Written by: Nathan Tok, Peak Associate
A multidisciplinary team of SFU students are creating an app that enables undergraduate and graduate students to find study partners. The ultimate goal of the app is to connect isolated students through an online platform to create communities. The team, composed of Timothy Carlos, Anthony Cho, Amy Deng, and Saad Ifitikar are calling the app “StudyHubble.”
Over a four-month process from January 2020 to April 2020, the team found research that suggested many young Vancouverites believe it’s difficult to make friends and think of themselves as isolated. The team eventually decided to focus on post-secondary students for their app.
SFU students interviewed by the StudyHubble team were receptive to the idea of finding new ways to connect with other students. In an email interview with The Peak, Deng explained that this inspired the team to create the app. “As students [ . . . ] we understand how difficult it can be to connect with others [ . . . ] and it really means a lot to [ . . . ] be able to bridge that gap.”
Amongst other criteria, StudyHubble matches students based on their school, their field of study, or shared classes. The algorithm can be “changed” depending on what the user is looking for. For example, users can indicate that they’re seeking study partners from other schools.
While the app’s primary role is to match study partners, the team eventually wants users to be able to take advantage of a variety of features such as video calling, finding resources for better learning, and messaging features. According to Deng, “Social inclusion is important for all students’ mental health and academic progress [ . . . ] [and] post-secondary students need an inclusive and accessible way to develop peer-to-peer connections while balancing school responsibilities.”
The team hopes that the app will “[alleviate] the pressure of asking strangers to study,” since all users would be looking for study group connections. Currently, the app is limited to SFU students around Vancouver. However, the team is eyeing the rest of Greater Vancouver to allow more students to participate and are considering going beyond BC.
“We are also aiming to [ . . . ] encourage students to still make those meaningful connections while studying across Canada in other provinces,” concluded Deng.
StudyHubble expects to announce a release date in Spring 2021.