Back in 2014, we set out to create an online platform to give students supplementary revision resources. There were three problem statements we wanted to solve:
- Students spending hours searching for applicable resources on online platforms such as YouTube in order to improve their understanding of concepts taught in their classes
- There was no local and open platform for students access to numerous practice questions with the aim to help them track their progress and pin-point what they need to work on
- It was difficult to share knowledge and interact with students from other universities due to locked down nature of university and school platforms
We made some great progress along the way, faced many challenges, learnt a lot and iterated on our free-to-access solution, IQmates. Words cannot express our gratitude that at some point in time, you joined us for that journey. Your belief that IQmates could assist you in your learning was motivating for us especially in the down times. But like everything in life, things come to an end and evolution is inevitable. Now it is time to say goodbye. Goodbye to the old IQmates and welcome to the new:
In August, we took down the website and we throught deeply about why we set out to create the platform and where we were failing to deliver on that. This introspection process meant we had to rebuild IQmates from scratch. Changes not only include what I will share with you below but also our philosophy around what we were building, why, for who and even the choice of infrastructure to use. For the past month, we went back to the drawing board and this is IQmates 2.0:
We are introducing Premium Courses. These are courses being provided by tutors and teachers we are partnering with. They will cost R100 to access for 6 months. We want to create the best content for students and having a free-to-access platform for all courses was delaying that. Some courses will always be free but there are some specialised ones that will have an access charge. If you want to partner with us on this and sell your content, you can email us on email@example.com
Practice questions and tracking your progress
In our courses, we are adding thousands of practice questions to help you track your understanding and progress you are making. These questions are of different types: multiple choice, drag and drop, mix and match, and fill in the blanks. For programming courses, we are creating ways to autograde your codes. This means you can easily test yourself and see how well you are understanding Python, Java, or C++.
When you attempt practice questions, watch videos, and interact with other students in discussion groups, you will gain IQPoints, level up and gain badges to add to your profile. The more you level up, the more you will be a trusted source of knowledge in the discussions and you can see where you stand on a leaderboard
(Should we have an intervarsity leaderboard and see if UJ is truly ahead of Wits :))
If you are tired of answering multiple choice practice questions, why not play Hangman with the same set of questions in that course? Or “Who Wants To Be a Millionare”? Different functionality we are building to help you revise in a fun and engaging manner. When you are ready, you can attempt timed quizzes to simulate time pressure in a test or exam situation.
We have revamped our shop where students can contact sellers of products and services that are relevant to them – a Gumtree for students if you will. We have over 50 listings now of computers, laptops and accommodation. If you have textbooks you want to sell to students, go on ahead and post your listing for free on our IQmates Shop. As our community of students grows, you will advertise your products and services to more and more students.
There are many other new aspects we would like to tell you about and we will do so in due course. One of them is the awarding of certificates of completion of a course when a student passes with a set grade.
For now, thank you again for your belief in the platform and I hope you will be with us as we evolve in to our next phase. It is an exciting time for us and we hope you will feel and experience the changes we are working on.