maintain different sources of information like Google forms, sheets, docs etc.
Goal 2

๐Ÿค  Impact

Need to wait for impact as the project is in development phase. I have an idea of what impact can be seen through results from the usability testing (described later).

๐Ÿ”ฌ Planning and User Research

The first request came from the Operations team and composed of the following:

  • Operations team is having a hard time dealing with the manual work involved in recruiting and managing the tutors.
  • There is a data table of tutors for the admins (Operations team members) but it needs manual update of data and is mostly useless.

The current data table looked like this


It was only an online data table in name. The admins had tutor data in excel sheets which were provided to developers to update the table every month. How cumbersome is that? Plus, there is no management of tutors possible, whatsoever here.

Anyhow, I needed to dig deeper into the problem points.

Method of Choice and Recruiting Participants

The Operations team is small. Two of its members were involved in managing our tutors. I went for user interviews in this case. The plan was also to have them to showcase how they did their work. Since, their work is done almost online, it served to be an observational study in context.

Recruitment: It was very easy. I scheduled the calls directly through Slack as they are my co-workers. The number of participants seems small at 2 but in this case, these two people were the target audience who would be using the tool. So, I think the usual standard of having multiple participants wouldn't apply here.

Interview channel: Over Google Meets

Interview Format & Insights

I conducted semi-structured interviews. The below questions were used for initiating the talk and then probing further as the answers came along.

  • Can you please describe the process of recruiting and updating the tutor data to the online dashboard at present?
  • Can you please describe the last time how you onboarded a tutor to Meraki?
  • Taking example of one or several recent tutors, can you please explain how you manage the status of each tutor as in new, active, inactive and so on?
  • What do you do with the past data of tutors?

Raw highlights from the interviews with the admins:

We recruit tutors by publicizing a Google forms. The resulting campaigns give us a long list of people to work with.

We contact the tutors and if the interest match is there, we match them to a batch of students.

We share the data of onboarded tutors to the dev team for updating the data table.

All management of tutors like regularity in taking classes or getting informed of their status is done and maintained manually over calls and messages and updated in excel sheets.

Too much time is wasted in shuffling through various sources of information and thinking about what next to do in relation to tutors.

In the event of needing tutor data reports for the past months, we have to approach the dev team to generate it for us.

Actionable insights with decisions:

I was now sure that the admins need a central data location of all tutors with their teaching details and contact information so it's easy to connect with them from one place rather than shuffling through different files.

There was a need to design a system of assigning statuses to the tutors.

To further reduce the manual work and interaction with devs, a report generation system was needed that could also adapt to any filters or search applied to the data table.

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“ Site Map

Based on the insights and what needed to be done, the sitemap resulted in this:

โœจ Task Flows Overview

Four task flows were identified based on the most important tasks that our admins perform and would be happy if those tasks are performed well:

  • Task Flow 1: Contacting tutors after registration to take the process forward.
  • Task Flow 2: Status management - automated and manual by admins.
  • Task Flow 3: Searching and filtering of tutors based on different parameters.
  • Task Flow 4: Generating reports i.e. downloading the data as excel sheets for external use.
Task Flow 1: Contacting tutors after registration to take the process forward
Task Flow 2: Status management - automated and manual by admins
Task Flow 3: Searching and filtering of tutors based on different parameters
Task Flow 4: Generating reports i.e. downloading the data as excel sheets for external use
โฒ๏ธ Usability Testing of Taskflows

I created a prototype of all these taskflows which was tested with the two admins from the Operations team. Sessions were held over Google Meets and I asked them share the screen in order to observe what they do and think out loud. I also asked them to describe their experience doing the tasks post the test. Some of the insights from the sessions were:

  • Both admins were very happy to visualize the status of the tutors and having the ability to change it at will if necessary.
  • They mentioned all the new ways of doing the taskflows will considerably reduce the numerous files they have to maintain, the time and effort spent and also errors made in the process.
  • One admin mentioned that they would also want to monitor all the classes taken by a tutor in some form of individual information board of that tutor.
โญ๏ธ Next Steps and Recommendations

To work on adding a detailed information screen that could help admins monitor all classes from the past batches of the tutor.

Figure out a way to show actionable insights to the admins. For eg., if a tutor misses at least two classes in a row, admin gets an insight and option to connect with the tutor.

๐Ÿ’ก Reflections
What went well:
  • It was a different experience for me as this was an internal tool project. Number of users were only two. But, they helped me throughout the process in what we can call collaborative design.
  • Not many iterations were needed because the problem points were clear and well articulated by the admins. Likely because they were used to dealing with the problems for a long time until we could have the bandwidth to pick this project.
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