A high-touch, high-tech Grade 1-6 financial literacy platform in a box.

For
University of Cincinnati Economics Center

$martPath

Sectors Served

Financial Literacy
Education
Youth

Challenge

Financial literacy is seldom taught systematically in elementary school. In Ohio, for example, financial literacy is a strand of Ohio Common Core, but teachers are not equipped with effective tools to teach it. What’s more, access to technology in the classroom is inconsistent, and available solutions can’t meet the needs of all teachers and schools. Yet we all recognize how important it is that our children are financially capable as young as possible.

Solution

We used insights gained through comprehensive user research and partnered with award winning instructional designers to develop a financial literacy curriculum mapped to the Ohio Common Core Standards for grades 1-6.

We then designed and built a full-featured web-based management and assessment platform for this curriculum. Now, any teacher can lead interactive lessons that include 25 interactive games, over 2 hours of animation, and 20+ supplemental worksheets.

What We Did

Instructional Design
Software Design
Data Architecture
Software Development
Product Management

Results

A CauseLabs team and partners delivered $martPath, a free web-based interactive curriculum experience currently being piloted in grades 1-6 classrooms throughout Ohio in the 2015-2016 school year. The pilot will measure how effective the platform is in achieving the desired learning outcomes for students. Yet already, other states are interested in $martPath and how it might be used to teach financial literacy to their students. They love how it empowers teachers, engages students, provides on-demand implementation with no exhaustive training required.

Innovation fueled by Research and Workshops

Karrakins Group, creator of an award-winning financial literacy platform in Australia, approached CauseLabs as a strategy and technology partner to adapt their approach for students and teachers in the United States, in partnership with the University of Cincinnati Economics Center.

Understanding that technology is only as good as the problems it solves, we first set out to understand the problems teachers were facing in Ohio, as well as what technology was available in schools to support a sustainable, scalable approach to those problems.

After a 50+ teacher survey and three in-depth teacher focus groups facilitated by CauseLabs on-site at the University of Cincinnati Economics Center, we synthesized research into a report that included user experience principles, platform design principles, curriculum mapping concepts, and sample curriculum.

Breathing Life into What We Learned

We were ready to turn these learnings into winning design concepts that gave teachers and students a meaningful experience focused on financial literacy.

Armed with this data and report, we then traveled to Sydney, Australia, where the joint Karrakins/CauseLabs team spent five days outlining platform design, curriculum mapping, and curriculum creation for teachers and students in grades 1-6.

Six months later, a robust four-week curriculum full of zany characters, pedagogically sound financial literacy concepts, and hands-on activities launched to be piloted elementary school classrooms across Ohio in the 2015-2016 school year.

"I like $martPath because it was easy to understand. I learned how to earn, save and spend money. It told me how to have (a) plan and goals for my money. I want to do more work with $martPath."

Grade 3 Student

$martPath

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