QuizWhizzer is a tool designed to improve the classroom experience through gamification, without diminishing learning. It adds friendly competition to self-paced quiz games. It’s a race to the finish, where you progress by answering the questions!
My name is Tim Bartrum, I launched QuizWhizzer back in 2017 but probably not the way you would expect.
You see, QuizWhizzer didn’t start out as your typical ed-tech startup…
I actually started it as a computer science coursework project! The coursework was a year-long programming project which you could do on anything you wanted, as long as you had a client for it. My client was my physics teacher and he wanted something as a software-version of one of his current methods of teaching, here’s what he currently did:
- Create a game board in Power Point using shape tools and/or a background image.
- Create a worksheet of questions
- Now in class he would display the game at the front of the class, on the Smart Board and each student would have a printed copy of the questions.
- The game would also consist of small avatars, which sometimes were pictures of each student’s face and other times were spaceships or movie characters.
- After completing a question, a student would go up to the teacher to get it checked. If they got it right, they could move their avatar on the screen by dragging it.
- As you probably guessed, the student who got to the finish first was the winner 🎉
Now this was a pretty fun activity and really differentiated my physics teachers lessons from the rest. Turning this into software would be awesome as it would save my teacher time and avoid queues of students waiting to get their answers checked – instead it could be done automatically! Also, it would serve as a platform other teachers could use to implement this into their lessons.
It would be a huge challenge for me as well as a huge coursework project, but coding is a passion of mine so I was more than up for it.
And so about 5 months later, after many revisions and meetings with my teacher, the first version of QuizWhizzer was released live on the internet. Back then it was called Quiznetic, but unfortunately due to a trademark infringement I later had to change the name.
And to my surprise, it wasn’t long before Quiznetic was discovered by others. I eventually found someone had wrote about it in a blog post and it was driving a few users over to the site!
Over time, other blog posts started appearing. I was getting around 200 new sign ups per month now, which was amazing and something I had never expected! It showed that what my physics teacher and I had created, was indeed something other teachers would be interested in using. And this is how QuizWhizzer has grown to this day, completely organically with no advertising.
In June 2018, I started working on rewriting Quiznetic as my coding experience had improved enough that I thought I could do a much better job of it and improve the UI with some key technology changes. I expected it would take about 6 months, but in the end it took over a year 😳 (mainly because of being at university at the same time).
In September 2019, I launched the rewritten app, under the new name QuizWhizzer. The UI had significantly improved as well as the back-end code and scalability. This has been my biggest project ever and I’m very happy with how it turned out.
Another part of the redesign was adding QuizWhizzer Pro, to hopefully create enough revenue so the site could sustain itself. As QuizWhizzer doesn’t have backing from investors like other ed-tech startups, it is vital that it makes money otherwise I would have to shut it down. This is why I made the free version only limited use, the idea being teachers can try it out for free and if they like it they will hopefully upgrade.
Although I am no longer a student, I’m still working on QuizWhizzer as I believe it has potential to positively impact many more teachers and students. We are living in a digital age, which allows more fun and effective learning techniques than ever before. Yet many classrooms are still working from textbooks.
Of course there are other edtech tools out there, but from my experience it seems teachers need a variety of tools to keep things fresh. Each tool is unique and ultimately serves its own purpose.
If you have feedback about QuizWhizzer, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!