Baruch College & Cal Poly
One of these schools is located in the heart of Manhattan’s bustling Flatiron District; the other on the beautiful California coast in a town dubbed “America’s Happiest City.” Both are preparing students to tackle complex business problems with the help of an innovative diagramming tool: Lucidchart.
SCHOOL: Bernard M. Baruch College - The City University of New York
DEPARTMENTAL GOALS: To provide fundamental quantitative knowledge, preparation in the decision sciences, and expertise in business analysis.
NEED: An easy-to-use, collaborative program for creating UML diagrams.
SOLUTION: Free educational Lucidchart accounts for Dr. Mohan’s Systems Analysis and Design students.
SCHOOL: California Polytechnic State University
DEPARTMENTAL GOALS: To promote organizational problem-solving, technological acumen, and collaborative communication skills.
NEED: A cloud-based, platform-independent drawing tool that eliminates the need for secondary tools.
SOLUTION: Free educational Lucidchart accounts for Dr. Grigg’s classes: Systems Analysis and Design, Information Systems, and Enterprise-Wide Business Processes.
Baruch College is known as one of the most diverse schools in America, but that diversity loses its value when students have trouble communicating. For Dr. Mohan’s students, streamlined collaboration was their most elusive goal. The CASE tool that he used previously was adept at developing UML diagrams, but made it difficult for students to share their work. Dr. Mohan said, “This was a difficult problem to handle prior to Lucidchart...students had to use other tools to compress and share files, and then reopen the files on their collaborators’ machines.”
Dr. Griggs of Cal Poly had a similar problem. Before he switched to Lucidchart, students at the prestigious state school were forced to use email as their only means of sharing diagrams with peers and teachers. When diagramming programs couldn’t get the job done, students and instructors were responsible for obtaining and installing secondary drawing apps on their personal machines. In addition, many students’ usage was restricted to on-campus computers due to a lack of platform independence. Dr. Griggs said, “A majority of students now have Macs and this poses a problem, given that most labs are PC-based. Previously, students had to do all of their assignments in the lab.”
Dr. Mohan became aware of Lucidchart when an outreach email from the company landed in his inbox. A Lucidchart support professional guided him through the license set-up process and helped add collaborators to the team. On the opposite coast, Dr. Griggs ran an online search for “cloud-based drawing tools”, which led him to Lucidchart’s website.
Both professors were searching for 3 crucial components:
First, each educator needed a flexible tool—one that was suitable for homework, lab work, and everywhere in between. It couldn’t be dependent on a specific operating system, device type, or computer network.
Second, both Dr. Mohan and Dr. Griggs wanted a program that would allow them to unobtrusively check on students’ progress in the editor. This would allow for faster feedback and objective fact-checking when students required more personalized instruction.
Finally, the ideal tool had to be a stand-alone product that’s easy to use. Cash-strapped students hate to buy expensive add-ons for courses, and they rarely have time to master a difficult software program within the short time span of a semester.
At both Cal Poly and Baruch, Lucidchart turned out to be a superb solution. Lucidchart’s real-time collaboration gave students the flexibility to move fluidly between home and school environments without sacrificing speed or quality. Students were no longer dependent on lab computers, and collaborative lab exercises ran smoothly with the help of simultaneous edits and unlimited collaborators. Of his students, Dr. Mohan said, “Now all their work—the most up-to-date version of their work—is readily available for me to open and project. This has saved quite a bit of time that I was otherwise spending in just the nitty-gritties of sharing and opening files.”
Dr. Mohan found Lucidchart to be surprisingly useful for other scenarios, as well. He states, “In addition to use for teaching, I have started using Lucidchart for some of my research projects that I collaborate with colleagues remotely located. Lucidchart has helped us create research models collaboratively.”
It seems that Lucidchart’s flexibility is hard to hide, because students at CalPoly also found unexpected uses for the product. Dr. Griggs shared that his students used Lucidchart’s mind mapping and presentation features in unrelated classes, and one student even used the software’s iPhone mockup features as part of an elevator pitch for a business idea in a marketing class.
Dr. Griggs said,
Lucidchart streamlines and standardizes much of the modeling and simulation parts of my classes and it eliminates the overhead associated with managing multiple application environments. Also, the Lucidchart application simulation features are very helpful in the demonstration of software project ideas. Lucidchart is a great product and solves a number of problems in the teaching of technical subjects.
Our software is simple for students to learn and easy for professors to manage. Your students will love the ease of group projects with Lucidchart, and you’ll appreciate the classroom hours returned to you—no need to troubleshoot when you’d rather be teaching.
See for yourself why Cal Poly, Baruch College, and other top universities are making the switch to Lucidchart.