When our team set out to create Stepwell, our goal was broad: create a platform that provides visibility into improvement and compliance activities associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to improve education for students with special needs. We quickly realized that any tool that could drive this kind of change would be highly complex.
At the same time, we saw the necessity of creating a platform simple enough that it would actually make things easier and people would feel comfortable using it. We designed Stepwell with the idea that as soon as users get their hands on it, they will see small improvements to their daily work. As users get more familiar with the platform, they can dive deeper into all the features to reach its full potential.
These five phases allow Stepwell users to learn the system at their own pace while they progress to tangible, impactful changes.
1: Learning the interface
Our focus on user experience using techniques such as customer journey mapping has helped us design a site that makes sense to the people who interact with it. Stepwell’s easy-to-use interface gives new users quick access to the tools they work with the most. The dashboard gives a quick look into what tasks need to be done and what deadlines are coming up. Communications can be clearly seen via our notification system. With basic tasks at their fingertips, administrators don’t need to spend time searching through the site to complete their daily tasks.
2: Getting tools and tasks onto one platform
Stepwell’s flexible reporting options allow it to work well with other education software. With the ability to import data from other programs, we allow special educators to keep using tools they find useful for things like IEP generation and managing student data. Education officials can pick and choose which programs work for their situation to integrate with Stepwell. With one integrated platform, all the information for compliance with the IDEA can be seen at once.
3: Taking advantage of data integration
While Stepwell can’t eliminate all the paperwork necessary to ensure compliance with the IDEA, we can make it easier. By keeping track of student data within Stepwell, special education officials can avoid having to enter redundant information for multiple forms. Once Stepwell has the necessary information, it can automatically fill it in on other forms and reports, eliminating the possibility of errors popping up from copying the data incorrectly. Pre-filling forms also improves the security of sensitive data by ensuring the right people have access to it.
4: Using data bytes for improved practice
Once special education officials get used to using Stepwell for the everyday necessities of IDEA compliance, they can start digging into the data bytes to better understand how to improve their district. The powerful performance metrics help create a clear picture of which practices are working, and which can be improved upon. Teachers can stay organized by keeping track of IEPs and other important dates for their students, while administrators can ensure that resources are going to the places that need them the most. With clear, on-demand data, special educators can help students before it even becomes an issue of IDEA compliance.
5: Restructuring workflow
As special education administrators better understand how to improve the education system, they can see how their roles can be enhanced with new practices. They are able to understand which systems can be improved to make the work that people are doing more efficient and direct. These changes won’t be solely for the sake of change, but rather data-driven decisions supported by teamwork within Stepwell. Administrators at all levels can collaborate to identify the best practices that ensure improved education for students with special needs.
This kind of change can’t happen overnight. Improving effectiveness takes a committed effort from all those involved. Through every step in the process, educators can rely on Stepwell to be their personal assistant to streamline the work so they can get their mind off the technicalities of compliance and get back to improving education.