Now you know what makes the difference


More information about FOCUS and other prototypes on: www.quantifiedstudent.nl

Finally, does the app work?
That is the million dollar question, but we really do not know. However an app like this will cost you maybe 20k max. If only a few students at Fontys (out of 45.000) do not drop-out or improve the app is already succesfull.

The importance of the app:
We are all very busy with creating the education of the future. We want to enhance learning. But, how we do this in a world where there is a battle going on for attention? The apps on our smartphones are totally optimized to draw our students’ attention. There is no way that education can compete with the Instagram feed of a student. Students know this and want to be helped.

We will show the app during the presentation. We will also show you were the code is, because the app is completely open source.

The app is completely customizable. It can be your friend but also your master. The user can whitelist apps and you can have the app interfere when you want to open an app during classes.

The final solution was a gamified app that combines screen activity and study context (like, were you at school, in a lesson) and translates that into a gamified Avatar called Bill. Bill is a runner. When you check your phone why you should be paying attention to your study-activities, Bill becomes fatter and slower. When you check your phone less or use it in a functional way, Bill gets into shape. Of course Bill can be customized into any gender or race (even blue).

About the app (Focus):
During earlier projects we learned that an app that helps students focus while they are on campus has the most potential. That is why we had a group of 80 students (from software engineers to UX-designers to psychologists) create a solution that helps them focus on their study.

Our project was with students for students. Students form different kind of education (IT, Psychology, Communication) worked together in multidisciplinary teams together with researchers, professors and professionals.

Design based research:
Our research is always structured as follows: we do a small literature study followed by a rapid prototype. Then we use small focus groups to get feedback and every time we make changes to the prototype. This way we try to find the best interventions for students.

We created a Runkeeper-App for studying.

About the premise of the research project:
Most projects in the field of learning analytics collect data ABOUT students. Administrators use the data to improve study success. Our project takes a different approach. It is researching if we can help students by collecting data FOR the students. By helping them to reflect. Our inspiration is a Runkeeper-kind-of app. The app checks how you have been running, but it is up to you draw conclusion. After all you know if you had too much to drink the day before or if you have a bum ankle.

About Fontys University
Fontys University is based in the south of the Netherlands, offering a wide range of educations (from journalism to engineering to healthcare to financial management) to 45.000 students.

This abstract is about a research project into collecting data FOR students not ABOUT students. The project resulted in a solution (an app called FOCUS) that combines GPS–location, schedule, screen time and gamification and translates this into information FOR the students. Currently we are rolling out the app to 45.000 students.

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