Author Archives: John Pytel

New Features On GoSoapBox

We’ve been rolling out some new features and improvements to GoSoapBox over the past few days, and we want to keep everyone updated. We will continue making development additions, so keep the feedback coming!

New Homepage Design

We’ve revamped our homepage (gosoapbox.com) with some additional company and product information. We think the design looks a bit cleaner as well.

Check it out and let us know what you think: gosoapbox.com

Spreadsheet Export Improvements

The exportable spreadsheet now contains each student’s grade on any quiz. Each quiz tab now has a column displaying the % grade for each student’s responses to multiple choice questions within the quiz.

We’ve also added a tab to the spreadsheet containing any ‘open’ questions from your event. The spreadsheet will show you what question was asked, who asked it, and how many votes it received among the class.

 Improved ‘Email Me Questions’ Feature

You have the ability to have GoSoapBox send you an email with a list of all of the ‘open’ and ‘answered’ questions from your event.

We’ve updated this email to now include any replies to those questions. This can be a really simple way of sharing a FAQ or study guide from your event.

Discussion Reply Names Now Visible

Teachers (or event managers) are now able to see the name of the author of each discussion reply. All replies still remain anonymous among students or audience members.

Pause, Archive, or Remove Events

You now have the ability to Pause, Archive, or Remove an event that you created. To do this, go to “Manage this GoSoapBox event” and scroll to the section titled ‘Status Settings’.

Pause an Event: This will essentially put a lock down on your event momentarily. Your students (or audience) will still be able to access the event but will not be able to interact with any of the features.

Archive an Event: This will pause your event, and move it to an ‘Archived’ events section on your account dashboard. This allows you to keep an event for an extended period of time, without cluttering up your account dashboard. You can ‘Un-Archive’ an event at any time.

Remove an Event: This will permanently delete your event completely.

Why We Launched

Last week, GoSoapBox opened its digital doors to the public. We were featured on Mashable, tweeted on Twitter, and discussed on numerous blogs. Many praised our innovative product, others scoffed. As thrilled as we are to be growing, we are pausing today to address a few concerns and questions.

Our public launch included moving to a for-pay service. We have heard from a few teachers that our asking price is too steep. Others were disappointed that the product costs anything.  Frankly — we do not like charging for GoSoapBox and wish we could keep it free forever. Budgets are tight in schools, and any new expense is difficult to justify.

So why are we charging?

  1. We want to build a great product.
  2. We want to be accountable to our users, not investors.

Revenue allows us to reinvest in GoSoapBox and continue our track record of rapid improvement. It supports us while we work almost nonstop to build and support our product. And unlike most educational startups, especially ones offering free products, we have not taken any outside investment. Our only stakeholders are our users, and we want to keep it that way as long as possible.

A few other questions we would like to address…

“$90 / year is too expensive. Do you expect teachers to pay for this out of their own pocket?”

We developed our price point after conducting numerous interviews with our beta users. We know that we’ll never be able to satisfy everyone at any price, but after speaking with our users we felt that $90 was a reasonable amount to ask for an entire year of use.

Through our beta user interviews we also discovered that many teachers would plan to use funds from a school budget in order to pay for the subscription, or get reimbursed for the cost. Our current payments system only accepts credit cards but we are open to accepting other payment formats. Email john@gosoapbox.com and tell us what format works best for you.

“Are school-wide or university-wide versions of GoSoapBox available?”

Though we are not ready to launch an enterprise edition of GoSoapBox, it will be available shortly (along with pricing information). Anyone interested in this should email john@gosoapbox.com.

“There are other products out there that do this. What makes it different?”

While we have never come across a product that accomplishes exactly what GoSoapBox does, there may be other products that we have yet to discover.

What differentiates GoSoapBox from the competitive products that we have discovered is the custom level of engagement that can be achieved, combined with ease of adoption. Clickers and other competitive products focus on teachers engaging students with questions, and while GoSoapBox accomplishes polls & quizzes just as well, it also focuses on students engaging the teacher with questions. It’s nice to see how well students can answer the questions that you ask them, but it’s often times more effective to see the questions that they’re asking you.

And unlike many of our competitors, teachers don’t have to re-design their curriculum to best fit GoSoapBox — they can customize GoSoapBox to best fit their style of teaching.

Monday update: Pausing, archiving, and removing GoSoapBox Events

This morning we rolled out some minor changes to GoSoapBox.

  • Closing an Event is now Pausing. Paused Events are accessible to your students, but students will not be able to take any action.
  • You can now Archive your Events (you can access Archived Events, but your students cannot).
  • You can now permanently remove unwanted Events (to clean up your Account Dashboard).

You may also notice a ‘Refresh’ button occasionally pop up on your GoSoapBox Events. Events that have not been used in a while will stop real-time updating after a while. You and your students can re-activate real-time updating by clicking ‘Refresh’. This will only impact you if you have left your GoSoapBox Event open in a browser.