Making education ‘fun’ conjures up thoughts of zany teachers and bored, unmoved students, but a new product is aiming to take a different approach to the problem.
OpenStudy is a platform for “massively multiplayer study groups”, allowing students from around the world to become study buddies.
Students who are studying the same subject, such as English or mathematics, can ask and answer questions on OpenStudy, which uses Facebook Connect to let users interact and learn collaboratively through profiles and group chat.
In addition to rewarding users with medals and achievements for answering a question quickly or answering more than 10 questions, users can also “fan” people they’d like to follow, giving them another incentive to engage and contribute.
“We want OpenStudy profiles to become like LinkedIn for education. We want our students to become heroes to their peers,” a company spokesperson says.
Future plans for the US-based start-up include adding even more gamification features, like referring questions to Facebook friends, and the widgetisation of OpenStudy profile credentials so users can add them to other sites.
Education represents a highly lucrative industry for start-ups, particularly if they can offer something unique, so perhaps OpenStudy could serve as a source of inspiration.