New app to connect students to academic resources

September 21, 2012

Cory Woolf mans the CourseFeeds booth at this fall's student org fair Cory Woolf mans the CourseFeeds booth at this fall's student org fair

A new cross-platform web application developed by University of Michigan-Dearborn undergraduates aims to connect students to academic resources. The developers plan to launch CourseFeeds across the three University of Michigan campuses in January 2013, in time for the start of winter semester.

CourseFeeds allows students to find and easily share resources such as instructional videos, modules and supplemental readings to augment classroom learning.

“We wanted to create a utilitarian web-app that students could add to their expanding educational tool belt,” said developer Cory Woolf, an electrical and computer engineering student.

The web application, which is mobile and desktop optimized, also uses PV Twonky Beam technology that lets students beam content from a mobile device or computer to a TV.

Brahim Medjahed, associate professor, shared how students could use the application, “Student Mary is completing math homework. She is struggling with a certain kind of problem and finds a link someone else posted to the app’s database. She beams the video to her TV while practicing the problems on a coffee table in her living room.”

The programmers noted that CourseFeeds will not tolerate assignment solutions sharing.

“Sharing example solutions and resources that give instruction on how to solve types of problems is why we built this web-app,” Woolf said. “But there are multiple features to help prevent blatant assignment sharing.”

The web application includes a database of every course offered on University of Michigan campuses.

“This is a key component to making the process of finding relevant resources a snap,” Woolf said. “Much like how Google must sort search results based on certain attributes, we must sort resources submitted to CourseFeeds.”

CourseFeeds was developed as part of the Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems (IAVS) 2012 Summer Engineering Project. UM-Dearborn alumnus Jim Brailean and his company, PacketVideo, sponsored this year’s project.

The CourseFeeds development team includes computer and information science students Cory VanHooser and Brandon Wenzel and electrical and computer engineering students Sergio Aguinaga, Salvador Holguin and Cory Woolf.

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