Normally this blog series covers a cheating scandal or discusses new cheating methods and quells any anxiety by showing how ProctorFree can stop, prevent and detect any academic integrity issues. Once in a while we see an exemplar educational technology company making great strides for educational access while preserving the need for academic integrity.
This week we want to give a big shout out to Sterio.me.
Sterio.me entered this world via StartUp Bus Africa in 2013 as a way to send homework and quiz questions to students – all via a mobile device. It launched in Lesotho where 86% of the students have a mobile device, but data is limited, so the Vodacom Foundation is providing the wireless access. There are lots of entrepreneurial lessons here about leveraging resources, but this blog is about academic integrity, I just get so darn excited seeing businesses do good!
Sterio.me sends the questions to students to reinforce what they learned in school that day. It will be interesting to see if they include some kind of gamification or point incentives for students to complete questions. This opens up many research topics from an educational lens about intrinsic versus extrinsic motivators, competition, how mobile devices effect learning, and much more. From an entrepreneurial perspective you could look at monetization, funding sources, resource leveraging, and obviously a case study in social entrepreneurship.
To preserve that all-important academic integrity, Sterio.me scrambles questions and answers, so if the answer to #4 is A on my app, it may be C on yours. This is a proven tried-and-true deterrent. Using big data, the team will be tracking student response times looking for what we would call anomalies.
We love hearing about startups like this, and wish the Sterio.me team all the best. We share the same values of increasing access to education while preserving academic integrity using high-tech and scalable solutions.