Peep and the Big Wide World: User Experience Study
PEEP and the Big Wide World/El Mundo Divertido de PEEP is a bilingual, NSF- funded public media project that uses animation, live-action videos, games, mobile apps, hands-on science activities to motivate preschool-age children to investigate the world around them. Online, PEEP extends children’s science and math learning with a mobile-friendly website that offers games, videos, and hands-on activities, as well as a collection of 15 apps. PEEP is also reaching children in preschool classrooms and family/home childcare settings via the PEEP Science Curriculum, which provides resources for a year’s worth of science and math investigation. Professional development materials, including videos featuring real educators, model best practices in teaching science and math for both center- based preschool educators and family childcare educators (an important audience for which very few resources have been developed).
WGBH recently completed a total redesign of the PEEP website that was intended to make the site more accessible to Spanish-speakers, more supportive of extended informal science and math exploration, and more functional for users of tablets and mobile devices. As as part of the redesign, WGBH also added new resources to the Educators section of the PEEP website, specifically, the Science Curriculum and professional development materials described above. Concord Evaluation Group (CEG), an independent evaluator, conducted a nationwide user experience study with 10 English-speaking families, 10 Spanish- speaking families, 21 preschool-based educators, and 10 family childcare educators (of which five were Spanish speakers) to gain a deeper understanding of how English- and Spanish-speaking families and preschool educators use the PEEP website and its resources. CEG conducted user interviews with families and educators. In a user interview, participants are observed as they navigate a website. Their mouse movements and verbalizations are recorded. To ensure a national sample, all interviews took place online. Web conferencing software was used to provide the participants remote control of CEG’s computers. This methodology enabled participants to demonstrate exactly how they used the website and which areas they visited most frequently.