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Stik: Mobile app for independent learning

An app to structure your time studying or learning, with research-backed learning activities for any content type to guide you in your goal.

Photo of tara tressel
4 3

Written by

I am a.....

  • User researcher

Tell us about your idea

Stik app is the remote-learner's "study buddy". With our easy quick-start workflow, students simply indicate how much time they have to learn, what type of content they're using (e.g., textbook, online video, etc.), and a learning plan is automatically created. This plan includes activity suggestions for improved learning outcomes (longer retention, deeper understanding), and learning analytics that help keep track of learning progress, levels of focus, and strategy use. The activities are active learning strategies based on they type of content (e.g., weaving in self-quizzing and reflective questioning with textbook reading materials). Our goal is not only keeping students engaged with passive (e.g., reading, watching) content that is more prevalent in remote learning contexts, but also to support effective learning strategies for lifetime "learning how to learn" skill development. 

While it can be useful for any students in middle-high and university levels, university students can especially benefit from additional support as they transition to the university setting (i.e., less structured, larger student to teach ratio). In the previous version of the app, we found that students loved seeing how much time they were actually studying by using the timer to track their breaks. This provided encouragement as well as insight into how many distractions were occurring during the study session. We also blocked any other apps while the study timer was running, which meant that students were less tempted to check notifications while they were learning.

We hope this app will relieve some of the burden on teachers and parents who are struggling to manage remote learning in these COVID-19 times. While this initial prototype is designed for the student user's experience, we hope to also build this tool for teachers who can help design learning activities to reach their common core (and otherwise) objectives. 

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Learning for the sake of passing exams. It's time we prioritize individual growth and development, and teach our students how to become master learners and not master exam-takers.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

My background is in Educational Psychology. My motivation for pursuing this field was to try and change the system through the application of research to real-life settings, to better understand how we can improve learning. My goal was to find a way to help students retain information they had spent the time learning in class, while leveraging a platform they were already heavily using- their phones. I built a mobile app that helped students self-regulate their learning and kept them motivated in their studying. The impact of COVID-19 on the education system reinvigorated my work on this project. I would like to build on my previous work by improving the functionality of the app to support students as they are learning at home, away from the mentorship of their teachers. I hope to teach students how to learn more effectively and become learning experts, not exam-taking experts.

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

Located in the Plateau area of Montreal, Quebec.

4 comments

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Spam
Photo of Naman Mandhan
Team

Thank you for your submission tara tressel and welcome to the Challenge! I appreciate your student-centered approach towards self-directed and flexible learning.

How do you envision your idea supplementing the work of teachers once school goes back in session? In the previous mobile app that you built, what were some methods that you found to be effective in keeping students motivated to learn by themselves?

I am also curious to hear your thoughts around how the learning material presented to students will be curated.

Excited to hear your thoughts!

Spam
Photo of tara tressel
Team

Hi Naman Mandhan 
Thank you so much for your comment. I'm excited to be a part of the Challenge!I think once school is back in session, the app still provides structure for out-of-class learning. While it can be useful for any students in middle-high and university levels, university students can especially benefit from additional support as they transition to the university setting (i.e., less structured, larger student to teach ratio, etc.) In the previous version of the app, we found that students loved seeing how much time they were actually studying by using the timer to track their breaks. It seemed that provided encouragement towards their goals, and insight into how many breaks/distractions were occurring during the study session. We also blocked any other apps while the study timer was running, which meant that students were more focused and less tempted to check notifications while they were learning.The learning activities are curated around the content type more broadly (i.e., practice questions, textbook reading, online video, etc). The activities are focused on how to engage students into active learning activities that will help strengthen their connection to the information to be learned.

Looking forward to any further questions or feedback you might have!
Thanks again :)

Spam
Photo of Naman Mandhan
Team

Thank you so much for your response, tara tressel ! These are some wonderful insights. I'm wondering if you could update your submission with the additional context that you have provided in the comments? I think these thoughts will help illustrate your idea with more clarity, and I just want to make sure that they are captured for the evaluators!

Spam
Photo of tara tressel
Team

Thank you, Naman Mandhan ! I will add this to the submission, this is a great suggestion!