Mobile study guides crowd-source cram sessions

It’s not uncommon, as final exams approach, for college classmates to pool their notes into study guides. With a new online service, that pool could be made up of more than 4 million students.

The best study guides ‘bubble to the top.’

These “Study Guides” are a new product from StudyBlue, a mobile learning platform that launched in 2010.

StudyBlue provides students with a “Digital Backpack” to store, share, and compare course materials such as notes, flashcards, and syllabi.

The StudyBlue Study Guides takes all of this material from an individual course and aggregates it into one easy-to-navigate package.

“With 4 million students and 175 million pieces of content, we were seeing a network effect happening,” said Chris Klundt, founder of StudyBlue. “Students input their classes into the system with their classmates, create this content, and we can put it all together in a study guide, ordering it by quality and popularity.”

The crowd-sourced study guide can then be updated in real-time throughout the semester, with “push notifications” alerting students when the guide has fresh content.

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The platform is available on most Android and iOS devices.

A handy pop-up window upon entering the platform lets students set their social media status so that it alerts friends when they are busy studying.

The guides include content pulled from flashcards created by students on the platform, EverNote, and Word documents uploaded to the platform, and other student-made studying materials.

The vetting process is also crowd-sourced, Klundt said. The study materials that get used and shared the most “bubble to the top,” and the poorly received notes fall the to the bottom.

The guides, which became available on Nov. 21, are priced at $5 each.

“We’re in the process of creating all of the guides, and our servers are crunching through the data, still,” Klundt said. “So far, we’re already creating 40,000 guides a day.”

Follow Jake New on Twitter at @eCN_Jake.

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