Over the course of the last few years, more and more “clickers” have found their way into college classrooms. These little devices allow teachers to request real-time feedback from their students through short quizzes and surveys. Toronto-based developer Liam Kaufman, however, thinks that a simpler application that just tells teachers whether their students are confused or not could help improve learning significantly. Students, after all, often hesitate to raise their hands and tell their professors when they aren’t able to follow – especially in large lecture classes. With Understoodit, Kaufman hopes to give these students the ability to voice their concerns quietly.
During a lecture, students can use their phones, tablets or laptops to tell their teachers when they are confused and when they understood something. Teachers then see this data in real time and can adjust their lectures accordingly. The app does not actually tell the teacher who in the class isn’t quite able to follow along, so students don’t have to worry about voicing their concerns.
Kaufman says he came up with the idea for Understoodit while studying computer science at the University of Toronto. He then created a prototype and tested it in a first-year computer science class. After that, he spent two months on refining the application and worked with a designer to make it user-friendly.
Understoodit is currently available by invitation only. If you are an educator and interested in using it, you can sign up for a beta invite here. The service will likely be available publicly by the end of the summer.