Hola! We’re Susanti, Ho Ping and Adrian here. We’re creating a mobile app to address the issue of lack of discussion in classroom or lecture. After a series of investigation, we’d observed that majority of students were “shy” to raise up their hands or speak up. So, our team decided to create a platform to facilitate students’ interaction amongst peers and the professors. On a broader perspective, we hope that such platform could serve as a way of “active learning”, by stimulating questions and discussions.
Shy no more! Check out our app!
Pocket classroom | PoCa
Your learning will never be the same again
Introducing the virtual classroom in a mobile app
Your classroom experience will never be the same again. We redesigned your learning experience by shifting conventional classroom discussion into your phone. So you get updated with your lesson. It’s the first ever classroom simulation on mobile device.
What to expect…
The interface was designed in such as way that topics of discussions or questions were organized systematically by weekly basis. Our app also has the special question responding interface which works by swiping left or right (pretty much like tinder). It also allows users to save certain questions or threads.
One time login
To create a stress-free and casual environment so that students will not be intimidated to ask questions.
Encouraging active participation
By incorporating a Tinder-like interface, we hope to make answering questions a more casual, and in a sense, mindless process. We took into consideration everybody’s feedback on what would encourage them to answer their peers’ questions and decided to incorporate a rewards system where every time they answer somebody’s question or others have upvoted their answers, they will earn points which can then be translated into real-life rewards.
We received many suggestions of involving professors in this application. One of the feedbacks that we received was to allow for real-time question and answer with the help of the application, especially during mass lectures. Other than the fact that the professors and lecturers will be identified, they essentially share the same features as students. Professors and lecturers also act as a moderator for the application to ensure that students do not simple share answers, but are engaging in active learning.
We welcome you to a trip down our memory lane
OPEN IDEO Challenge: “How might we better prepare all learners for the needs of tomorrow by re-imagining higher education?”
1st Empathy Interview
The reason for conducting this empathy interview is to find out what NTU population had to say about about their ideal higher education. We’re interested to know how NTU undergraduates think about the current education system, what improvements they’re expecting, and if they’re prepared for future, etc. Then we created an empathy map.
Online vs Face-to-Face: BRAINSTORMING
We decided to do something of integration between technology and education, particularly on the topic of online learning.
Online vs Face-to-Face: 2nd INTERVIEW
We asked the interviewees, what are their thoughts on current lecture-based learning, how were the tutorials carried out, how were the online courses look like and differ from school to school, etc.
In the midst of our discussion, we went side track…
Initially we were discussing about the two-way exchange of information between students and lecturers. As we progressed, somehow (no idea how), we got carried away by the thought of active learning. We thought it would be feasible to really test it out. We did a thorough research about active learning, we distributed online survey to NTU population, we brainstormed on the idea of how to prototype.
We are back! : MOBILE APP
After getting lots of comments and feedback, eventually we decided to switch to mobile application. BUT, we are not creating the app itself (maybe not yet), we are DESIGNING the interface and features.
Pocket classroom | PoCa
We revisited our past interviews result and identified common themes amongst students in NTU:
(1) Accept information at face value
(2) Rarely challenged the authority (lecturer/ tutor).
These were the reasons behind “boring”, “sleepy”, “zone out”, classroom learning experience. There is literally few or no discussion. Information flows in one way direction from the lecturer/ tutor to the students.
Then we decided to look deeper and ask WHY?
In general, Asian students are not so willing to ask questions due to reasons such as shyness, fear of looking stupid, no idea of what to ask. We just don’t have the habit of asking question.
That’s what our app is created for!
How is our app better than conventional way of emailing directly to professor or TA (teaching assistants)?
- What is the prof is overseas?
- What if someone miss the tutorial?
- If two or more people have the same questions?
- If just want to find out important things worth note-taking of.
- Just want to see if anyone has the same question or the same misunderstanding.
- See how the class is progressing to gauge how much knowledge one has.
After weeks of brainstorming, researching, prototyping, editing. . . Coming up with product was never a smooth, direct journey. Certainly we learnt and earned a lot during the process. Surely this product is not going to be launched to the real world in any time soon. But we hope that some day in the future, someone could develop such idea into a real application, improve the education for the better.