StudyBlue Ranks Colleges by Learning Environment, Collaboration


While current college rankings give prospective students a vague picture of current student achievement and financial stats, they don't give a solid picture of what the learning experience is like at each institution. StudyBlue, an online study tool where students can upload and share study materials, has offered a look into what it's really like to study and learn at different colleges.

StudyBlue created the first annual ranking of the ‘Smartest Studiers', factoring in study sessions, late nights in the library and whether the student body is collaborative or more competitive, according to StudyBlue's Blog. The company wants students to realize that the learning experience includes the importance of peer collaboration, not just individual achievement or lectures from world-renowned professors.

Recent studies have shown that by surrounding yourself with peers dedicated to learning and helping fellow students you are more likely to yield better results than students who study alone. This new ranking from StudyBlue can help students find those beneficial studying environments by analyzing data on study habits and success rates of the students who use StudyBlue, consisting of 1.3 million students in 203 universities.

The data shows that state schools actually have better results than Ivy League schools. Indiana State University, University of Wyoming and Louisiana Tech University top the list of twenty schools with the highest percentage of users reaching A-level mastery of the material on StudyBlue.

The school that tops the list for most popular note cards with people outside of their university is Washington State, which suggests the notes are of high quality.

The majors that studied the most are not STEM as some might expect. Instead, language majors including Slavic, Korean and Latin are at the top of the list for most notes taken, while statistics and organic chemistry have the lowest.

StudyBlue was founded in 2006 at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. The two students founders originally named their idea ‘The Class Connection", but renamed it StudyBlue in 2009. The company has developed an online network to improve the availability and effectiveness of studying:

"StudyBlue is a collaborative learning ecosystem that empowers more than 5.5 million people to master any subject. Students can connect with others who are on a similar learning journey through a shared library of more than 250+ million pieces of user-generated content. StudyBlue brings together the wisdom of the crowd, making it easier to master anything from chemistry to Chinese."

Last year the company raised $9 million in a Series A-1 financing round led by Great Oaks Venture Capital. This comes after a $3.6 million dollar Series A round from 2010 bringing the companies total funding to $14.8 million, writes Ki Mae Heussner for Gigaom.

"Having to share, compare and debate is a big part of the learning experience," said StudyBlue CEO Becky Splitt. "The funding is all about continuing to refine our ability to enhance our data and connect students to each other in the most effective way." She added that the funding will also go towards helping the company scale its team across operations and product development.

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