Designing an Online Curriculum System for Educators
To facilitate the adoption of Common Core standards, a team of educators and experts sought to build a national movement to increase education equity by providing free, high-quality, standards-aligned education resources that help teachers and students meet higher standards. They asked Constructive to help launch the organization and its website—a bold initiative funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bloomberg Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, IBM, and others.
Our mission is to empower educators and disrupt the status quo.
We hit the ground running to create a new brand from whole cloth. First came interviews, market research, and workshops to surface strategic insights. We then distilled our findings into strategic positioning that placed the brand at the intersection of the education reform and social justice movements, reflecting the team’s disruptive approach to helping teachers close the achievement gap. From here, we a crafted a messaging platform that articulates mission, values, and strategy—creating a handbook that helps staff and partners live the brand’s values and express it with clarity and conviction.
Are there any good brand names left in the education space?!
If there’s one thing we learned during the naming process, it’s thatin the K-12 education space, just about every good idea seems dangerously close to an existing brand! After an exhaustive process to create a disruptive brand with a mission to free educators from the burdens of expensive resources and empower them to focus on what they love to do, UnboundEd was born! Visual identity combines classic “schoolbook” serif type and a modern-era sans-serif, a vibrant color system, and iconography that communicates UnboundEd’s position as a new kind of organization that stands strong with teachers—and for equality in education.
Feature the brand, but focus on the education resources.
To achieve its goals online, a brand presence was only a small part of the story, UnboundEd needed to provide teachers and school leaders with easy access to their growing library of free, standards-aligned education resources and training material. Through an Agile UX design process, we collaborated with UnboundEd’s team and their technology partner, Learning Tapestry, to create a structured experience that introduces audiences to UnboundEd’s history, mission, and methods while providing educators with easy access to UnboundEd’s content and professional development institutes.
Let's make sure the experience feels inviting and incredibly helpful.
Visual and interaction design for UnboundEd.org extends the brand’s identity design system, both to create an emotional connection with the brand, and to provide visual cues that strengthen site usability. A vibrant color palette and photography speaks to the K-12 teaching experience, and visually structures content by subject matter and grade level. UnboundEd’s type system then provides strong typographic hierarchies make it easy to scan pages and read the website’s long-form content.
How can we make such an enormous curriculum easy-to-use?
Teaching to the Common Core can be overwhelming for teachers. UnboundEd helps solve this problem with the most comprehensive online curriculum of sequenced, standards-aligned open education resources in America. To create it, we first conducted extensive interviews and testing with educators to understand their primary frustrations in teaching to the standards. Through rounds of Agile prototyping, we then designed a modular way-finding system that is the backbone of UnboundEd’s online curriculum. The result makes over 5,000 sequenced K-12 ELA and math lessons, modules, units, primary sources, and texts easy to access—adding audio and video training that makes them easier to implement in the classroom.
UnboundEd improves educational opportunities for all students by empowering teachers and improving education equity through open access to the largest online curriculum of free, high-quality, standards-aligned resources in America.
We need to make it clear that we also help teach the teachers!
To complement their online curriculum, UnboundEd helps teachers raise their own performance by conducting professional development training across America. We created a separate, dedicated website for their Standards Institute, an immersive five-day professional development experience designed to build, improve, and sustain equitable instructional excellence. The website gives educators everything they need to know about how UnboundEd helps them achieve at the intersection of standards, content, curriculum, and the equitable instructional practices that are essential for closing the opportunity gap caused by systemic bias and racism.
How can we make sure teachers know about us in time?
With the school year fast approaching, UnboundEd wanted to launch a digital marketing campaign to generate excitement in the education community over the summer and make sure that teachers busy prepping their curriculum knew about UnboundEd’s free resources. We created a campaign of bold, clean, illustrated social media ads that stand out in the din social media with values-aligned hashtags—raising brand awareness, engaging audiences on Facebook and Twitter, and directing educators to UnboundEd’s website.
Our Client's Experience
“When UnboundEd partnered with Constructive, we had a strong vision and a passionate team committed to providing standards-aligned materials and learning for teachers and school leaders. But we didn’t have a brand, a website, or even a name. Constructive dove in to solve these challenges with palpable enthusiasm for our mission. With great expertise, they helped us name our organization, develop a brand, and build a digital presence that lets us reach educators across the country to provide them with the resources and support they need to serve all students.”