Technology Behind the Pedagogy Gap Survey

Pedagogy Gap is a free online survey that helps teachers make learning more relevant for their middle and high school kids. It’s the product of my undergrad thesis, a year’s worth of research and writing. I’m excited to see if students or teachers will find it interesting. For now though, I’ll discuss the technology behind the site.

  1. Ruby on Rails

    A popular web framework that’s intuitive and powerful. Because the site has many models and persists data in a database, I decided not to go with Sinatra, which is a smaller web framework.

  2. HighCharts

    A popular Javascript plugin that graphs data. It’s easy to work with and beautiful too. By making my graphs render as partials, I could dynamically generate different sets of data with just a few javascript files. For example, I have 3 Highcharts javascript files generate 18 different graphs.

  3. Flat-ui

    It’s a free and elegant theme.

  4. Anonymous Students

    I wanted students to take the survey without having an email address, but also without using an awkwardly long and hard-to-remember token. So I made students a separate model from users who require authentication. Instead, teachers give students a passcode that allows them to create a student.

    So while this lowers barriers to using the survey, because teachers do not have to collect their students’ email addresses to send them the survey, this creates the concern that students could take multiple surveys.

    In the future, I will add features that make this situation more secure; however, I wanted this survey to be as easy to take as possible. Another benefit is that students can initiate the survey without having their entire class’ emails.

Please take a look at You can sign in with pre-populated survey results using these credentials: [{email:, password: curious}, {survey_id: 15, survey_password: curious}]. Let me know what you think @surrealdetectiv.