For my critique I am reviewing Paul and Britt’s, Review UOW platform and accessing its progress. The idea was to Review UOW subjects in order for future students to be able to pick subjects they would enjoy.
Review UOW started with the idea of better equipping students with information about their subjects in order to insure that they achieve a greater experience at UOW. It focused on the sharing of information and creating a space in which people could communicate about their subjects and be critical in a way that could potentially change the way the university looks are student engagement and teacher reviews.
Part of its aim was to bring attention to the subjects that may have been lacking in certain aspects and try to suggestions improvements and also to commend excellent subjects that had high engagement. It also aimed to allow new students to be able to plan and chart their UOW student studies path.
Putting an idea into action the site was initially hosted on Reddit. As an initial move I felt like this was odd decision. It makes sense for a beta but Reddit has a reputation for being controversial and uncontrolled which with something like this it might have been useful to make the initial set up more official in order for people to take it seriously. This platform also allowed for people to find it and easily from the university which began a lot of the problems with tutors and lecturers having conflicting views. The fact that one of the creators names was tied to the content only made it easier for those people who had a problem with the idea to make contact and initially shut it down.
The idea was from inception idyllic, to believe that student reviews of classes and teachers places incredible trust in both the reviewed and the reviewer and at some point this trust would have been abused if the site were up for longer. Making strict guidelines from the outset may have fostered a community in which people very respectfully shared their opinions in a creative and considerate manner.
The current form is a website involving a login which I think is a much better option for something like this. It dissuades people who aren’t serious about contributing legitimate reviews while supporting those who want to invest their time in the platform. The customizable plan and options for a shortlist are extremely handy and make a lot of sense as well but the idea with the most potential would be the inclusion of a subject outline. I’m not entirely sure how easy this would be to do but this would allow students to get a feel on the requirements of each subject. Stuff like this could essentially make the the penalty free withdrawal time for subjects not as necessary as you would be more equipped before each semester.
In terms of the presentation I thought maybe it would have been more engaging to get a thorough update of what was to come for the site. While we heard a lot of the progress that was made at hack a gong it might have been useful to include ways that they could progress going forward. Hopefully there is further progress soon as the site has rather a lot potential.
Ultimately Review UOW is a really cool idea that was incredibly difficult to launch. Going through the different iterations seems to be an important lesson in finding the most sustainable version of the project. The difficulties faced and leveled at the project by UOW staff members was in many ways correct but the latest iteration addresses many of the concerns in a truly sincere way allowing it to become the medium it was always meant to be.