Planning platform helps organize hectic academic lives

When she was in high school, Julienne Lam considered herself to be an organized student, planning out her courses, assignments, and deadlines with relative ease.

Students can compare the time they take on an assignment to that of their peers.

But when she started attending Stanford University, she found herself struggling to keep her head above the deluge of college coursework.

“As a freshman it was really difficult to adjust to all this planning,” she said. “I was not ready for this new environment.”

Figuring other students may be feeling the same way, she and another classmate, Sam Purtill, created ClassOwl, a social academic planner that has now partnered with big names in education technology like Pearson and Sakai’s CourseWork.

While many students and educators use learning management systems (LMS) to post assignments, deadlines, and other important course material, the systems are often fragmented, separating information by course. ClassOwl pulls all that information together into one online planner.

But that’s not all it can do.

Professors can use ClassOwl to let students know how much time they should spend on an assignment. When they’ve completed an assignment, students can compare their times with that of their classmates.

Administrators can then use the data for accreditation purposes.

The social aspect of the planner comes into play when students, professors, and teaching assistants interact through the platform, updating assignments and deadlines in real-time.

Next page: Take our poll and read more about how ClassOwl uses a “bottom-up approach.”

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