There is something magical about peer learning. Casual conversations, exchange of ideas, or occasional debates help form meaningful bonds with other learners, which make learning more fun, and real.
Back in the day
As I look back into my own MIT and IIT days, I realize that I have learned as much from my peers as I have from my favorite professors. Some of those bonds have lasted well beyond those formative years and have morphed into lifelong friendships.
Research has shown that peer learning can substantially improve learning outcome for students. Renowned Chicago Economist Benjamin Bloom showed that students tutoring each other could improve learning outcome by 2 standard deviations above traditional methods. Other empirical studies have shown that students can retain up to 90% of what they learn by teaching each other, far higher than when students are mainly on a receiving mode.
We now live in a dynamic digital era where textbooks are no longer the only source of learning. Students constantly find interesting videos, articles, research, talks, pictures that can complement the standardized syllabus. When students freely collaborate on real-time knowledge, new ideas can form spontaneously.
We, at Yellowdig are on a quest to unleash the power of peer learning in educational institution settings. We believe there are several advantages of using a technology platform:
Old school discussion tools may feel clunky and not as simple as consumer social tools like Facebook or stackoverflow that students are increasingly used to
Peer engagement works well in small groups, but weak in larger groups such as a classroom or a community. Research has shown that weaker connections are often the best source of new knowledge and ideas, which Yellowdig enables
It is easy to find the most relevant content when everyone is looking together as a group and sharing with one another
As online reputation becomes increasingly important, students are motivated to increase participation and help build valuable knowledge communities
Feedback loops and intelligent analytics can help provide useful information to students, faculty and institutions to continuously build and improve student engagement and learning outcome
Every color has a color psychology. The color yellow is the color of the mind and the intellect. Yellow is associated with optimism, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, fun, good-humored, confidence, originality, creativity, challenging, academic and analytical, wisdom and logic. These are all the qualities we want to bring into education and build a platform that students, professors, and administrators actually like to use.