Students establish Q&A-style learning website with focus on reliability

Students+establish+Q%26A-style+learning+website+with+focus+on+reliability

Harini Shyamsundar

Juniors Aditya Sachdeva, Greg Moe and the rest of the Eduko Foundation team strive to make their website unique and credible.

Eduko
The Eduko Foundation Start Page. Photo by Aditya Sachdeva.

When counselor Shari Schussel uses websites with Q&A features, such as Yahoo! Answers or College Confidential, she is often skeptical about the credibility of the responses.

“The problem with ‘expert’ answers is that you don’t know the responder’s credentials,” Schussel said. “Anyone can answer questions on the Internet.”

MVHS students rely on the Internet for a great deal of their educational needs. However, like Schussel, they can often be unsure of what information to believe.

This is the concept that junior Aditya Sachdeva and his two founding partners, junior Rohan Saxena from Mountain View High School and junior Eshan Govil from Sacred Heart Prep, kept in mind when they founded Eduko Foundation, a non-profit organization whose main goal is to provide students of all backgrounds with access to educational enrichment through a simple question-and-answer format. Students who need help with a certain class can ask questions on the website and expect quick and accurate responses from selective experts.

“We founded [Eduko Foundation] because education is something really important that not everyone has access to,” Sachdeva said. “With Eduko Foundation, anyone can get help from intelligent people.”

The Q&A system on Eduko Foundation. Photo by Aditya Sachdeva.
The Q&A system on Eduko Foundation. Photo by Aditya Sachdeva.

These people are chosen carefully by the foundation’s team. According to Sachdeva, unlike Yahoo! Answers, the process of authorizing an “Edukisto,” or a college or high school-level student who answers other students’ questions, is a thorough one.

“They have to send us a transcript among other things,” Sachdeva said. “We look at their education and other relevant information.”

But this is not the only thing Eduko Foundation does to establish reliability within their website. They also achieve what Schussel refers to as one of the most important things to examine when using an assistive website — ensuring the respondent’s accuracy.

“One of our biggest challenges was differentiating [Eduko Foundation] from other sites that have similar goals,” said Moe, an ambassador of Eduko Foundation. “So we made our platform a lot more personal. Every student who answers a question is either currently taking the asker’s class or has recently taken it. They can answer specific questions.”

AdityaGreg Candid
Moe and Sachdeva read over their website’s mission statement. The boys believe that Eduko Foundation’s user interface is both friendly and accessible. Photo by Harini Shyamsundar.

Sachdeva is enthusiastic about establishing the platform’s credibility at MVHS, where he believes the website’s uniqueness will be appreciated.

“MVHS is a place where students can both ask and answer,” Sachdeva said. “We a have a lot of outstanding students with outstanding talents, but I also think that students would be open to getting help if they needed it.”

Both Sachdeva and Moe are proud of what they have accomplished and have high hopes for the website’s success.

“Throughout this process, we’ve learned how much work goes into starting something like this out of nothing,” Moe said. “I think our eventual goal is for teachers in classrooms to promote our website and recommend it to future students as a good resource.”