Interactive Feedback Machine

Hi Everyone,

I’ve put my pitch and executive summary on a Google sites page.  The link to the pitch on Youtube and the summary (see the bottom of the page as an attachment) are found there.  It’s my first time with Google Sites, so hopefully things work.  The “Interactive Feedback Machine” is presented for your consideration, and even has a brief cameo (sort of) of Dr. Vogt.  Enjoy!




1 Sarah Wood { 11.26.08 at 3:17 pm }


I have to say, your “pitch” won me over. You put a great deal of work into your pitch and it showed. It was well presented and well researched and I appreciated that.

That being said, I do wonder if there truly is an “opportunity gap” present for the Interactive Feedback Machine? As a teacher, I don’t know if I would have the time or desire to put that much time into commenting on students work. (I hope that doesn’t sound too bad!). I agree that feedback is important, I just wonder if this is a bit excessive. Just my thoughts! I do agree that there is a market with DL education, but I am sceptical for the post-secondary and corporate markets.

I also appreciate how you showed the alternative competitors and why you felt the Interactive Feedback Machine was a superior product. Your demonstration did explain its ease of use.

You certainly asked the right questions and gave the right answers. Based on your presentation, I would recommend funding for your project.

Well done.

2 Ellen Wu { 11.27.08 at 10:40 pm }

Hi Joe,

I like the “grab” of your written executive summary – “We make feedback and collaboration meaningful by involving and eyes and the ears”. This really sums up what your Interactive Feedback Machine does! Your YouTube presentation is professionally done and convincing. You introduced your team and showed that you are a credible group of educators.

You successfully outline the problem and importance of providing effective feedback and the need for your venture. You also backed up your argument with proof of the inadequacy of current feedback tools that are already in place. Your analysis of your market and your plan for expansion is clear. You outlined who your potential buyers and partners are. There is definitely a market for this type of multimedia feedback in distance courses, not only in higher education, but probably also in secondary education. However, I would like to hear more about your potential competitors. What about Microsoft Words? Doesn’t it allow its users to insert media files already? If so, then why should educators prefer your machine over the word processors that they already have.

Overall, your presentation of the pitch is well-done. You have proved the need for your Interactive Feedback Machine and mapped out its foreseeable future. Good job!


3 D.B. { 11.28.08 at 12:30 am }

Some great ideas here.

Aside: With regard to the downloadable executive summary, while most have Word, why not make it in a PDF format so you can be guaranteed that formatting will be preserved? My copy of Word munched up the formatting.

Executive Summary: Does a good job of presenting the idea, however, this ‘EVA’ at the end of reviewing the summary immediately certain whether or not the ‘IFM’ was a machine that was automatically inserting feedback or if it was an infrastructure service to help reviewers, writers and colleagues collaborate on these issues.

Pitch: Good idea re: video taping your powerpoint pres and having ‘you’ there. [Aside: Glad you could film to expose the slides properly, wish I could’ve seen more of you out of the shadows though :)] Great enthusiasm! I also liked how you mocked up your examples with Word. Thought I recognized someone’s mug shot in one of those screen shots 😉

4 Joey Dabell { 11.28.08 at 9:49 am }

Interesting project and I enjoyed your presentation. The summary explains the importance of feedback and some of what differentiates your Interactive Feedback Machine. What I felt was missing up front (in the summary) is a description of what is missing from the current situation, and where is the solution positioned in market. You discussed that a need exists for audio/video feedback. I can’t argue that, but I wasn’t sure there was enough evidence provided to support this need to give investors confidence to invest the amount of money being requested. Your presentation style was very engaging. You have clearly put considerable thought and effort into your idea. I am impressed by the possibilities of your venture.

5 Joe Dobson { 11.28.08 at 10:44 am }

Hi All,

Thanks for the comments thus far.

Sarah: I think that an increasing number of instructors are providing feedback digitally these days – mostly with word tracking or programs such as Markin which are text based and mentioned both in the pitch. So I think that market exists and certainly in the DE sector it might have real legs.

