Research Foundation News

September 7, 2017

Smart phone student engagement platform seeks to bridge gap between lecturers and students, boost academic integrity

Mavilla Sloan Varun Mavilla (left) and Charlie Sloan (right), co-founders of eLectruic, pose for a photo while showing the eLecturic mobile platform. The company’s smart phone education aid aims to bridge the gap between students and lecturers through instantaneous communication and enhanced engagement. This smart phone-compatible application could reduce academic integrity violations by requiring students to be present in class to receive participation points. (Kelsey Henry / Purdue Research Foundation image) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue-affiliated startup eLecturic, Inc. is developing a platform that promotes student engagement in lecture environments by allowing real-time communication between students and professors.

Varun Mavilla, a student in Purdue University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and co-founder of eLecturic and Charlie Sloan, a finance and management major at Krannert School of Management and CEO of eLecturic, developed their platform to encouraging students and professors to uphold academic integrity in lecture classrooms.

“Current educational aids have drawbacks that allow for many academic integrity violations by students across America today,” said Sloan. “Both students and professors are aware of the issue. Our application has a foolproof method to eliminate academic integrity violations in the classroom.”

“We believe these academic integrity violations take away from the value of education,” Mavilla added. “Hoping to resolve this issue, we started brainstorming and came up with eLecturic.”

eLecturic’s technology allows professors to pose a question for an entire lecture class and allows students to respond individually, all through the app. From this instantaneous feedback, professors can better understand the students’ acumen. This platform can be downloaded onto a smart phone, tablet, or laptop.

“The professors may use the platform for taking attendance, administering quizzes, or getting an understanding of what the class comprehends,” said Sloan.

Mavilla said lecture classrooms could discourage students from actively engaging in lessons or communicating with their professors.

eLectruic technology eLectruic’s technology allows professors to pose a question to an entire lecture class and students are able to respond individually through the app. The platform can be downloaded on a smart phone, tablet or laptop. (Kelsey Henry / Purdue Research Foundation Image) Download image

“Our platform bridges the distance between students and lecturers in a large classroom setting,” Mavilla said. “We feel eLecturic can more accurately track student engagement and also keep professors accountable. If these professors see attendance dropping, they can figure out solutions to increase student involvement.”

eLecturic will hold students accountable for their academic integrity and hold professors accountable for their lesson plans.

“Many aids don’t always ensure students are in the classroom when answering questions,” Mavilla said. “These other companies’ receivers are not valuable to the average student the way their smart phone is. If a student does not value the engagement tool, they will hand it off to someone else. With our platform, the engagement tool is the students’ phones, and they will not hand off their phone just to get points. We plan to become the gold-standard in the promotion of classroom engagement and academic integrity.”

eLecturic hopes to pilot their platform with interested Purdue professors during the 2017 fall semester. Mavilla and Sloan believe that in the long-term their platform could permeate across Purdue’s campus and onto other universities’ campuses.

“We met with Gerry McCartney, the chief information officer at Purdue, who collects information about education aids,” Mavilla said. “He expressed interest in working towards ending academic integrity violations, and he especially liked that we are Purdue-based organization solving this problem.”

Mavilla and Sloan received assistance from Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Purdue’s Discovery Park.

eLecturic is seeking potential investors and partners with other Purdue organizations, to meet accomplish the company’s goals. Mavilla and Sloan also hope to build their team to include developers for the platform.

“If a professor wants to increase lesson attendance or enhance student understanding in their classrooms, this would be a perfect platform to use,” Mavilla said. “We’re excited to get this platform in the hands of professors and students as soon as possible.” 

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry was named a top recipient at the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation and Awards Program by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at innovation@prf.org.

Writer: Kelsey Henry, 765-588-3342, kehenry@prf.org

Purdue Research Foundation Contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org 

Source: Varun Mavilla, varun@electuric.com

Charlie Sloan, charlie@electuric.com


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