React to the Pulse of your class
React to the Pulse of your class
As a group of new Masters level Software Engineering students who left the workplace and various industries to return to school, we are uniquely positioned and highly motivated by our desire to learn. Due to this, we see a hole in the current education system concerning effective dialogue between students and instructors and want to help fill it.
Two of us have previous experience as Teaching Assistants and have experienced first hand the problem of not receiving quality feedback from students. We also have contacts in engineering education research who provide valuable insight concerning effective teaching strategies.
We are offering a software service that drives an open communication classroom between students and instructors. Our product will allow one or more student representatives to be assigned early on to act as intermediary between the student body and professor.
Feedback: StudentPulse will be a platform to allow students to send comments to the student rep anonymously and provide functionalities such as replies, upvotes, and downvotes.
Huddles: Professors will use the platform to set up meetings (aka “Huddles”) with the student rep to discuss the student feedback.
Analytics: An automatically generated summary of feedback using figures and graphs will be provided that anyone in the class can view. This can be used as a talking point for “Huddles”.
Instructors: who want to foster relationships with their students and desire an effective way to access their honest feedback. They wish to see their classroom flourish and improve their teaching skills.
Students: who have plenty of ideas and opinions on how the course could be improved. They prefer to give feedback anonymously, especially when negative, and are busy with no quick way to provide this feedback.
Student Representatives: who care about ensuring the best possible classroom experience and want the experience and prestige that comes with such a position.
Instructors: want to know what the whole class is feeling and not just a few outspoken individuals but don’t have the time to set up a feedback system for their students by themselves. Also, they prefer to have face to face conversations instead of quickly typed messages when receiving and responding to feedback.
Students: desire a platform to anonymously and continuously provide their feedback even when outside of the classroom setting. They also want to know that their feedback is being used and matters.
Student Representatives: are looking for an easy way to collect feedback and set up meetings with the professor.
We have close relationships with professors who experience this problem and have stated their excitement concerning StudentPulse. One of our professors, Dr. Mohammad Moshirpour, has already agreed to allow us to use his name and quote him and we are optimistic that him and others can act as spokespeople for StudentPulse to quickly build our brand. Another of our professors, Abdullah Sarhan, has been willing to try current solutions in the classroom to help identify pros and cons of existing substitutes. Also, Robyn Paul, MSc in Engineering Education, has agreed to assist us with her expertise concerning learning techniques.
Manual Options: What unfortunately many instructors are forced to do. This includes appointing student reps themselves and setting up meetings with them via email or other forms of communication. Student reps end up usually only receiving feedback from a few individuals or their friends and no analysis is performed.
In Lecture Feedback Options: These include products such as Top Hat, Kahoot, or iClicker. The downside to these is the fact that feedback can not be provided at any time and usually use leading questions provided from the professor rather than receiving student’s honest, open thoughts.
Our first key person is an instructor who cares about receiving feedback from their students and wants to improve the classroom experience as well as their teaching skills.
They care because they are motivated to continue to improve as instructors, whether it be to forward their career or their pride in providing excellent teaching, and see that students aren’t providing enough quality feedback.
Our promise to them is provide an easy to use platform for them to receive feedback from the majority of the classroom and arrange meetings with the student representatives. This feedback will analyzed and visualized and recommendations for potential teaching strategies based on it will be provided.
Our second key person is a student who isn’t satisfied with some aspect of the course and wishes for their feedback to be heard by the instructors.
They care because they are taking this course to learn and paid for it. As a result, they want to have the best possible classroom environment for them to succeed in. Many students struggle with providing instructors with feedback, especially when it is negative, and therefore may not speak up. This lack of desire can be compounded if they feel like their feedback isn’t being heard or listened to.
Our promise to them is provide an online environment for students to easily and anonymously provide feedback concerning their courses which will be passed on through an student representative to the professor. As all comments are anonymous and treated equally, they can feel safe in providing their honest thoughts and also not have to worry about their concerns being overshadowed by more outspoken individuals. They can also rest easy with the knowledge that their feedback is being used and provides valuable data.
Our third key person is a student representative who wants to ensure the best possible classroom and learning environment and enjoys the responsibilities and recognition that comes with such a position.
They care because they are a very driven student who wants to succeed and desires an easy way to determine the opinions of the entire class and pass that feedback on to the professor. Too often they ask for feedback to bring to the instructors and receive only a few outspoken comments.
Our promise to them is to provide a platform that they can use to easily acquire feedback from the entire classroom, including those that may otherwise not speak up. StudentPulse will make their job significantly easier by compiling and analyzing the feedback to produce a summary of what the most frequent topics and areas of concern are as well as allow them to arrange meetings with the instructors.
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