UW-River Falls a Finalist in Desire2Learn Edge Challenge Competition

January 21, 2014--The Falconers Group, a group of four students in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has been named a finalist in the Desire2Learn Edge Challenge. The competition invites teams to design and build a prototype of an innovative app that would improve some aspect of the educational experience.   

The Falconers Group is made up of Mike Haas of River Falls, Tammy Kelly of River Falls, Tyler Rasmussen of Roberts, and Luke Vang of Saint Paul, Minn.   

The group describes their app as a tutoring platform with a difference. This app would allow students to engage in online tutoring sessions with connected users, including students, tutors, or instructors through digital whiteboards, instant messaging, group discussions, and video conferencing.   

Arpan Jani, associate professor of Computer Science & Information Systems at UW-River Falls, incorporated the Edge Challenge into his class, Introduction to Systems Analysis, this past fall. Six teams from the class participated in the challenge.   

"I asked students in my CSIS 423 class to work on this challenge as part of the group project component of the course," said Jani. "They also had to integrate what they were learning in the course with how they go about developing the app, especially understanding business requirements and then creating a prototype."   

Teams from Duke University, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison are the other three finalists. The winner will be announced Feb. 6 and will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and a trip to Nashville, Tenn., for FUSION 2014, the Desire2Learn User's Conference.   

The Falconers Group pitch video describing their app concept can be viewed on Youtube at http://youtu.be/ts10m4sK3MY.   

The CSIS department is housed in the AACSB-accredited College of Business and Economics at UW-River Falls. The department offers state-of-the-art computer labs and classrooms with an evolving curriculum designed to prepare graduates to meet the demands of the fast-paced technology industry. The department enjoys a 97 percent placement rate in the CS or IS related field with excellent employer satisfaction that supports the readiness of our graduates for the workforce.

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