A team of business and engineering undergraduate students are rolling out a new feature for the Berkeley Mobile app this month that will make it easier for students to find virtual study groups.
The “study pact” feature, designed by Rajavi Mishra, BS 22, (business and EECs) and Sudarshan Gopalakrishnan, BS 21, (EECS) is the newest addition to Berkeley Mobile, the UC Berkeley campus app created to help find everything from transit routes to dining hall menus to library or gym hours.
Mishra and the Berkeley Mobile team started working on the new study pact app remotely last semester to ease the often challenging transition into remote learning.
“Essentially, we’re trying to recreate the in-person study environment, where students organically meet other students during class or in libraries,” said Mishra, co-product manager of Berkeley Mobile, the student organization that works under Berkeley’s CTO office to develop helpful mobile features for campus.
“Having been in classes where I know no one, it’s incredibly difficult to find reliable study partners—especially when everyone’s in a remote setting and in different time zones,” said Atharva Mehendale, BS 22, (business and EECS) an associate product manager for Berkeley Mobile.
We’re trying to recreate the in-person study environment, where students organically meet other students during class or in libraries. — Rajavi Mishra.
Students who sign up for the new feature will be matched with others seeking to study the same course content, whether its preparing for a final or collaborating on a project. The feature can be used to form study groups for specific courses or, alternately, for motivational study sessions where every student studies his or her own subject, Mishra said.
Gopalakrishnan and Mishra, who are both from India, say time differences between India and the U.S. are a challenge when they’re studying at home.
So when developing the app, they decided to enable students to connect in their time zones, an alternative to “staying up all night trying to communicate,” Gopalakrishnan said.
He added that the new mobile feature should also benefit undergraduate transfer students, who may not have connections on campus or set study groups.
“People don’t want to reach out to a random stranger,” he said. “All of my friends have study groups and I’ve personally benefited a lot from them.”
The Berkeley Mobile app, which has about 550 active monthly users, is available for free on iOS and Android.
Users who download the app will have access to the new feature when it launches this month.