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40 Minutes: What happens in a Classroom?

My co-founder and I spent an entire week interviewing teachers, principals and students at a prominent School in North India. Our purpose was to understand how the school actually functioned. To create a proper framework, we sat in on Science and Math classes for 6th and 9th standard students. The following were our observations.


Class Size: 30 students per class

Location of School: North India

Student Body - Middle Class

Time Allocations were roughly:

1. Recapping Previous Topics- 5 mins

2. Introducing Concepts - 20 mins (writing in copies)

3. Worked Examples/Numericals - 10 mins

4. Closing - 5 mins

After speaking with ~30 teachers and 50+ students, we identified 4 steps in the learning journey:

1. Preparation

2. Instruction

3. Doubt-Clearing

4. Revision and Retrieval

The Main Highlights of our Teacher Interviews were as follows:

Concern 1: Currently, teachers are engaging in activities #2 and #3. Yet, #2 is taking longer than it should because students are not prepared for class. If students prepared before class, teachers could focus on clearing doubts and misconceptions. Teachers needed a way to hold students accountable and ensure the work got done.

Concern 2: Teachers also said they felt unable to issue enough practice material to students. Yes, they issued worksheets often, but there were not always corrected, and so students did not always complete them. Again, they agreed that a system that held students accountable to their homework would be a boon.

Concern 3: Teachers stated that many students were too shy to speak in class and ask for help. While they were aware of the problem, they didn't have the time to personalize interventions or communicate with each student. They requested a way for students to communicate with them, as well as a way to personalize interventions.

We listened carefully and arrived at the following solutions

Concern 1 - Solution 1: We built time-bound Revisions that each teacher can assign to students. These assignments need the student to finish a fixed reading and answer questions before class. The teacher is informed if any student does not finish their work.

Concern 2 - Solution 2: We built Exercises which teachers can issue to students whenever they deem appropriate. The questions can be decided ahead of time, or the teacher can send a unique assignment to each student. Since the assignment is immediately corrected and graded, there is no extra burden on the teacher. In fact, this would save teachers 8 hours of work per week.

Concern 3- Solution 3: For this concern, we built 2 features. First, a way for students to communicate with teachers at the end of every assignment. Students can give the teachers specific feedback on what they found easy, tough, or wanted them to discuss in class. The teacher would receive a detailed note at the end of each revision with the student's concerns.

Second, we created a 'Skill Rating' for each chapter which is visible to all teachers. The Skill Rating a) tells the teacher how proficient each student is in a chapter, b) it ensures that when a student practices, they get questions at their skill level. Additionally, when a student is given a randomized assignment, they will only be issued questions at their 'Skill Level'

If you'd like to hear about how we can help Teachers improve student outcomes at your school, please get in touch with us at


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