Note that the following blog post promotes a tool that is currently not centrally supported by UTS

Finding the right teammates for a group assignment is challenging at the best of times, but has been made worse by COVID-19. Social distancing has stripped students of many opportunities to meet each other and assess whether they would work well together.

Enter Great Minds, a new tool designed by and for UTS teaching staff to help students find teammates for large group assignments. It is a web-based application that asks students to share short video clips to explain their idea for the assignment (eg. the topic they want investigate or the start-up they want to pitch). A round of peer review and investment provides rapid feedback to improve and refine ideas, and then a final showcase reveals the ideas that received the most investment.

Sophisticated AI measures the similarity of the submitted ideas, ensuring that students are exposed to and review the ideas that are most similar to their own (i.e. the ones they are most likely to find interesting and most likely to have an informed opinion about). An optional feature allows the subject coordinator to form groups around the best ideas, and allocate members to each group based on how similar their ideas are.

So far, 643 UTS students have shared their ideas on Great Minds, and received 2534 reviews of their ideas. In post-use surveys, 93% of respondents felt that the experience of using Great Minds was worthwhile. Only 7% would not recommend that their subject coordinator use it again, and the main concern cited was the quality of peer feedback used to rate and rank ideas. Future improvements are planned to address these concerns by teaching students how to provide for constructive feedback.

Some positive comments we’ve received in these surveys:

It enables me to learn about other students’ interest topics and learn many novel video recording skills.

I liked the fact that great mind was able to show me fellow students with similar ideas with such great relevance and accuracy.

Feedback was useful, great platform for hosting a subject or maybe useful for some sharing similar ideas, community help and support.

A demo of Great Minds (duration: 18:06)

Great Minds is free for UTS staff and students – simply sign in with your UTS email address . If you are a subject-coordinator and your subject includes a large, self-directed group assignment, then get in touch! 

Great Minds was designed and developed by David Milne, a lecturer in the School of Information, Systems and Modelling. Many thanks to Sojen Pradhan (48270 Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation), Fazeh Karimi (32563 IT Professional and Society), and Gnana Bharathy (31247 Collaborative Business Processes) for being early adopters and providing essential feedback.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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