Helping higher institution students get better grades.
Students of higher institutions in Nigeria have big dreams of graduating and getting high paying jobs to live a happy life. This dream is however, cut short when they are not able to graduate with good grades which shuts them out of good job opportunities, further education scholarships and more.
On the other hand, intelligent students from poor homes find it difficult to survive in school due to inadequate funds, this poses an opportunity to connect students who need help with their academics to students who can provide said help for a small fee.
While conducting our research, we found out that students in higher institutions in Nigeria get poor grades mainly due to lack of understanding of the course which is caused mainly by factors such as crowded classrooms, extremely high student to lecturer ratio, and inadequate tutoring from lecturers. Many students acknowledged that they got better grades when tutored by their peers.
The problem now is that peer tutoring in Nigerian universities is largely unstructured, untapped and unrewarded. Some students, due to introversion or pride, also find it difficult to ask for help from their peers for fear of looking less intelligent.
User Pain Points
When students gain admission to Nigerian higher institutions, they have high hopes and dreams of graduating with a good grade and getting a good job after school. However, this proves difficult due to pain points such as:
- Inadequate understanding of courses caused by high student to lecturer ratio, crowded classrooms and other factors.
- Unprofessional lecturers who intentionally try to make students fail.
- Shyness, introversion and fear of seeming less intelligent which makes them avoid asking for help from their friends who are more intelligent.
- Difficulty in finding students who are good at a particular course for one-on-one tutorials.
It is important to address these pain points to help students understand better and get better grades.
Our preliminary user research to validate this problem with undergraduate students in Nigeria found that students overall believe that with better understanding of their courses, they will be able to get better grades. By creating a product that will allow students to find the best students available to tutor them in areas they need help with, they will understand better and pass better.
Landing on a Solution
The goal for this product is to enable students of higher institutions in Nigeria to find the best student tutors in their schools who have passed the course(s) they need help with at least a B.
The hypothesis is that if students get tutored by more intelligent students who understand the courses they need help with better for a small fee, they are more likely to get a better grasp of the course and other things they need to know and do in order to get higher grades which can make them graduate with better grades at the end of their program.
FindTutor is a progressive mobile web app that connects students who need help with their courses to intelligent peer tutors who can provide excellent help.
FindTutor has four key features that we are launching with:
1. Inputting school and course code - When a new student visits FindTutor, they can select their school from a list of available schools and they can also type in the course code of the course they need help with so that they can be matched with a tutor in the same school who offers tutorials in that course.
2. Search Feature - FindTutor allows users search for tutors based on the course code and school they input using the ‘FIND TUTOR’ call to action button, the search engine then returns a list of tutors available for that course code and school. If there are no tutors available, it returns an error page which informs the student that they will be alerted once a tutor is available for them.
3. See Tutor Profiles – If the user’s search query returns a list of tutors, users can see each tutor’s information such as name, picture, rating, pricing and school level on a card.
4. Book tutor – Users can click the BOOK button on the tutor’s profile which opens a WhatsApp link to chat with and book the tutor for a session.
We have tested our MVP with some current students of higher institutions in Nigeria and have received promising feedback on the viability of our product. It took great team work to pull all of this together in ~8 weeks. We plan to keep working on FindTutor after the Co.Lab program and we are proud of what we’ve accomplished.
We are thankful that this program brought all four of us together, and excited about all of the learnings we’ve had during the process.
Product Manager Learnings:
- I learned that teamwork and collaboration are the keys to success.
- I learned that nobody knows it all, getting other people’s opinions will help you build better products.
- I also learned that daily communication works best to achieve team goals.
- I learned that user research is key in Product design as it helps the designer to empathize and put the designer front and center of the design process.
- I also learned having a growth mindset thereby setting egos aside to eliminate personal bias and be open to feedback and others opinion is key to a successful product.
- And finally, I learnt that agile practices which includes daily standups with team mates helps to ship products faster and to create synergy with team members.
- I learned how to collaborate asynchronously with a cross-functional team.
- I also learned how to integrate feedback from user research into the development process.
- And finally, I learned how to follow up and give updates on progress achieved.
- I learned how to work in a cross-functional team.
- I also learned how to manage my time properly to meet deadlines.
- And finally, I learned how to work with task with highest priority and ship the MVP.
Full Team Learning
As a team, we learned that teamwork is very important and getting the opinion of every member of the team of all issues helps us perform better. We also learnt the right way to build products using Agile project management and the MVP.