Veri is a platform designed to “Learn. Teach. Play.” What started as SocratED and later renamed Veri is an alum of the inaugural TechStars class. The platform itself allows users to create courses to which other users can add questions as well as comment and discuss.
The idea behind Veri is quite interesting: a combination of gamification and social learning. In “Play & Learn”ing a course (aka taking or enrolling in a course) you gain points for correct answers and level up as you get answers correct.
Anyone can create a question to add to a course, allowing for a flexible structure where one person’s gaps can be filled by another person’s knowledge. Learners can also suggest edits or changes to questions to improve them. Content support can come from anywhere on the web, the purpose of which is to expose learners to new resources they might not have otherwise encountered.
I found the structure of the individual courses frustrating. Instead of learning material and then taking a quiz on it, the quiz questions are presented first. (Imagine my surprise when the first question I was presented with the Ruby course was an advanced programming language one. I just wanted to learn a few basics....) While you can view the related resource in lieu of the question, the question is still presented first.
This was the first question in the Ruby course. Even the explanation given was way over the head of this non-programmer
There are also few courses available, which is surprising considering the site’s been around for over a year and allows for anyone to create courses on any topic (and the topics range from bicycle repair to marketing your business). The courses that do exist vary greatly in quality. There is also no real variety in the questions, they’re all three-choice multiple choice questions, and considering you see the question before any associated materials, it at times truly feels like “multiple guess” (to borrow a term from a professor I had in library school).
The concepts that drive Veri, mainly new and inventive ways to drive the learning process, are close to the core of EdLab. The idea of social, community-driven, engaging content is also something of interest to us.
While Veri has promise, it has a long way to go to reach its potential. It almost feels like the developers misinterpreted the idea of flipped learning, by flipping learning and assessing instead of the lecture and assignment paradigm.