Ellen: MS Word allow audio files to be added, but the process is cumbersome. Video can’t be added – I asked the experts on campus here and apparently it can’t be done. The concept is to make a simple to use tool that saves time/effort on the part of educators. Camtasia which I mentioned in the ES and pitch for example allows for screen shot video (and it’s possible to put a smaller webcam file over it), but to be useful it needs to be fairly high in terms of resolution and as a result the file size become unwieldy very quickly.

D.B. – perhaps the name with “machine” was a little misleading – wouldn’t it be nice if the work was done for us 🙂 Must have had a couple glasses of wine while thinking about the name!

Joey – The amount of money requested is really an educated guess. The project for A3 was to give a pitch for an idea and make it authentic, not develop a full business plan which is a much more involved process. I know that software development and launching a product can be quite pricey, but I didn’t cost it out for the purposes of this assignment and threw the figure in to make the pitch more authentic.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions all,


6 Susan Wilson { 11.28.08 at 8:21 pm }

Joe Dobson – Interactive Feedback Machine

What a great idea! If you can create a product that makes marking and assessment quicker and easier, I am all for it. I would imagine that the concept would be an easy sell to educators (if the price was low enough!).

Your pitch was effective. I found it informative and well-practised. I appreciated that you made an effort to speak to the camera and not to read directly from your notes. I wish that the lighting was better though. It would have been nice to be able to see your face. Another comment regarding the visual presentation is that it was very difficult to read what you were presenting, especially when showing the example of the Word document.

I do not believe that I would invest at the beginning. I would rather wait and see an actual prototype in action. I still have questions about the need for separate audio or video embedding in the original document as opposed to a video screencast of the document that includes annotations. I think that streamlining the feedback with the document is preferable to “clicking” separate spots to read comments, listen to comments, or to view a video.

I also have questions about technical requirements on the student’s end. Will there be requirements for their hardware? Can they respond to the teacher’s feedback? What about technical support for the teachers and for the students?

I think that you have a great idea but that it needs to go through field testing to make sure that you are making work easier and not more time-consuming.

BTW – proposed new Video annotation software –


7 fetya { 11.30.08 at 3:16 am }

Hi Joe!

I really appreciate the enthusiasm and confidence throughout the presentation!

Regarding logistics, it was hard to read off the projection due to lighting. Clear visuals would have made the package even better.

My following comment might have to do with the fact that I’m not a teacher and haven’t spent numerous hours providing feedback to students. In any case, I don’t feel your presentation conveyed to me the usefulness and importance of being able to add an audio or video comment to a written document. Again, maybe this is what all teachers are dreaming of, and although I do think it would be a great addition, I’m not sure I understand the need at this point.

I think every other aspect of the venture was adequately conveyed. Very relevant examples were made when discussing the market and you definitely had the tone of someone ‘trying to convince’ his audience. That is a plus for me! In general, the confidence exuded would definitely lead the EVA in me to seriously consider working further with you.

8 nancy castonguay { 11.30.08 at 7:33 am }

Hi Joe! Very nicely done by the way. Your idea reminds me of First Class in some ways, except for the video capability and perhaps the mobile addition. Looks like you’ve done your homework though and that you have clearly stated market and ambitions. These sorts of tools will undoubtedly become the norm int he very near future. I like it.

9 Joe Dobson { 11.30.08 at 11:22 am }

Hi All,

Thanks for the comments. Sorry about the lighting – it was videoed in one of the language labs and the lighting is very poor and when splicing it together, I didn’t have time to learn how to adjust the brightness/contrast on the resulting video that was uploaded.


10 Melissa Anders { 11.30.08 at 1:16 pm }

I really like the idea that you are proposing. Feedback is the best way to help our students learn and you’ve developed a more personal way to provide that feedback, especially for teachers who may have large classes and can’t meet with everyone, or something we are all familiar with, distance learning. This type of feedback could definitely help students in DL programs to feel connected to their professors. Good luck.


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