What Noodle Idea is in theory:
Noodle, founded by the founder of Pearsons Review, is an educational search and recommendation engine which allows people to search and get recommendations to colleges, grad schools, tutors, test prep, high school, etc,. In order to suggest recommendations, Noodle asks you a set of questions such as your GPA, undergrad school, SAT, LSAT scores, etc., and then gives you recommendations to schools, and tutors, etc.,
You can save, organize and share your search results and connect with friends and other people. You can subscribe to public content such as blog posts by Noodle and other lists such as Princeton Review's ranking of top universities. Noodle aims to aggregate data regarding educational opportunities in a single place and provide easy access to it.
I did couple of searches such as finding a law school, tutor, and grad school. I answered the pop quiz questions for each of them in order to get recommendations. I had a bug ingested experience on the site. Once, I answered all the 10 questions for grad school only to see that I coudn't see my recommendations. The site said that my recommendations were on the right, but I couldn't see anything on right (See image below).
Another time, I had trouble submitting an answer to their question because the question would only take certain pre selected answer choices .
Further, the site was really slow and I didn't find the user interface to be intuitive. For example, in their periodic table like layout (see image below) of different searches that you can do, I have no idea, why I can click on some blocks and cannot click on others.
Did I find the results and recommendations helpful ?
The value of a tool like this lies around the search results and the content it provides. In this transformative education era, with online learning, with fellowships to support entrepreneurship and encourage college dropouts, with blurry correlation lines between college GPA and next career move(s), the questions Noodle uses to base its recommendations on seem outdated and impersonal. Figuring out the right school or the right education opportunity for yourself is a challenging process and requires one to be connected to the right information, peers and experts in that field (Reminds me of Ednode and Pundit) and so I see Noodle only coming a little close to helping people in this regard.
Moreover, I found it difficult to trust the information about any school because it is not clear where and how the data has been aggregated from.
Noodle is a great idea but until it includes other metrics which incorporate the education trend, interests and experience of students, give us a confidence estimate of their recommendations and back their data with experts advice, I don't see it improving the education opportunity discovery process.
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