Monthly Archives: February 2012

Thursday 3/1 update: Copy Quizzes, Quiz grades, and a faster Confusion Barometer

We pushed some changes to app.gosoapbox.com last night.

Copy Quizzes

You can now copy Quizzes from one Event to another. This is very handy if you have multiple classes and multiple Events that need to use the same Quizzes. To copy a Quiz, go to the target Event, click/tap “Add a new Quiz”, and then select the Quiz you would like to copy from one of your existing Events.

Note that this only applies to active Quizzes. Once a Quiz has been removed, it falls off the list of copy-able Quizzes.

Copy Polls and Copy Discussions are coming soon.

Faster Confusion Barometer

The Confusion Barometer used to run more slowly than other features, but we have made some performance tweaks that will allow it to refresh more frequently. There also used to be some oddities where Confusion presses would not show up immediately — those should be resolved in this update.

Quizzes show grades to students

GoSoapBox Quizzes allow for two kinds of questions: Multiple Choice and Short Answer. Multiple Choice questions give teachers the option of selecting an answer that is correct, and when students answer questions we track whether or not they got it right. When teachers later export the Quiz data, they can easily see who got what right or wrong (this is not yet available for Short Answer questions).

We have modified GoSoapBox Quizzes such that when possible, we show students what their grade was on the Quiz.

More noticeable links in header

You will probably file this one under “Who cares?!” but for reference, you will eventually notice that the Account Dashboard and Student Name links in the header of an Event are more noticeable.

We also increased the limit on Student Names lengths from to 45 characters (from 30 characters). This change was made because someone left feedback asking us to increase the limit. Hopefully a 50% increase is enough for now.

 

Why We Launched

Last week, GoSoapBox opened its digital doors to the public. We were featured on Mashable, tweeted on Twitter, and discussed on numerous blogs. Many praised our innovative product, others scoffed. As thrilled as we are to be growing, we are pausing today to address a few concerns and questions.

Our public launch included moving to a for-pay service. We have heard from a few teachers that our asking price is too steep. Others were disappointed that the product costs anything.  Frankly — we do not like charging for GoSoapBox and wish we could keep it free forever. Budgets are tight in schools, and any new expense is difficult to justify.

So why are we charging?

  1. We want to build a great product.
  2. We want to be accountable to our users, not investors.

Revenue allows us to reinvest in GoSoapBox and continue our track record of rapid improvement. It supports us while we work almost nonstop to build and support our product. And unlike most educational startups, especially ones offering free products, we have not taken any outside investment. Our only stakeholders are our users, and we want to keep it that way as long as possible.

A few other questions we would like to address…

“$90 / year is too expensive. Do you expect teachers to pay for this out of their own pocket?”

We developed our price point after conducting numerous interviews with our beta users. We know that we’ll never be able to satisfy everyone at any price, but after speaking with our users we felt that $90 was a reasonable amount to ask for an entire year of use.

Through our beta user interviews we also discovered that many teachers would plan to use funds from a school budget in order to pay for the subscription, or get reimbursed for the cost. Our current payments system only accepts credit cards but we are open to accepting other payment formats. Email john@gosoapbox.com and tell us what format works best for you.

“Are school-wide or university-wide versions of GoSoapBox available?”

Though we are not ready to launch an enterprise edition of GoSoapBox, it will be available shortly (along with pricing information). Anyone interested in this should email john@gosoapbox.com.

“There are other products out there that do this. What makes it different?”

While we have never come across a product that accomplishes exactly what GoSoapBox does, there may be other products that we have yet to discover.

What differentiates GoSoapBox from the competitive products that we have discovered is the custom level of engagement that can be achieved, combined with ease of adoption. Clickers and other competitive products focus on teachers engaging students with questions, and while GoSoapBox accomplishes polls & quizzes just as well, it also focuses on students engaging the teacher with questions. It’s nice to see how well students can answer the questions that you ask them, but it’s often times more effective to see the questions that they’re asking you.

And unlike many of our competitors, teachers don’t have to re-design their curriculum to best fit GoSoapBox — they can customize GoSoapBox to best fit their style of teaching.

Monday update: Pausing, archiving, and removing GoSoapBox Events

This morning we rolled out some minor changes to GoSoapBox.

  • Closing an Event is now Pausing. Paused Events are accessible to your students, but students will not be able to take any action.
  • You can now Archive your Events (you can access Archived Events, but your students cannot).
  • You can now permanently remove unwanted Events (to clean up your Account Dashboard).

You may also notice a ‘Refresh’ button occasionally pop up on your GoSoapBox Events. Events that have not been used in a while will stop real-time updating after a while. You and your students can re-activate real-time updating by clicking ‘Refresh’. This will only impact you if you have left your GoSoapBox Event open in a browser.