Always Learning

Developed by PDN

Developers Proficiency Time
One Intermediate 1.5 Months

Highlights the addition of the new Social APIs (Beta) to LearningStudio's RESTful APIs. The source code for the iOS application is available on GitHub.


Name Usage Familiarity
LearningStudio APIs for class data High

Challenges with testing the peer-to-peer features of this app accounted for a significant portion of the development time.


Mobile devices are often a distraction to in-person learning experiences. Turning distractions into opportunities for enriched learning may be a matter of balancing playful interaction and utility. The presentation and critique of student projects is a common and valued learning exercise. Introducing technology into this environment may cause more disruptions than benefit. Challenge accepted?


A professor moderates student critiques using mobile devices to pass a virtual talking stick. Students obtain the talking stick by being the first to request it when available. A history of each critique, audio playback, and student contributions are available for review in the app. The speaker's avatar and sources of inspiration from their social profile are shared with other class members while they speak.


The benefits of a mobile app serving as a talking stick and recording device for a critique include:

  • Students experience a sense of play as they race each other to obtain the talking stick.
  • Moderators gain visibility into contributions by each student.
  • The ability to replay individual critiques from a mobile device extends the experience.



Users authenticate after installing the application. This displays the first tab with a list of enrolled courses. The second tab contains the user's avatar and social profile that can be edited with sources of inspiration. The third tab (not shown) only contains a logout button.

1. User authenticates

2. Classes are presented

3. User profile can be edited

Launch Critique

Users select a class to reveal a list of critiques. These are doc sharing categories managed in LearningStudio by the instructor. Selecting a critique presents options that each user can configure differently. Pressing the play button in the upper right corner launches the critique.

1. User selects the class

2. User selects the critique

3. User configures settings

Presenting to the Class

Presentations may begin once the moderator joins the critique. A green "present" button indicates a user may present. Pressing this button negotiates with the moderator's device for speaking privileges. The device of the first received request is presented with a red "stop" button. Other class members are presented with the speaker's avatar and rotating facts from their social profile until the presentation ends.

1. Request to present accepted

2. The first request is granted

3. Others see the presenter

Presentation ends

The user presses the "stop" button when their presentation is complete. This causes audio to be recorded in LearningStudio's doc sharing category. Student presentations are followed by critiques, so the presenter's device displays their avatar until a critique begins.

1. Contribution is noted
2. Audio is recorded

3. Presenter is frozen

Critiques Begin

Student presentations prompt other class members to offer a critique. Critiques are accepted and recorded until the moderator allows another presentation. The moderator has privileged button (not shown) that ends the opportunity to critique.

1. Request to critique accepted

2. The first request is granted

3. Others see the critiquer
4. Contribution is noted
5. Audio is recorded

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Always Learning