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Greetings everyone - We have exciting news to share with you Catapult has just launched in public beta, a new way for students to set a learning goal and be inspired to meet it (examples could be making an A in Chemistry, completing a course from MIT OCW, or scoring a 1400 on the SAT).

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The curtain is open and we'd love your feedback. Get started now, or read below for a few more details. *What does Catapult do?* Earn real money for success to get cool stuff like an iPad or help pay for college Involve your friends & family to give you support and fund your success. Set your learning goal *Check it out here: and be sure to see my goal here:
This is really, really cool! I'm so glad you guys got this up! I know it has the potential of helping many students. :) Questions: 1. Do you have to have a facebook to use it? *How do I get paid: Once your goal is complete, you’ll need to verify it by uploading picture evidence of your accomplishment. Your sponsors have 7 days to authorize their reward to you. If the goal is completed but they don’t answer, after 7 days (and several reminders) the funds will be paid to you.* 2.How does this work if your sponsors back out? Are you pretty much screwed or is there some sort of back up plan you guys have made? That's all for now. You guys are awesome, as always and I hope this new program works out well! :D
This is off topic but this says you posted this yesterday.

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^ Really? That IS strange. On my computer it says '35 minutes ago' - but even that's too long. Weird...
its a quantum post :)
@myininaya It's showing 1 hour ago for me. It could be a caching issue, try hard refreshing (shift + refresh)
@rebeccaskell94 1. Yes, for now, we require facebook login. Since we're dealing with real money, for now we're using FB to tie to peoples' real identities. 2. For now, there is no public discovery of goals or profiles. Anyone who is sponsoring you is someone that you know well enough to ask them to sponsor you. We'd certainly hope they wouldn't back out on their commitment without a very legitimate reason to explain to you.
Ah, okay. Sounds good. :) I don't have facebook so I didn't know. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Oops. I gutted my computer and put new stuff in recently...The calender was set wrong. My apologies.
I don't really get this thing, sorry. :/ I signed up but still, im stuck.
No problem @saifoo.khan - I'll DM you right now
Also, for everyone else - we'd love to get as many OpenStudiers to take a look as possible before we start spreading the word publicly. Let us know what we may have missed, what you like, dislike, etc. Thanks everyone!
<.< >.> I shall message ALL OF THEM xD lol most people don't even know we have a feedback group.
This is going to be great for people for whom this works. I'm not going to knock anyone's idea, I would never do that. It really seems like a great idea, but for me personally, I don't think catapult would work for me. If my friends and family want to give me rewards for achieving educational goals, they most likely would just reward me in person.
What if I dont have fb? D:
@Hero - Totally fair points, and I completely agree. The goal of Catapult in this Phase at least will be to reach those people who *aren't* intrinsically motivated to learn by having them first set a learning goal (something they probably haven't done), and then provide them the environment to succeed (OpenStudy). So, this Phase of Catapult is most assuredly not going to be for everyone on OpenStudy - but I believe (and hope) that the following Phases of Catapult will be of great use to everyone on OpenStudy :)
im so slow. i dont get it.
Super basic idea: Kids get money from parents, friends, relatives etc. that say they will pay kid, say uhh... $10 if they get an A in their next quiz for algebra. The kid gets an A and their "sponsors" (friends and family) give them $10 dollars. The goal is to motivate slackers. c:
m not getting this :( how it works ?? is this is just for slackers . for everyone using OS? thnx:)
@cshalvey sir can u please tell me that if i set target : dollar x then when will i get that? will i get them after finishing my goal?
@cshalvey sir it is for everyone using OS?
oh jeez. im glad we cleared up what 'sponsors' meant.
hey, my family use to do this. until we didnt have enuff money.
Here is a study conducted by the University of Chicago on incentives. You guys should read it. A lot of good information in here.
Thanks @Romero it was research conducted by Dr. Levitt and others that helped us decide to develop Catapult!
