The Mastery Transcript ConsortiumTM (MTC), a growing network of almost 300 high schools, formed around the audacious vision to reinvent the high-school transcript. MTC turned to Intentional Futures for help. Over more than two years, we partnered with MTC to conduct stakeholder research, create journey maps, design visuals, and prototype tools. Finally, we moved beyond prototyping to build the first version of the transcript system, producing the official mastery transcripts for MTC’s first cohort of graduates.
Today, regardless of the depth and breadth of a student’s experiences in high school, their final transcript inevitably reduces them to a single grade-point average (GPA). Students are trained to prioritize preserving their grade over the pursuit of authentic learning. And even as many colleges feed the system by over-indexing on GPA and class rank, they acknowledge that seemingly identical GPAs can mean very different things depending on the issuing school.
MTC leaders believed that creating a new kind of transcript--one that hundreds, if not thousands, of schools across the country could get behind--would fundamentally change the game. This transcript would have to take the bold step of removing the GPA and providing a concise, meaningful picture of the specific skills a student had mastered during their high-school career.
Our work with MTC began by creating a technical journey map to guide product decisions. We then iterated through wireframe sketches and created more polished transcript designs, drawing on feedback from both MTC schools and admissions officers.
To test the designs more thoroughly, we recruited a school to help us create a set of authentic transcripts, filled with real data and actual student evidence. That led to a functional prototype that allowed users to interact with every component of the transcript. We used this prototype to stress-test our decisions with admissions officers, iterating even further on concepts until landing on the final transcript designs.
With designs in hand, we began development in earnest, building two integrated applications: one for schools to enter and manage their transcript information, and one in which users could view a student’s official mastery transcript.