Future 50: Studious reaches out beyond the lecture hall

Student looking at iPad

The Ryze educational app from Studious Digital Education has been used to support and welcome university students - Credit: Getty Images/Image Source

Students adapting to virtual learning were welcomed to university by Future 50 member Studious Digital Education.

January 2021 has seen the start of a new term for undergraduates across the UK – but with coronavirus precautions in place, it has been very different to the traditional return to campus. For University of East Anglia students, the process adapting to a new online-learning culture was supported by Future 50 member Studious Digital Education.

The company was launched in 2018, born of the collaboration between Dr Ivan Mitchell and James Gardiner of UEA and UCL's Dr Sarah Warnes. "We’re looking to transform the experience of higher education through the use of digital technology and creative media,” explains CEO Dr Mitchell.

Dr Ivan Mitchell outside a UEA building

Dr Ivan Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of Studious Digital Education - Credit: Studious

Studious’s first online courses were available in January 2020 and its Ryze phone app went live in the summer. Though primarily a learning platform, Ryze was used to welcome more than 5000 students and help them get oriented at UEA in September. 

For UEA's January starters, this digital welcome on Ryze has been further enhanced. “It’s become much more two-way. There are more quizzes and awards now available" says project manager Lina Elkadi of Studious, who oversaw the project. “There’s an even greater focus on connecting students while they’re gaining knowledge. It makes it more of a social space and encourages them to participate in the University clubs and societies, which have all gone online now.”

Student holding up mobile phone

Studious uses gamification, video, AR and VR to enhance the digital learning experience - Credit: Studious / Getty Images/iStockphoto

“The university really cares about its students and connecting with them is massively important,” says Dr Mitchell. In December UEA used Ryze to connect with and support students with festive videos and uplifting experiences in the run up to Christmas.

The success of this pastoral-care aspect of Ryze opens further prospects for Studious – from a transitioning-to-university package being prepared for those staring in September 2021 to potentially being used by businesses onboarding or training staff remotely. 

For more information, see www.studious.org.uk

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