Will you guys give out results out in a monthly basis or in the end of the year? For example, how many of the students who applied actually succeeded in completing their goals or will you keep that information in private?
so what's the difference between doing it personally and having openstudy as a medium? it's all so vague to me
i think the goal here is motivation. of course, batman itself is the best motivation. but school boards haven't heard of my batman based education sysem
Being the enormous advocate of learning for the simple love of it that I am, this idea strikes me as one seeking to only scratch the surface of the gist of education, if at all. It almost feels like a reward system akin to those used to train German shepherds. If a (young) person is not interested enough in learning, then the problem most likely resides in an aspect of their maturity or a lack of teaching enthusiasm from part of the education department. Seeking to band-aid this shortcoming by monetary means will only shift a "student's" focus toward the reward, rather than the process; it'll turn them into e-bounty hunters. It would be a better idea to have the money go directly to something strictly education-related, like a free Amazon book. But that's just my fleeting, non-solid opinion. I also just had one shot too many and am about to fall asleep on the keyboard. Keep up the good work, guys!
Great points/questions here - hopefully I can address everyone's points. And please, if I don't answer it sufficiently/clearly enough - feel free to ask for clarification, etc. Thanks! @sami-21 - Any and all financial incentives on Catapult are from people you ask/know. Basically, we assume one's family and family friends will be the ones most interested in supporting a student's learning goal. @mathslover - Similar to the point above, money is from your sponsors, most likely your family/family friends. @Romero - Great information there, and you will notice that we have taken that research (and more) into consideration when building Catapult. It is important to note that this is only the first phase of Catapult, and we plan to expand it beyond basic financial incentives. For now, there is ample evidence that shows that financial incentives, when used correctly, can have very positive effects on student performance. @Romero (2) - Results would be kept private for now. @lgbasallote - The reason to use Catapult as opposed to doing it personally is two-fold. One, it is a public declaration of one's Learning Goal, and helps keep students accountable. Two, it allows for the sharing and involvement of family who may be far away by using the updates to keep them in the loop :) @NotTim - Unfortunately, your Batman education idea is ahead of its time, though I (and I'm sure most academic administrators) eagerly anticipate that glorious day ;) @Across - Fair points, and I'd love to discuss these more (perhaps tomorrow when it's earlier). But, I will say that an intrinsic internal motivation to learn is clearly the best, if not only, way to true academic success. However, given the fact that 80% of high school dropouts have *passing* grades, and that more and more people are viewing college and secondary education in terms of expense rather than reward - the issue that is at the heart of this matter is most certainly engagement in learning. So, I do agree with the premise of your statement, but I would argue that OpenStudy is a community that in many cases fosters that love of learning, by making it fun, enjoyable, and supportive. So, using financial incentives to entice students who would NEVER choose to commit to learning in any way, least of all in an online community, allows us to *hopefully* influence them positively in all the ways you have mentioned. That's the goal at least ;)
so if the main factors here are the users and the "sponsors" and openstudy just acts as "medium" how does openstudy benefit?
how any indian citizen can register for it? as i have seen it's valid only for u.s citizens
I'd love to add a few points here, if allowed. \(\scriptsize •\) The idea may somewhat be misused; what if a student says that he/she has completed the challenge, and then gets free money? \(\scriptsize •\) This is not allowing me to register. The message, in exact words, says:
1 Attachment
I blame the Internet too. They think of East as a backward area that shouldn't be allowed any access to.
No, he doesn't get it. He will get it from people. :P And for that you need people to see that!
Of course, but as soon as I click on the link which is supposed to 'Authorize Payments', it stops me with this barrier.
I can't think if this is a good idea or not, but the true learning is NOT the one involved with transactions—but the one where you have a desire to learn.
I disagree. A person should get something in return for the time he is giving and the efforts he's doing to help people learn.
And the amount is not in thousands.. But it's just little couple of dollars.
@ParthKohli, that's a really odd error, and it's one with WePay's security certificate. We use WePay to handle all of our monetary transactions. Perhaps it has something to do with your machine? Try and open it in Incognito in case it's due to any extensions of yrs. Very odd. If this doesn't get resolved, we'll get in touch with those guys.
