Bloc - Main.png

Bloc Grading Platform

Bloc Grading Platform 

A Platform to Grade Student Work Submissions

Bloc - Main.png



Bloc is an online coding bootcamp that prepares students to become professionals in software engineering and design. They are paired with mentors to learn and complete assignments called checkpoints. These checkpoints are reviewed by mentors and graders, who provide constructive feedback. 




team structure

1 designer
2 developers


User Survey
Lo-fidelity designs
High-fidelity UI designs
User Stories writing
Design/Dev pairing


Project Context


moving from spreadsheets to spa

Bloc had a monumental shift from Google spreadsheets to a SPA. The page consisted of filter options to select different programs, modules, and claim status. On the main section, the checkpoints are listed out in 3 separate tables - Revisions, Submissions, and Frozen Submissions.

Grading Queue   Bloc.png

The overall response from graders leaned towards underwhelming. Common responses were:

"I feel like it's slowed me down."
"New platform has slowed me down a bit as the spreadsheet was actually easier to use and see who was grading/claiming checkpoints."
"It is inefficient to not be able to claim a checkpoint if someone else has already graded it once. It is frustrating that they open in the same window, and I have lost work. It is frustrating to have to reload to see updates, and also that it won't reload to the same selection you had."

2 Week Hackathon



Graders' feedback sparked a 2-week hackathon where a project team was quickly set up to redesign the SPA. This team included 2 developers, 1 designer (me), and Director of Operations. 

To immediately gain momentum in this project, I drafted and sent out a survey to graders and mentors. In this survey, I wanted to understand their: 

  • overall thoughts on platform
  • shortcuts or workarounds to grade faster and/or better
  • frustrations (if any) on functions in SPA
  • ideas on functionality that could improve their grading performance 

Survey Questions and Results

Some of the questions that I asked:

  • How much has the grading platform impacted/not impacted your grading workflow?
  • Based on your selection in previous question, please explain how it has impacted you in any form.
  • What is your overall experience of the grading platform? 
  • What are some functions (if any) that would enable you to grade better that is currently missing on the platform (ie. visuals, metrics, etc.)? How would they help you?
  • How much has your grading process changed (or not changed) after moving over to the platform from Google spreadsheet?
  • What workarounds (if any) did you implement to help you in grading?

Their responses were recorded on Google spreadsheet. The survey results showed a 3.18/5.0 overall satisfaction, with some common pain points and insights (based on frequency):

Pain Points and Insights

Common Pain Points

  • 12  Don’t know when others are grading
  • 7    Can’t save selected programs and/or modules in dropdowns
  • 7    Can’t unclaim a checkpoint because it resets “Latest Activity” time
  • 6    Need to refresh frequently to see latest version of checkpoints
  • 4    Don’t know how many checkpoints I’ve graded

Common insights

  • 7    Want to filter same checkpoints from different tracks
  • 6    Want to see visual cues to indicate top priority checkpoints and other indicators
  • 3    Want to see graded checkpoints removed in real-time
  • 2    Wish to have pre-canned responses
  • 2    Wish to see visual cues to show my progress and/or total metrics

Design Prioritization


brainstorming ideas for design implementation

  • Show visual indicators and progress indicators (ie. total day/week count for graded ckpts, show available graders/mentors, confirmations for graded ckpts)
  • Enhance filtering to select  multiple tracks and/or modules
  • Change “Latest Activity” to “Student Submission” time for New ckpts, and include “Revision requested: [name, timestamp] for Revisions ckpts
  • Real-time updates w/o page refresh (load new checkpoints/revisions and remove graded ckpts)
  • Show list or total day count of graded ckpts
  • Include most commonly used or helpful snippets

Design Iterations

first iteration

In the first iteration of design, there were 3 significant changes made on the SPA. First, I combined all 3 tables into 1, as the types (revisions, submissions, and frozen) of submissions can be signified in a column. Second, I removed the 3rd select, and added tabs (All Submissions, My Claimed Submissions), so they can easily be navigated between. And last, select programs and modules are saved, so that they're not deselected with the page is refreshed. These 3 changes solved the problems for: 

  • Viewing 3 data tables is redundant and disruptive to workflow
  • Seeing "My claimed Submissions" takes extra clicks to view checkpoints
  • Select options are lost when the page is refreshed

second iteration

For the second round of design, the layout of the SPA has more of a platform-like feel. There is a persisted side panel that has menu items - Student Submissions, Grading Stats, and Resources.




Final Thoughts

A second survey will be sent out on June 18th. Our success for this project is to aim for 4.18/5.0 for overall satisfaction.