It is a simple idea, really.

Learning is all about feedback. Runners, for example, use apps like the RunKeeper. Research shows that apps like that enhance engagement and results. And people think it is fun. The essence being that the behavior of the runner is tracked and communicated back to the runner in a dashboard.

We wondered if you can reach the same positive effect if you had a dashboard for Study-behaviour. For students. And what should you measure, track and communicate? We wondered if we could translate the Quantified Self Movement into a Quantified Student.

So, together with students, professors and companies we started designing & building Quantified Student Apps. Apps that were measuring all kinds of study-behaviour related data. Things like Time On Campus, Time Online, Sleep, Exercise, Galvanic Skin Response, Study Results and so on. We developed tools to create study – information and prototyped the Apps with groups of student. At the same time we created a Big Data Lake and did a lot of Privacy research.

The Big Difference between the Quantified Student Program and Learning Analytics is that we only present the data to the student. It is his/her data! It is his/her decision to act on it or not. The Quantified Student Apps are designed as a Big Mother never a Big Brother.

The project has just started. But we already designed, created and learned a lot.

  1. We designed and build for groups of prototypes for Study behavior Apps:
    1. Apps that measure sleep & exercise and compare it to study results, like MyRhytm;
    2. Apps that measure study hours and compare it to study results, like Nomi;
    3. Apps that measure group behavior and signal problems, like Groupmotion;
    4. Apps that measure on campus time and compare it with peers, like workhorse;
  2. We researched student fysics to see if we could find his personal Cup-A-Soup-Moment (meaning, can we find by looking at his/her biometrics when the concentration levels dip?);
  3. We created a Big Data lake with student data and Open Data and are looking for correlation and causality there. We already found some interesting patterns.

In doing so we learned a lot. We learned it is often hard to acquire the right data. It is hard to create and App or a solution that is presenting the data in the right way and presents it in a form of actionable information. We learned that health trackers are still very inprecise. We learned about (and solved some) challenges surrounding privacy.

Next year (2018) we will scale the most promising prototype, measure the effects, start a new researchproject and continu working on our data lake. Things will be interesting, and we will blog about it on www.quantifiedstudent.nl.