Let me try it right now. Thanks!
Thank you for the attempt, Matt. :) I, unfortunately, still get the same error after opening it in incognito mode. It must be related to the country.
@ParthKohli Can you do me a favor and click on the lock symbol next to the URL and pull up the certificate info and send us a screenshot? We'll as the WePay folks about it.
And hey! Sorry for the usage of those words (racism, for example).
I see three different tabs. • General. • Details. • Certification Path. Which one?
Shall I message you the details of what the errors say?
Something like this, and then I'll let you know if we need more than that :)
And @across : fully agree about intrinsic motivation, but much like OpenStudy, we want this to be a gateway drug. Intrinsic motivation doesn't always materialize from nothing; sometimes it requires a bit of extrinsic motivation to start exploring the world of learning. We think this could be that gateway drug for some people.
Since there are some problems with uploading multiple files, I'm going to do it one at a time.
1 Attachment
Now that I don't find uploading many MB files, I am going to decrease the size a little.
1 Attachment
For the last one,
Thanks, forwarded it on. Will let you know what we hear.
Okay. Thanks!
Weird off topic question. In Parth's last picture why does the https have slash through it?
That's what signifies that the certificate is invalid. It's all related to the main issue here. It's accessed as if it's a secure site, but according to Chrome, it's not actually secure, hence the slash.
\(\color{Green}{\text{https}}\) is just the opposite of \(\color{Maroon}{\cancel{\text{https}}}\). \(\color{Green}{\text{https}}\) signifies security. \(\color{Maroon}{\cancel{\text{https}}}\) signifies no security.
@matt It's not just in the case of certificates, sire.
Why not just use http?
https signifies 'hyper text transfer protocol with security'. So, \(\cancel{https}\) will signify 'hyper text transfer protocol with no security'.
The https means that the page was loaded with the security protocol. The slash through it signifies that, for some reason, this page isn't completely secure. It could be for a few reasons, e.g. the SSL certificate is invalid or perhaps the page loads parts of other, nonsecure websites. \(\color{green}{https}\) means that the page was loaded through a secure protocol and its content is secure. \(\color{red}{\cancel{https}}\) means that the page was loaded through a secure protocol, but the security of the page itself cannot be confirmed, for whatever reason. \(http\) means that the page was loaded through a nonsecure protocol and consequently we don't care to verify the security of the content. The crossed out https means that you are sending/receiving data in secure manner, but you have no way of knowing who you are sending it to. It's like putting something valuable in a safe but you have no idea who else may have the combination to that safe.
^ Awesome explanation @mattfeury. I think all of us learned something today, and I, for one, will feel a lot safer and more confident as I peruse the internets. Thank you sir. ;)
Oh! Okay. That makes total sense. :) Thanks, Matt.
How to we get sponsored?
You ask family members and friends etc.
oh ok well I guess no money for me xD haha
haha awww
sad face ;(
I don't need money, lol. I work for myself(because I'd eventually get money if I do my work at the moment). How does that sound? Motivating? Nerdy?
I would sponsor everyone if I could. But alas, I cannot. hmmm Parth...It sounds like something Bill Gates would say.
And i have to earn like 2,000 dollars by next summer lol look at my proposal.
So that'd be nerdy hehe
And im planning to volunteer at my local hospital so no time for a job:p
That's a really good goal! @parth nerdy, but he's rich, so who cares? xD
Guess it's back to the drawing board then=] haha lol thank you Here is mine.
Parth you could learn Calculus in 2 weeks.
Unfortunately, I am using Catapult just to keep a record of what I am doing.
It's not that easy, and I just made the 'one-month' up. It takes at least three months to complete Calculus 1.
im going into chem. and alg. 2 any tips?
I'm in Chemistry and Alg II and my tips would be to just stay focused and actually remember and pay attention to what you are learning. Everything builds on the last thing you've learned.
ahhhh im so scared xD lol i had a B in sci and math all year long=] And im taking chem. honors ahaha
You can do it! :D
=] hope so my dream is MIT but I still have 3 years=]
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