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Simmons Collaborates with Colleague to Create ‘Homework Suite’ App

Dr. Lakisha Simmons Dr. Lakisha Simmons at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. November 4, 2016.

Application designed to ‘help our students succeed’

Need some help organizing all the post-midterm homework and semester-long projects? There’s an app for that. This time, there’s a Belmont professor making the app possible and potentially easing students’ stress in the process.

Dr.Lakisha Simmons, assistant professor of management information systems in the Massey College of Business, and her colleague Dr. Chris Simmons (Lipscomb University professor of computer science and software engineering) collaborated on the creation of the Homework Suite Student Planner, an academic planner mobile app that went live earlier this fall.

“I’ve always been interested in how technology improves our lives, and I’ve always been very organized,” said Simmons. “So when I noticed a trend of 20-25 percent of my students would miss the first few assignments of the semester, I knew that I had to do something. My colleague had the same concerns – students’ grades and performance were being impacted simply because they forgot their homework.”

The app was designed with college students in mind as the couple sought to create solutions to the “I forgot” problem and to help students track their own class attendance and keep tabs on group projects.

Simmons continued, “The app is customizable with a beautiful color palette so that students can color code their classes. Best of all students can set multiple reminders for due dates.”

In fact, college students can import syllabi assignments directly into the app (see the import section on the website), alleviating the need to enter individual assignments for each class into personal calendar software.

Simmons said, “I’ve already had a couple of students personally tell me that they would have missed an assignment if they hadn’t received an automated reminder from Homework Suite. We are so glad that it’s helping students manage their coursework.”

The Homework Suite Concierge will:

  • Send students homework and exam reminders
  • Display an assignment feed and calendar view to quickly see what tasks are due and when.
  • Provide a useful dashboard to visualize what’s due today and how much is due over the next several weeks.
  • Import syllabus information
  • Store and emails study partners from the app
  • Store faculty office hours and allow students to email faculty directly from the app
  • Accept a picture of a handout or notes from an instructor and add it to the notes of a task.
  • Color code classes for easy reference
  • Allow for subtasks so that students can create their own study plan and break large assignments into manageable pieces

Homework Suite is free and can be accessed via Google Play, the App Store and on the website. A ProStudent upgrade is also available as an in-app purchase of $2.99 that offers additional resources.

“Next year we are looking forward to incorporating student feedback into the app. Several students have asked for grades tracking and, if we get enough interest in that particular, we may build it into the app next summer. We couldn’t be more thrilled to use our God-given talents in our field of information technology to create an application that helps our students succeed.”

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