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Find your Learning Partners with MatchNLearn
Usually students met on campus and formed study groups in order to support each other. When COVID19 hit and the lockdown was imposed, this became difficult as the courses where held online. Students barely got the chance to meet in person and study together. Tiger, Sebastian and Khadim quickly realized that they were not the only ones missing study groups. Therefore, they decided to set up a platform for students to organize their peer support group in times of the pandemic.
The two TUM students Tiger and Sebastian met during a PGDP tutorial. Tiger is a student at the TUM School of Management and Sebastian is in his 4th semster of Information Systems. They became friends over their shared passion for computer science and countless study sessions. They also teamed up when working on the platform to match students for study groups, which they called MatchNLearn. Khadim (Informatics 2nd semester) was amongst the first users of MatchNLearn, he identified well with the concept and decided to join the project.
The TUM students observed the market for similar matching platforms and payed attention to needs and pain points of the people around them. “Listen carefully to what people are complaining about and reflect on how you might solve it,” recommends Sebastian. The next step was to evaluate the data and develop a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). “Develpoing (tech) skills is required to build a MVP. You may not have the skill to build a complete product, but being able to demonstrate the basic functionalities and some impacts often can help you attract more resources that ultimately enable you to realize the full product vision,” suggests Khadim.
One struggle while setting up the platform was that the three team members were operating in three time zones (China, Columbia, Germany). This made the time for virtual meetings very scarce. Integrating the systems, though, proved to be the mayor challenge, as it required the joint effort of everyone. The MatchNLearn system has a matching algorithm in the backend, which processes user data from the MongoDB database. While the systems often worked perfectly during the local testings, integrating them together exposed many hiccups (e.g. performance bottlenecks) that often prolonged the development process. After being able to eliminate all sources of error, the platform launched on May 1, 2021. “TUM is a great place to initiate your project! We are surprised by level of support by the students and faculties at the TUM SOM. Make great use of the support network, this can give you a head start,” says Tiger.
MatchNLearn is now open to students of Informatics, the TUM School of Management, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. By filling out a form online, the platform identifies your preferences, such as language, year of study, preferred group size and matches you with other TUM students that are suitable learning partners. You receive an invitation link to the study group and can get easily started. For more information on the new matching platform MatchNLearn, click here: matchnlearn.com
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