The university of Warwick has a large number of international students, out of 27,278 total number of students of which over half are non-UK domiciled students from approximately 150 different countries (as of 2018). Central to the University’s strategy is that of being regarded “one of the world’s leading international universities, especially in its composition of staff and student bodies”. Through this project, we aim to leverage the international theme running through the University’s veins, creating a platform which increases intercultural experience by connecting students. Furthermore, this project offers an alternative to what is currently the only way of learning a language as an extracurricular activity at the university ( lessons at the Warwick Language Centre) which are expensive, inflexible and at inconvenient times.
The project entails the creation of an application, compatible with both iOS and Android, which serves as a platform for the community of the University of Warwick to connect and engage with the aim of learning each others languages. The core idea is that by signing up, people can either teach their language or learn another language, or both. By learning and exchanging cultural knowledge, students will thrive within an actively inclusive international community, continuing to look outwards to Europe and the wider world.
Specifications of the work to be undertaken and expected deliverables:
The app design and usage should be simple and straightforward to enable a highly user-friendly experience for students maximising functionality and convenience. It should be in English, as the common language. Still it needs to have the following essential features:
1. Allow members of the University community to create a profile, filling in the following data: full name, university id, email, nationality, languages spoken and level, (optional: photo, phone number, course, year of studies, address, social media profile)
2. A “search” function where members can look for people teaching the language they want to learn or where they can find people who to teach their language to. The initiation of such exchanges should be possible both ways.
3. A “chat” function which enables members to connect with the person they have found through their search. This function should enable members to introduce each other and to decide date and time to meet up to take lessons
4. An anonymous “feedback” function for members as learners of languages and for those teaching it. Here members review their lessons qualitatively (for example suggesting areas where both could improve, what went well and what didn’t go so well) and quantitatively with a rating from 1 (lowest) to 10 (excellent) for comparability and improvement across the platform.
5. To be discussed- a loyalty scheme through a point tracking system whereby members earn points by teaching or learning a language. This will further incentivize students to extensively participate in lessons, actively engaging in the international community.